Tony Trischka


Tony Trischka is widely respected as one of the best banjo players of all time, but he says he’s still learning from listening to the music of Earl Scruggs. “The depth of his genius becomes ever more apparent when I transcribe his solos, which I’ve been doing my entire musical life, and with renewed vigor. Discovering new twists and turns in his playing is pure joy.”

 “I continue to be influenced by others, just as they are influenced by me,” said Tony in an interview with Tom Beck of the Jam & Toast Music Blog. “It’s important to remain open to new ideas and experiences from a wide range of sources, not just musicians. This constant exchange of ideas and inspiration keeps the creative journey exciting and ever-evolving.”

“Earl is my North Star, a lifetime pathway,” says Tony. “And I’m not alone. Through his music, this shy kid from Flint Hill, North Carolina went on to enrich countless thousands of lives. At the age of 13, when I first heard 16 notes of Scruggs style banjo playing, I put down my folk guitar and mercilessly pestered my parents to buy me a banjo. Once in my hands, that 5-string became my obsession and has been for close to 60 years.”

The band Tony brought to Raleigh for PineCone’s celebration of Earl Scruggs’ 100th Birthday featured Casey Driessen on fiddle, Michael Daves on vocals and guitar, bassist Jared Engel and Tony’s son Sean Trischka on drums.

[photos by Tom Beck]