Max Wareham discusses his new book, “Rudie Lyle; The Unsung Hero of the Five String Banjo”

Max Wareham has just released his first book, “Rudie Lyle; The Unsung Hero of the Five String Banjo”. As a touring musician, Max plays multiple instruments well but he’s focused on the banjo here. Specifically, the work of Lyle who was a member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys from 1949 until 1954. In the book, Max painstakingly transcribes all Rudie Lyles breaks from his entire catalog. He also interviews prominent banjo players about Lyles’ influence on the technique and style of bluegrass banjo.

Throughout the interview, we feature tunes from the Bluegrass Boys’ during Lyle’s tenure including “Rawhide”, “Bluegrass Ramble”, “On my Way to the Old Home Place” and “Brakeman’s Blues”. We begin the segment with Max’s earlier project, The Morning Bugle, with “Blue and Lonesome” and conclude the interview with a discussion of Max’s role in the recently released Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band album, “From My Mountain (Calling You)” listening to the title cut.

Max’s dedication to this project is undeniable. We hear about his tracking down Lyle’s sparse biographical information resulting in a meeting with Bobby Lyle; Rudie’s brother. This interview along with banjo greats like Bill Emerson and Sonny Osborne round out the story of this nearly forgotten player. Wareham even tracks down the actual long lost banjo from these historic sessions! Check out the chat and music with the link above.

The book, “Rudie Lyle; The Unsung Hero of the Five String Banjo”, can be ordered from

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