D.W. Griffiths – Workingman’s Banjo

Hello folks, for today’s Banjo-related post, we have something of a mystery. I found this album in some dark, recessed corner of the internet years ago. No cover or information accompanied it, and subsequent searches have yielded next to nothing on the artist or the album. I am assuming that ‘D.W. Griffiths’ is a stage name, though it would be pretty cool if the directer of Birth of a Nation ressurected himself and recorded an album of banjo pieces 30 years after his demise.

Musically, the album runs the gamut from traditional to progressive bluegrass, incorporating some jazzy numbers (Summertime, which features banjo-scat duetting) and exploratory works such as ‘Friends and Lovers’ and ‘Please Keep Your Dissonance’. The guy’s no Tony Trischka, but he was treading some of the same ground, and there weren’t many banjo-players doing this kind of trailblazing in the 70s.

Anywho, lap it up and enjoy, and if you feel inspired, design a cover for the album, or supply some (optionally fraudulent) information.

Edit: we now have some information! From Banjo Newsletter Vol.7 #3, scans supplied by a generous banjo-playing blog-reader from France!. Click on thumbnails for larger images.

D. W. Griffiths – Workingman’s Banjo
Year: 1978
Label: BMA 138 197906

1. Salt River
2. Banjorito (Spanish Dancer)
3. Rosewood Breakdown
4. Please Keep Your Dissonance
5. Summertime
6. Tones of the Universe
7. Rueben’s Train
8. Maggie, O, Maggie
9. Crazy Creek Blues
10. Friends and Lovers
11. Red Winged Bully
12. Devil’s Dance
13. Jersey Hoedown
14. Sally Goodin

brokedown universe.
mp3 192kbps | no cover | 54mb

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5 Responses to D.W. Griffiths – Workingman’s Banjo

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s very hard for me not to think of the picture you supplied while listening to this . . . which is good?

    Thanks for this mystery!

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s a page in Tony Trischkas book “Hot Licks for Bluegrass Banjo” that’s dedicated to D W Griffiths. Tony T says he was quite a trailblazer

  3. cool. I just found Trischka’s interview with Larry McNeely in his “Banjo Song Book” but I don’t have “Hot Licks for Bluegrass Banjo”. if you’d like to type up the info on Griffiths, it would be much appreciated by me and many blog visitors, I’m sure.

  4. Neroon001 says:

    the review/comments made me d/l this.Are there any other instruments or players on the record or is it just solo banjo ? Thanks forr sharing this

  5. Ned says:

    Dave Griffiths is alive and well. I know him, not that well, but have played bocce ball with and against him over the decades at the semi-regular bbq gatherings of my very good friend, Don Messina, the bass player on several cuts of “Working Man’s Banjo.” I’ll convey your interest in Dave to him. N.B. nd don’t overlook D W Griffiths’ follow-up LP, “Jersey Tomatoes,” BMA 140, with many of the same musicians as the former.

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