Could someone at
Washington City Paper explain to me what it was that Glenn Dixon was trying to accomplish with his remarks surrounding the announcement of the Tony Trischka concert April 12 (“City Lights,” 4/12)? He spent three-quarters of the column making an argument against the liner notes to Tony’s album, which were written by Bob Carlin, a traditional banjo player who certainly knows what he’s talking about. Toward the end of his rant, it appears that what he’s got against the banjo is that no one has been able to “make the banjo rock.” Is that the sole measure of a worthy music to Dixon? What does he say when Yo Yo Ma comes to town? Furthermore, he obviously hasn’t heard Richie Stearns of the Horseflies or Keith Brand of the Hix play banjo. Now that’s rocking.
By the time Dixon gets around to mentioning Tony’s show, he has reduced the banjo to an inconsequential blip on the radar screen of American musical history. I’m sure people who might have been interested in learning what Tony can teach the world about the banjo were turned off by then.
Perhaps it would have been wiser to assign another writer, one who is more objective and actually knows something about the banjo, to review Tony’s music. I have to be honest with you, though: After what Eddie Dean did to the modern Western square dancers (“The Great Square Dance Conspiracy,” 2/23), I’m beginning to think that the writers and editors at City Paper just don’t think that they’re doing their job unless they’re trashing somebody. Don’t you have any kind of journalistic standards there at all?
Silver Spring, Md.
via the Internet