News from the Peak podcast

Welcome to Season 3 - Taylor Hagood and Stringbean

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts

Taylor Hagood on Stringbean, Persistence, and the Problem of Cutting a New Path

Banjo player and comedian David Akeman, known essentially all of his professional life as Stringbean, lived the kind of rags-to-riches story that was supposed to come with a happy ending. 

On this episode of News from the Peak, we talk to Professor Taylor Hagood about Stringbean and the work—the very real and often quite fragile work—of writing a book about someone who has tended be seen as only important in death.

Hagood is as engaging a speaker as he is a writer. A professor of literature at Florida Atlantic University, Hagood has a distinguished career as a scholar of William Faulkner, among other writers, and is a teacher and lecturer of no small renown. 

Alongside all of that, he somehow finds time to perform magic and sing and play piano and banjo. A skilled visual artist and craftsman, he recently built a banjo that uses the same resonator as the one most closely associated with Stringbean (the Vega #9 Tubaphone) and closely follows it in other elements of its design. 

That’s the banjo you can hear Hagood play in these three tracks that he very generously recorded for us. You will hear Cripple Creek during the interview and at the end we share two tracks in full —“Hot Corn, Cold Corn” and “Pretty Polly”. All of these are closely associated with Stringbean and Hagood plays them in the clawhammer style that Akeman favored, and on the Banjo he built during the writing of this book.

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