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Just Bill replied to topic 'The Unlikeliest Setting For A Bluegrass Band To Have Ever Appeared In?' 11 days
Playing Since: 1993
Experience Level: Purty Good
Occupation: Retired Aerospace Engr.
1978 Gold Star Arch Top 5 string Banjo, G11-HF
1983 Gibson Earl Scruggs Signature 5 String Banjo, Flathead (The One I Play On Stage The Most)
1970's Martin/Vega 5 String Flathead
Mark Phillips & Third Generation Bluegrass Band
Banjo Player, Roger Starnes
Classified Rating: not rated
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Last Visit 4/16/2022
I was born just north of Clinton, Missouri and raised east of Indepence Missouri in several little towns, Buckner, Napoleon and Levasy. I started playing guitar at 5 years old with my dad on fiddle. My fingers were too short to note the strings, so I had to play the guitar tuned in open "G tuning" using the handle of a butter knife to note the strings like a Dobro. One thing about that guitar, it was my first and was not a real guitar per say. My dad and cousin made it using the neck from a broken guitar and an old dynamite box for the guitar body. I learned to play fiddle At age 8, I had trouble with my bow arm, just couldn't get it right, I put the fiddle down about 3 years later and stuck with guitar playing----No not with the butter knife handle. I played lead and rhythm guitar until the mid 90's. I was raised on and played country music since day One. I went to my first Bluegrass Festival in 1993 at the Ranch in northern Arizona just east of Vernon, AZ. It was the last festival held at "The Ranch".Glen Wilbourn's "Flint Hill Special Bluegrass Band" was playing that weekend and I fell in love with the sound of the music and the 5 string Banjo.The wife and I went to all festivals we could after that trip. I was hooked on the music and the 5 string banjo. I told the wife, I have to learn to play the banjo.I got an old kay banjo for $25 dollars and started out with record player, cd player and banjo. I'm a self taught (2 finger, if you want to call it that) Thumb and forefinger style 5 string banjo picker. I play the melody and also play by ear (never learned to read music!) the style I developed on the 5 String is my own. I met Glen Wilbourn at an ABA campout in 1996 (At the time we were jamming I did not remember him as being the first bluegrass band I had seen 3 years earlier) at a jam, played with him fo 2 to 3 hours. We became friends and in 1999 Glen asked if I would like to join his band and play banjo-- I jumped at the chance and I've been with "Flint Hill Special Bluegrass Band" and enjoyed it ever since.
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