Who?

Hunter Robertson

Me with a Guitar - By LedaI play old-time banjo – clawhammer and 2 & 3-finger styles. My father played and after a year or so of playing guitar I got interested in his banjo and have been hooked since. I mainly play "old-time" – traditional music from the US, especially the southeastern part of the US – though I make the occasional foray into other things.

In 2007 I released a solo album of traditional & original music performed on banjo, guitar and other instruments, Sings Songs for the Masses (recorded in 2003), and in 2009 If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed (Yodel-Ay-Hee), an album of old-timey banjo & fiddle duets with fiddler Casey Joe Abair.

My latest release is an instructional DVD on the banjo, Unfortunate Puppy and Other Fine Tunes: Lessons in Intermediate & Advanced Clawhammer Banjo (Mel Bay). It teaches ten classic fiddle tunes arranged for clawhammer banjo, as well as tools and techniques to help the user create their own arrangements. As a bonus, it includes an 18 minute look at old-time 2 and 3-finger styles.

I scored Open Lens Productions' 2007 documentary The Ostrich Testimonies and have some songs in their 2011 film, Guru.

Before a recent move to Europe I had played gigs around Vermont with fiddler Casey Joe Abair; since then I've played a number of the better-known bluegrass & old-time festivals in Europe (as well as folk clubs and other venues) as a solo performer, some were:

    ⁃    European World of Bluegrass Festival (Holland)
    ⁃    Sweet Sunny South Old Time American Music Festival (England, with Casey Joe Abair)
    ⁃    Moseley Folk Festival (England)
    ⁃    Nääsville Bluegrass & Music Festival (Sweden)
    ⁃    La Roche Bluegrass Festival (France)
    ⁃    Walthamstow Folk Club (England)
    ⁃    The Cellar Upstairs (England)

I also teach banjo and have taught at some of these festivals.

What do the critics say?

Unfortunate Puppy: Lessons in Intermediate & Advanced Clawhammer Banjo:

    ⁃    … Robertson is an excellent player and singer… and as I discovered, he's also an exceptional instructor. This DVD sets a new standard for banjo instructional material, and I can’t imagine any clawhammer player who couldn’t pick up a few things while watching it. – Banjo Newsletter
    ⁃    … On this well-done instructional video, Hunter Robertson lays out the groundwork for learning old-time banjo—not just clawhammer style, but also two- and three-finger styles. …This DVD stands among the best out there for learning more about the old-time banjo styles. – Bluegrass Unlimited
    ⁃    … This is an excellent DVD and should immensely please those who are interested in the style, who'll find not only beautiful versions of fiddle tunes but also ideas for arranging pieces of their own choice. – Trad Magazine

If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed:

    ⁃    … These guys are well versed in the repertoire, but even more important, they deliver it with fresh abandon. They don’t sound like they’re scared to make a mistake, which is an even greater homage to the old songs. …A highly engaging selection, well played. – Sing Out!
    ⁃    … Their music is bright, vivid and lovely. If you find yourself nodding off through Sleep, see your doctor. – Rambles.Net
    ⁃    … Fast-paced picking carried off in such a confident and prolific way that simply leaves you gob smacked... A highly recommended album which I strongly urge you to try and track down. – Maverick Magazine
    ⁃    … Playing in this combination of just fiddle and banjo is a difficult and dangerous exercise. Hunter and Casey succeed magnificently. …Certainly one of the best current CDs of old-time music.” – Trad Magazine
    ⁃    … This is a collection of banjo-fiddle duets that are played with verve and drive that are all too rare. …If you like your old time raw-edged and full of attitude, look no further than this fun project. – Fiddler Magazine

Sings Songs for the Masses:

    ⁃    … Hunter Robertson is a highly talented traditional musician. Sings Songs for the Masses is as strong a solo CD as I’ve heard in quite some time. – Sing Out!
    ⁃    … Songs for the Masses is for neither the masses nor the timid. But if you're up for a walk through the lonesome valley that stretches across the moonless landscape of the old, weird America, Robertson will show you the way. – Rambles.Net
    ⁃    … At times you would think you were listening to an old 78, but recorded with modern technology. Impressive! …I consider this to be one of the best CDs I've heard recently. – Trad Magazine


©2002-2010 Hunter Robertson - www.hunterrobertson.com