I’ve loved “Dueling Banjos” since I was a boy, but there’s another less obvious reason that this song, synonymous for many people with John Boorman’s Deliverance, strikes a chord. (Forgive the pun!)
I was reared in the rural Adirondacks, and as an adult I returned to the Adirondacks with my bride. And while many express envy for our nature-centric, outdoorsy lifestyle, I’ve become accustomed to Deliverance jokes when people wonder aloud what it must be like to actually live and work “in the sticks“. Geographic disparity aside, whistling or humming a few bars of “Dueling Banjos” has become a sort of universal reference to back-country social backwardness.
I suspect that this may have bothered me when I was younger, away at summer camp or boarding school, but specific memories of feeling slighted haven’t stuck with me. I do recall feeling excited to come home to the Adirondacks, and I do remember how much visitors enjoyed playing in the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain and the Boquet River. For me “Dueling Banjos” became a sort of insiders’ anthem to all that was good about rural living.
That belly-button gazing aside, the merits of Mark Kroos‘s solo rendition of “Dueling Banjos” need no propping up from me. This guy’s a genius! I headed off to his website to learn a little more.
Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time… His primarily instrumental style is characterized by open harmonies, polyphonic textures, incredible tapping technique, and is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to… (Mark Kroos)
A great start to this early spring week! Thanks, Mark Kroos.[Read the full post here: “Dueling Banjos: An Adirondack Reflection” on Rosslyn Redux.)