Tom Berghan was transported into the old-time banjo scene, a couple years ago, as a refugee from the Early Music camp, rockabilly bands and various other genres he’s delved into throughout a rich lifetime of musical exploration and achievement.
Even a casual participant in the premier Internet banjo community – banjohangout.com – couldn’t possibly have missed Tom’s arrival into the world of all things banjo. It was immediately obvious that his profound musical expertise was catapulting him towards unusual and gorgeous renditions of early American music. It’s been fascinating to see Tom’s evolution as a wonderful banjoist through his musical uploads to banjohangout.com. On the hangout, banjoists representing a wide range of styles appreciate Tom’s musical offerings and enjoy the creative musical renditions he comes up with, on his seemingly ever-expanding collection of interesting banjos.
Besides Tom’s extraordinary level of musicianship, his personality and dedication really come through his prolific contributions to banjohangout.com where he can often be found hanging out – communicating from high level of erudition and with a great sense of humor. This is a guy on a musical mission; we can look forward to lots of superlative banjo music from him.
Shortly before I first found out about Tom, I had written a piece about Adam Hurt’s musical finesse, saying it was as if a lutenist had picked up a banjo. Then I met Tom – a lutenist who had picked up a banjo. In fact, Tom had specialized in music of the 17th century and had been among the central figures of the American Pacific Northwest early music scene – founding and directing an organization devoted to the study and performance of historical dance and dance music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
And that’s just one part of Tom’s résumé.
Through his ability to turn any instrument into an incredibly expressive voice, and through his creative use of various types of banjos, Tom Berghan clearly stands poised, ready to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the world of banjo music.