Wade Hill Arranges Top 40 Hits for the Banjo on New CD

Wade Hill

Top 40 Banjo (Beta Records)

The prolific local banjo hero Wade Hill's new album is just what the title says—country and bluegrass interpretations of classic pop and rock songs from the last 40 years. Some aren't much of a stretch (the Louvin Brothers' "Love and Wealth," "Sweet Georgia Brown," even the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women," which features dirty electric guitar alongside Hill's banjo) and others are considerable reinventions (Sly Stone's "Everyday People," the Beatles' "Get Back" and "Come Together"). Top 40 Banjo is a gas, a good time that works well most of the time and sheds some interesting light on well-known songs when it doesn't (a very weird version of the Archies' "Sugar Sugar").