JD Pinkus (from the album Keep on the Grass available on Black Feather Records)
Keep on the Grass is a banjo album. Void of virtuoso solos inspired by Scruggs or Fleck, it’s not a record you’ll find in the Bluegrass section of your local record store. Toss it in the musically gritty, at times lyrically irreverent and brutally honest section, an album of sordid, bar-room tales of what some may consider questionable behavior, all delivered via the subtle twang from the banjo of JD Pinkus.
Time spent playing bass in The Butthole Surfers, Honky, and at times The Melvins, hasn’t defined JD as solely a loud rock musician. JD Pinkus takes a direct and D.I.Y. mindset and applies it to delivering a dose of lo-fi acoustic punk, with producer and perhaps banjo mentor, Danny Barnes, injecting subtle doses of barnyard electronics.
The opener for Keep on the Grass, “I Don’t Care”, sets a melancholic, down and out mood while the admission of not caring is quite liberating. Tunes like “Pissin’ Dirty” and “Broke, Soaked and Dirty” follow suit. “Good Trouble” is an upbeat reflection on anticipating your night out and owning up to your foibles that make your Saturday nights so much fun; it’s the bounciest cut on the album. This is a record by a dude with a banjo playing songs solely for you. The lazy and rough vocal delivery combined with Pinkus’ loose and down-tempo banjo playing, along with those snippets of audio dialogue from producer or musician aid the porch vibe of Keep on the Grass, which reveals the true beauty of this record is found within its simplicity. (by Bryant Liggett)
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