In Defense of Banjo Jokes



Hey friend, how late does the band play? Oh, about half a beat behind the banjo player.

Recently a prominent artist, a really good fellow and a brilliant musician, a true leader in the exploration of the banjo … expressed a very sincere opinion about his dislike for jokes about the banjo. I get it and I understand it, but I want to present a polite alternate opinion.

Jokes about the banjo are great. I don’t feel they are negative, I think they make the banjo more appealing and accessible to the public at large. It makes the banjo seem fun and approachable.

It’s not my impression that jokes about the banjo somehow dishonor the instrument or the brilliant players that it attracts. It actually elevates the banjo above most other instruments because, well, it makes folks talk about it. It makes folks aware of it. Jokes about the banjo create a mystery about the instrument that we can learn from.

We live in a very serious world with very serious things happening that are creating very serious consequences. The front porch spirit of America is needed more than ever and the music of the front porch is needed more than ever. That’s where fiddles and mandolins and, yes, banjos are part of the revitalization of the front porch spirit.

Moonshine Joe
2/19/2019 11:15:05 AM

Your kind note inspired me to pick up my banjer and play a little clawhammer to the great old tune "Bile Dem Cabbage Down". Moonshine Joe

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