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Odell Thompson

Among the last links towards the prewar African-American string music group tradition, banjo participant Odell Thompson was created on August 9, 1911, the child of John Arch Thompson, who was simply also a fairly fair banjo participant. Thompson grew up in the northeastern portion of Orange Region in NEW YORK, so when he started playing banjo, he soaked up his father’s traditional repertoire, and was quickly playing in string rings for square dances and frolics along with his cousin, fiddler Joe Thompson. Odell used acoustic guitar (he also performed just a little fiddle) and started playing the blues in the 1920s, but continuing to try out banjo in the traditional style in string rings with Joe before 1940s, when pressure from bluegrass and additional newer musical forms produced their approach basically obsolete. In the first ’70s, folklorist Kip Lornell uncovered the duo and persuaded them to start out playing the previous music once again, which resulted in a new profession of celebrations and concerts for Thompson and his cousin. Odell performed banjo in the previous clawhammer design (a down-stroking technique that’s known by many brands, including frailing, thumping, and drop-thumb) on the fretless resonator banjo, and his audio acquired a wonderfully outrageous and archaic experience. Odell’s banjo, in conjunction with Joe’s ragged, swerving fiddle design, successfully re-created the experience of dark string rings in the 1800s, as well as the duo’s shows were actually living background lessons. Joe and Odell acquired just finished a established at Merlefest on Apr 28, 1994, when Odell Thompson was struck and wiped out by an automobile while crossing a street outside the celebration grounds. He was 83. His transferring broke the final connect to the dark string music group tradition as a full time income, breathing talent.

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