On I’m Not Scared of the Devil, Two Many Banjos' first full length CD in over a year principle songwriter for the group, Marc Gartman, has done something a bit unusual. He has shelved the banjo and written all the tunes on the Irish Bouzouki. It’s not exactly Dylan going electric but for a band that defined themselves (in name and sound) as a two banjo lead outfit this is somewhat of a departure. The fact that the band name actually has the word “banjo” (and “two” for that matter) in it was no deterrent for the ever-whimsical Gartman!
Joining him through these ten songs is the group that has been road testing this specific material for the past year; Dave Carroll (Trampled by Turtles) on banjo and vocals, Bryan ‘Lefty’ Johnson (Black-Eyed Snakes) on percussion and vocals, Matt Mobley (Coyote, Hattie Petterson) on upright bass and a young 21 year old mandolin whippersnapper named Nick Klee. It’s also worth mentioning Duluth jazz/punk electric guitar maestro Jeremy Ehlert contributes on a series of tunes.
The music on I’m Not Scared of the Devil is Part II of material Gartman has written on his Bouzouki for these specific players. Part I came in the form of Marc Gartband’s Fatwa released in 2010 and features the same core group of Marc, Dave, Matt and Lefty. However, in the past year the name ‘Marc Gartband’ has been dissolved and Two Many Banjos is how these folks would like to be called from now on, ya hear? The music was recorded predominately live at Inland Sea in Superior, WI with recording guru and software/hardware designer Dave Hill.
For the music geeks out there it might be worth mentioning that Mr. Hill used a prototype compressor he invented called ‘Titan’ that won’t be on the market till next year. For the non-music geek out there that means Mr. Hill has some fancy toys and the album was recorded well. As far as Part III of Gartman’s proposed bouzouki trilogy goes, if the God’s decide it is so I’m sure we’ll hear the fruits of those labors when the time comes. Until then Two Many Banjos will tour fairly consistently performing this new material (and, yes, all the banjo tunes from their catalog as well).