Deciphering Americana occasionally gets bogged down by the fact that people seek out whatever gets deemed authentic. Of course, the difference in one’s ability to play banjo has nothing to do with whether or not one was properly trained, or if the instrument was picked up over time and learned by watching and listening intently. There is a visceral manner of performance that some simply can’t capture, but that again might be as prevalent in music classes as it is in informal jams.
George Pegram, though, is generally viewed as an authentic banjo player – whatever that means. More importantly, he most likely perceived himself to be an American and attempted to relate that through his performances and the works he choose from this country’s song book.