Artist: Jed Marum
Album: Lonestar Banjo
Lonestar Banjo, strictly speaking, is not what we are conditioned to think of as Celtic music. The album is a banjo themed compilation of music described by CDbaby as “a variety of live and studio recording, Film and TV projects”. Where is the classic Celtic connection? The answer to that question is found in the roots of Bluegrass music.
Behind Bluegrass is several centuries of immigrant musical fusion. The Irish, Scottish, and English settlers of the rural southern American colonies brought their musical traditions with them. As the rugged wilderness forced change in the people, so too was their music influenced. The people and their struggle with life are fundamental elements of both Celtic and Bluegrass music. Jed Marum is a great practitioner of both Celtic and the musical art that is the culmination of the southern rural melting pot. Lonestar Banjo is decidedly Celtic with Bluegrass inspired leanings.
This latest album is a glimpse into the artist more than the art. The signature cornerstone of Jed Marum’s art is truth. Not ‘truth’ in the corny George Washington sense of never telling a lie, but rather truth in culture and history. Jed Marum seeks to preserve and pass on our culture and history through song and music.
There are several ballads on Lonestar Banjo (like “Fighting Tigers of Ireland”, and “Pat Murphy of Meagher’s Brigade”) that exemplify Jed’s penchant for telling actual stories from history through song. Jed Marum is not all dates and dusty history. Songs like “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose” complement the stirring power of historical ballads with that most basic of human joy: love. Interspersed with inspiring emotional pieces are instrumentals that keenly demonstrate Jed’s musical skill.
Lonestar Banjo is a careful blend of original composition, traditional music, stirring historical ballads, gentle love lays, and talented instrumentals. You won’t be disappointed by adding this album to your collection.
T. Scott Stahl is a computer professional, freelance writer, budding woodworker, and writer for the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine.