Walter Hensley | From The Hills

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Country: Bluegrass Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Instrumental
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From The Hills

by Walter Hensley

Driving Bluegrass banjo instrumentals with unique twists featuring Walt Hensley, a master of the 5 string banjo.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Walt's Breakdown
2:15 $0.99
2. Rose Conlee
2:43 $0.99
3. Bear Tracks
2:46 $0.99
4. East Virginia Blues
1:36 $0.99
5. Long Way From Home
2:02 $0.99
6. When You're Smiling
2:21 $0.99
7. Edsel Breakdown
2:16 $0.99
8. Sugar Creek
1:52 $0.99
9. Kickin' Mule
2:42 $0.99
10. America
1:41 $0.99
11. Foggy Mountain Chimes
1:45 $0.99
12. The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise
2:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Walt was born in Grundy, Virginia, in 1936. He got his first banjo from the Montgomery Ward catalog, and listened to Earl Scruggs on the radio to teach himself the banjo roll. In 1952, Walt and his brother Jim started working on a radio show in Pikeville, Kentucky.

In 1956, Walt moved to Baltimore, and met Earl Taylor. In 1957 Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys was formed, and included Earl on mandolin, Walt on banjo, bassist/comedian Vernon "Boatwhistle" McIntyre, and Charlie Waller on guitar. Within a year, Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys had recorded two songs for the newly formed Rebel Records: "The Children Are Cryin'" and Walt's own composition "Stoney Mountain Twist."

In 1959, the band recorded an album for United Artists, and became the first bluegrass band to play at Carnegie Hall. They also played 7 nights a week at the 79 Club in Baltimore. Walt briefly joined the Country Gentlemen in 1961. A year later Walt moved to Cincinnati and re-joined Earl. The band signed with Capitol Records and recorded "Blue Grass Taylor-Made".

Walt was asked by Capitol to record an album under his own name. He recorded "5-String Banjo Today" for Capitol in 1964, and formed his own band, the Dukes of Bluegrass. Soon Elvis and The Beatles swept onto the music scene, and Capitol concentrated their efforts on these rising stars.

Walt left Cincinnati and moved back to Baltimore, where he played only weekend music shows. However, he remained a presence and influence in Baltimore bluegrass. In 1991, Walt moved to Pennsylvania, and performed only occasionally at festivals. In the summer of 1999, Walt met James Reams at a festival in Groveton, New Hampshire. Walt has recorded twice since 2000 with James Reams and his group, The Barnstormers.

Although Walt is truly one of the greatest and most influential instrumentalists in the history of bluegrass, he is still relatively unknown among many bluegrass fans. His music and amazing banjo playing are well known among fellow bluegrass musicians all over the world. He was a musician ahead of his time with innovative musical ideas that were too unconventional for some bluegrass traditionalists.



to write a review

Jim Ferrell

The Best Going
Ive got original LP most of theses songs were on--Grew up with Walt in Stopover, Ky--He is the greastest ever-seen them all

ken ensley

hey walt, this is ken ensley. we played with jr mcintyre up in brooklyn then maine together. i played the bass. i had a blast pick'n with you guys and really would like to see u again. any way this album is awsome. i love to hear your banjo! it just blows my mind!! cany wait to hear more. thanks, k. ensley

bob visage

walt taught me how to pick banjo, he is truly a great gentleman and a fantastic performer. i feel very priveliged to know him. many a night i spent at the cub hill inn just watching his fingers fly arcoss the fingerboard. god bless you walt


All I can say is WOW!! 5 string banjo at it's best. Beautiful orchestration, wonderful dynamic range, and Oh, GREAT pickin!! This album demonstrates perfectly why Walter is a master of the 5-string and a bluegrass legend. I want to hear more.


On Top
Walter Hensley is at the top of the Banjo Picker's heap. Outstanding clarity and speed. Great fun to listen to. Waiting for the next CD...


Just starting to get into Banjo music; this CD is great! Hi-energy; melodic; and a few surprises.

Cindy Hensley Theodosis Ingram

Uncle Walt,You are the best in the world! I love you.!!.Uncle Jim is Awsome!!
You and your brother are the kings!! Your music is the best and so are you!

I love to hear it!! It makes me happy...

Love Cindy

Ron Tomberlin

The very best at what he does - absolutely DYN-O-MITE!
If you like banjo picking at its very best then Walter's CD is all you need. He is without a doubt the very best! With all due respect to Earl, Ralph, and a lot of other really great traditional bluegrass pickers, Walter Hensley stands at the top of the heap. Strong, dynamic picking at it's very best. My only disapointment with the CD is that it only has 12 cuts and I didn't want it to end. But I understand he's working on another one right now so not to worry. I wanted to give it more than 5 stars but I couldn't figure out how to do it. When Walt plays its magic...RON

Danny Stiltner

Great job
This sounds great Walt. I know you don't know me but I have about you almost all my life from different people. I myself play in a bluegrass band (The Tommy Webb Band).
We had a common friend named Ed Wolford from Woodman Ky. whom I played with during the 70's and early 80's and man how he would brag about you. I now live in Elkhorn City Ky., holler back any time......Danny


A great album. some of the greatest banjo playing I've heard.
Walter is definatly ahead of his time,especially, at the time of the original recording.Every banjo lover should have this album.