I was a big fan of a writer named Jack Vance, a science fiction writer. He always wrote about these guys who were either going down a river in a strange world or would be in this one land where people acted really strange, and he'd have these interactions with them that were strange - he'd usually get run out of town or something. Then he'd end up in the next town over where the rules were totally different. And I love this stuff.
I don't know enough about hip-hop, though I've heard some great hip-hop. I just did a thing with Qwest Love - we did a performance together in Memphis at the Folk Alliance Festival, and we had a great jam and a conversation.
There are a lot of chapters to the banjo's history. Part of it are the roots in Africa, where it's a more primitive instrument. Then it comes to the United States where it morphs into the slave music that they created here, which was very African in origin.
I first heard the banjo on the Beverly Hillbillies, and from then on I was banjo-conscious. But I didn't actually get one until my grandfather gave me one, almost by mistake. He knew I was playing a little bit of guitar. He saw a banjo at a flea market and bought it. I took it home with me and just never put it down. I was fifteen.