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Great Banjo Week

Posted by Banjov1 on Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I just got back from a week of vacation on Saturday and even though it was mostly about the fam, I had a blast with some quality banjo activity.
We started out by heading to the Smoked Country Bluegrass Jam in Loganton Pa. It’s not too far from my cousin Steve Bonta’s place in Tyrone. So we met up and got to play for the first time. He’s BrushMountainBanjoist on BHO and he’s a pretty good player. He’s got a mighty impressive sounding Huber Lancaster
Me and cousin Steve doing a little jammin in Loganton Pa 
The Smoked Country Jam is hosted by a great band out of WV called the Hillbilly Gypsies and I’m a huge fan of their banjo player Dave Asti. When I first started tinkering with the banjo, I found some videos of him on youtube and was just blown away ( I know you rider
Shuckin the corn). He’s one of my original inspirations for playing. So it was pretty special to get to meet and hang out with Dave. He was a just a super nice guy and he let us play his banjos and answered all our questions. The following day I got to sit down and do a workshop with him. He gave me some great advice and showed me a couple riffs that will help my vamping.
Dave Asti giving me some pointers in Loganton Pa 
After the bluegrass festival, the fam headed to Lake George NY for our annual week at the lake house with a bunch of our friends. Last year I met Wayne Holcombe there. He’s a great banjo player from Michigan, who spends the same week there every year doing a French Indian war re-enactment. So I hooked up with him again this year and we got to play some tunes. Wayne’s practically a human catalog of banjo info and he’s a pretty phenomenal player as well. He showed me a number of great fiddle tunes and some Doug Dillard stuff that I’m working on. I don’t actually have a picture of him from this year, so I’m posting a pic that we took from last year when he stopped by the house.
Wayne Holcombe, his wife and I at the cottage in Lake George NY 
On top of all this I got to spend a lot more time than usual just flat out practicing by the lake while watching the kids.
It was a good week

2 comments on “Great Banjo Week”

Jane C Says:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @12:18:59 PM

Sounds like  a great holiday Tony, but correct me if I'm wrong, is Mrs Tony looking ever so slightly bored in that photo or just blown away by the music? :  )

Banjov1 Says:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @12:45:53 PM

Actually that's Mrs. Wayne (or Holcombe rather). My wife actually had a lot more fun than she bargained for at our first bluegrass festival. But she got more than her fair share of banjo over the week and on occasion was probably making similar facial expressions at me.

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