GRAMMY Award-winning music pioneer Alison Brown’s banjo “is an instrument possessed of a unique sonic signature and an inescapable beauty” (Billboard), and it shows on her new collaboration with GRAMMY Award-winning musician/actor/author Steve Martin, “Foggy Morning Breaking,” available everywhere tomorrow (3.24).
Watch the “Foggy Morning Breaking” video, here: youtu.be/lFMX4t4FHsc
Entertainment Weekly has said Brown’s music “honors tradition even as she cultivates it.” On “Foggy Morning Breaking,” she reinforces that point by tipping her hat to two of the most influential banjo players of the 20th century: Earl Scruggs, the father of bluegrass banjo and whose classic tune “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” the title riffs on, and the legendary John Hartford (“Gentle On My Mind”) from whom she borrows the title. The tune features Steve Martin, who co-wrote the tune with Brown, and who worked with Hartford on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the 60s. Martin’s delicate clawhammer technique, alongside Brown’s Scruggs-style picking (both played in the old-time double C ‘sawmill’ tuning), gives listeners the chance to hear equal parts tradition and innovation while bringing their own interpretations and emotions to the melody.
“Is there any sweeter sound than clawhammer and 3-finger banjo in double C tuning?” asks Brown. “I wrote the A melody for this tune and texted Steve a voice memo asking if he wanted to add to it. Within a day, he sent back the perfect B section. In the spirit of the times, we hammered out the bridge over Zoom. The title comes from a clever turn of phrase courtesy of John Hartford.”
“Foggy Morning Breaking” features some of the most revered players in acoustic music with Brown and Martin leading on banjo. The pair are joined by 2x GRAMMY-nominated virtuoso Sierra Hull on mandolin, 3X GRAMMY-winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge on guitar and 2x GRAMMY winner Todd Phillips on bass.
PEOPLE calls Brown an “accomplished banjo virtuoso” and speaks with her about collaborating with Steve Martin, the making of ‘On Banjo,’ championing women in music and more, here: people.com/country/alison-brown-steve-martin-foggy-morning-breaking-music-video-premiere
“Foggy Morning Breaking” is the second single from Brown’s brilliant new record ‘On Banjo,’ which comes out May 5th via Compass Records. It follows the trailblazing banjoist’s recently released “Sun And Water”, a mash-up of The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” and Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “Águas de Março,” that offered listeners a hint of the exciting and unexpected sounds they’ll hear on ‘On Banjo.’
Alison Brown on Tour:
Fri., Apr. 28 | MerleFest 2023 | Wilkesboro, NC
Sat., May 6 | International Bluegrass Music Museum Hall of Fame | Owensboro, KY
Sun., May 7 | Mountain Stage | Marietta, OH
Fri., May 19 | Analog, The Hutton Hotel | Nashville, TN
Sat., May 20 | FreshGrass | Bentonville, AR
Thurs., Jun. 22 | UC Park & Market | San Diego
Fri., Jun. 23 | Musical Instrument Museum | Phoenix, AZ
Fri., Jul. 14 | Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2023 | Oak Hill, NY