Originators of Style: Earl Scruggs
Hey PLS friends & Followers,
The Porchlight Sessions would like to honor Earl Scruggs for being a musical icon and friend to us all.
A wonderful talent was lost this week. He was a man who's picking has influenced generations of musicians, seeped into popular culture and almost single handedly associated his instrument with an entire genre in many people’s minds. Earl Scruggs played music his entire life and pioneered techniques that many still struggle to perfect. His three finger roll gave a drive to the banjo that changed forever the way the instrument was played.
When Earl exploded onto the scene in the band of Bill Monroe, The Blue Grass Boys changed the history of Country music. The sound of Earl’s banjo has been known to cause people to stop their cars and go out to buy a banjo on the spot. "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "Flint Hill Special" have become iconic standards to which all other banjos players are compared. Throughout his career, Earl inspired musicians around the world with the ferocity of his unrelenting musicality.
In our time working on this film, we feel as if we have come to know Earl through his music and the stories we have heard. For a time it was a ritual of sorts to begin an editing session with a Scruggs tune. To say that his influence on bluegrass was instrumental is an understatement. Listening to his memorial service on WSM streaming over the internet was a powerful reminder of the reach his music continues to have.
Over the years he has touched the lives of countless individuals, never hesitating to engage with friends and fans alike. Eager to encourage and educate anyone who asked, Earl loved to apply his banjo style to all kinds of songs. Whether jamming in his backyard, backstage or at a festival campground, music poured from the man’s fingers.
Without his innovative spirit and effortless abilities, we may very well not be making this film today. There can be no doubt that the sound he helped to create crystallized a new genre of music whose reach has spread far beyond its humble roots in the hills and hollers of the rugged Appalachians. As younger generations pick up the mantle that Earl has left behind, his legacy as a pioneer is secured in a style and approach to the banjo that was truly his own.
Today, we are featuring some of the content that we've come across in our research for archival imagery for use in the film. We hope to offer some insight into the breadth of Earl's work as well as the depth of his profound influence on the evolution of the sound of the banjo in bluegrass music. We created a comprehensive playlist on Spotify to celebrate the dimension to Earl's playing.
PLS EARL SCRUGGS SPOTIFY PLAYLIST - http://spoti.fi/H2peod -
** The playlist is collaborative if you'd like to add to it. We'll be sure to use the playlist around our website and when educating new-comers.
The 60's was an experimental time for music and is also an amazing time where Earl had a hand in many projects with a mix of musicians and instruments. Here are some of our favorite moments.
Again, thank you for your support in helping us raise the funds to help tell the story and the history of Bluegrass. In order to complete this relevant and beautiful piece of cinema, be sure to tell all your friends about our efforts here on Kickstarter.
You can also help us out by simply liking us on Facebook and connecting with us on Twitter.
We look forward to celebrating the music with you,
Anna & Chris