Author Kristina R. Gaddy joins us this week to talk about her new book. Well of Souls: Uncovering the Hidden History of the Banjo. This is unlike any instrument history book you’ve ever read…and we can’t recommend it highly enough.
While it is well known that the banjo was brought to America via enslaved blacks, there is so much we still don’t know about the instrument’s earliest days. Through journal entries, books, artwork, surviving instruments, and amazing detective work, Gaddy reveals that the banjo was not just a musical instrument for slaves…it was also an extremely important spiritual tool.
During our conversation, we ask Gaddy about the genesis of the book, the unlikely places she found her evidence, and the unique construction of these earliest instruments. We also talk about the growing popularity of the banjo among a new generation of black musicians.
More about the book: https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393866803
More on Kristina R. Gaddy (plus some cool bonus photos of early banjos): www.kristinagaddy.com/wellofsouls
Pete Ross (Gaddy’s partner / old banjo maker): https://www.banjopete.com
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