In this video, Adam plays “John Riley the Shepherd” on a beautiful gourd banjo sent from Arkansas to Colorado by its maker, David Hyatt, to be part of a solo concert I produced for Adam in Pagosa Springs, Colorado in April 2009. The remarkable sounds of the gourd banjo, and its historical significance, added an exciting dimension to this concert.

“John Riley the Shepherd” is one of the tunes on Adam’s solo gourd banjo album, a project I’m proud to have helped him produce. The CD, entitled “Earth Tones” is available for previewing and purchasing at

Adam Hurt’s solo gourd banjo CD “Earth Tones” is available on CD Baby. You can sample tracks and purchase it by going to

Adam Hurt’s music makes me think of how a classical lutenist might approach traditional old-time American mountain music on a 5-string banjo. The technical skill, feeling and creativity, which Adam applies to his music, easily put him in the upper tier of clawhammer banjo players.

If you want to find out more about Adam Hurt check out my website where I have nice section devoted to this innovative and inspiring virtuoso clawhammer banjo player.

Paul Roberts

zznarcolepsy via Google+

8 months ago

And since the banjo originally came from Africa, adapted into American engineering ideas, it’s interesting to see it go back to more of what it was: a gourd instrument.  The resulting sound is beauty a la delicacy.

Much of that Beauty and a la Delicacy is as a result of Adam’s fantastic smooth style! He can sure bring out the beauty in that instrument.

this piece sounds so west African & w/the aesthetics of that banjo it would be right at home there. beautiful all around.

Very fine playing and what a tone that instrument has – beautiful! I wonder what tuning this is in? Doesn’t sound like Sawmill, 4th string sounds quite low,

Thank you for uploading these videos of my teacher playing these two songs. A few months ago I saw these videos. Then asked Adam Hurt teach me them, and I never got tired playing them.

Can anyone tell me what type of gourd this is?

That was beautiful! Also i haven’t seen such a bass before it seems to have one big one as the body and a small one can someone explain?

wow. if i had money i would get the album. this is …. cant find a word for it.. just.. wow.

@strumstering I ordered it straight away… the CD should be here next week. (I forwarded links to all my music loving friends too. They’ll understand.)

Ooops…I am a bit late to this thread! David Hyatt of Arkansas made this fine gourd banjo, which he has lent to me for the purposes of recording with it. He has it strung with nylon. The tuning is a several-steps-lowered equivalent of gEADE, which I am using as an A modal tuning with a dissonant fifth-string pitch rather than as an alternate G tuning, which I am usually wont to do.

Oh my! Wow. Hypnotic and perfect, this just took me off and away. We have an artist here. I really didn’t expect to find something so great here; thanks so much for that. I’m so much more into banjo having been listening to this Adam Hurt. (This is a random youtube find for me, I don’t even listen to banjo.)

Wow! (I also got the album.) The gourd provides this banjo design a natural and ideal frailing scoop.

This is AWESOME Adam! Makes me want a gourd banjo 😛

Hurt could make a broomstick sound good.

I really like the look of the bottle-necked gourd. Clever.

I had the privilage of attending this concert last year. A fantastic experience. Adam is truely a great banjo player. He even let me pick a few notes on this wonderful gourd banjo.

This is great. Adam’s playing is so tasteful, and the tone of that banjo is awesome.

Got the CD… inspirational… Adam has a wonderful musical presence… impeccable style and technique.

this is amazing. Quite an ornate instrument as well, it’s an inspiring design but I wonder how fragile it is.

wonderful music !! Mr. Metronome..

Is the small head at the bass of the fingerboard just for decoration? I see that you have one mic pointed at the small head. Wouldn’t it be louder if there was no membrane on it? Super playing! I’ll be back to listen to this again.

That’s the coolest gourd banjo I have ever seen.

tuning is sawmill with the drone string tuned down a whole step

Amazingly clean, coherent and articulate. Beautiful banjo as well.

melodic mush

My favorite claw hammer player…

There are clawhammer players: Bad, decent and average, the good and the pros…and then there is Adam Hurt who is pure genious. He is so relaxed and plays everything effortlessly, every tone clean as a whistle. He really is the king of clawhammer banjo IMHO.