This is my first solo album for banjo. I got the idea back in 2009 after playing in Santa Fe with the Martin Family. I had already taught and performed at Common Ground on the Hill on banjo, and I thought it would be nice to have a banjo album in case I were ever travelling alone and people wanted to hear the solo music. I started working on it in 2010 and eventually I added more musicians and even did a session in Brooklyn in 2012 that reached out to the Irish and blues connections as they relate to banjo.
In the years working on this album, I've also taught banjo privately and at gatherings such as Miles of Music and continued my personal research on banjo. I'd started on banjo in Maryland and West Virginia, and spent time listening to styles in North Carolina and East Virginia. I am fascinated too by Kentucky banjo. I also worked on film footage for my documentary project called Living Tradition, and published a book of banjo arrangements called Robert Johnson for Banjo, available from Hal Leonard Publications and co-authored by Dave Rubins.
In 2013 I got married. Work on the album continued. Mixing and mastering ensued over the next year and we decided to release an early, pre-release special edition so that the people who supported the Brooklyn Recording Session would have copies of the album in their hand. In October 2014 we had a gathering at NOMA gallery in Frederick for the early edition.
Now with the help of Kari Estrin we have finished the album, with new instrumental parts and harmonies added by Dirk Powell. Some of the vocal harmonies were also recorded at Asparagus Media. This final version is a twelve song album ready for radio play and your personal enjoyment. I hope you like it, and please reach out to me on email with any questions or comments. Thanks very much.
released October 1, 2016
Chasing the Ghost by Lydia Sylvia Martin,
produced by Dirk Powell at Cypress House Studio
Banjo, Vocals, Piano: Lydia Sylvia Martin
Harmonica: Phil Wiggins
Fiddle, Vocals, Guitar: Dirk Powell
Fiddle, Vocals: Claude Martin
Fiddle: Tony DeMarco
Fiddle: Cleek Schrey
Uillean Pipes: Joey Abarta
Vocals: Jeanean Martin
Guitar: Eli Smith
Bones: Dom Flemons
Off-site recordings done at Patuxent Records by Tom Mindte, Jalopy Theatre by Don Fierro, and Asparagus Media by Steve Steckler