Tony Trischka, his band and banjo coming to Next Stage


PUTNEY -- Tony Trischka was immediately hooked after hearing the Kingston Trio song "Charlie and the MTA" over 50 years ago.

"The banjo solo in there got me turned onto the banjo," he said, noting that he also plays a little bit of guitar and pedal steel guitar. "But really, the banjo is my thing. That's what I focus on."

Since then, he has gone on to appear on "The Late Night Show" with David Letterman. He even taught Bela Fleck. And he's also performed with the likes of John Denver and bluegrass legends Earl Scruggs and David Grisman.

Trischka and his band and Hot Mustard are slated to appear during the Twilight Music and Next Stage Arts Project concert series on Aug. 22. He said it is going to be a high energy show with hot instrumentalists. A double banjo quartet known as Hot Mustard, based out of Vermont and New Hampshire, is also on the bill that night.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill in downtown Putney. Tickets are available at For more information, call 802-387-0102.

Over the years, Trischka has appeared on many different albums and played with multiple bands, including Country Cooking, Country Granola, Breakfast Special and the Monroe Doctrine. He was also musical leader for the Broadway show "The Robber Bridegroom" in the late 70s. He also served as the musical director and co-producer of the documentary "Give Me the Banjo," which appeared on PBS in 2011.

Recent shows include performances at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina and the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Connecticut.

Trischka will be traveling from Bergen County, N.J., with fellow musicians Grant Gordy on guitar, Mike Barnett on fiddle and Ethan Jodziewicz on bass. This is one of Trischka's various formations of bands. The unit most recently played together last month at the Rockygrass bluegrass festival in Lyons, Colo.

"We play together regularly," he said. "It's a lot of fun."

Trischka said he has performed in Putney before and looks forward to being back in Vermont, where there are no billboards. For the show, he plans on playing mostly bluegrass related music that will include traditional tunes as well as more progressive ones.

"We sprinkle it with original tunes," he said.

His newest album "Great Big World" was released by Rounder Records in February. It was recorded in several studios around the United States. Actor and banjo player Steve Martin appears on the album as well as actor John Goodman, who recorded spoken word about the folk character Wild Bill Hickok for it.

Trischka produced Martin's "Rare Bird Alert" in 2011. It was nominated for a Grammy and features performances by Paul McCartney, the Dixie Chicks and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

While much of Trischka's album is based on bluegrass material, there is a lullaby with a banjo and a cello as well as a gospel song with drums and pedal steel guitar. He said several of the songs will be performed at the Next Stage show.

As Trischka enjoys all different kinds of music and says he wants his own to reflect that.

"It's kind of all over the place. Very eclectic," he said.

He also offers online banjo lessons through his website

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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