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Traditional Pottery & finding Clawhammer Banjo

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

As a young potter in 1969 I went to work part of the summer at Jugtown Pottery in Sea Grove NC . It turned out Nancy Sweezey who was taking up the job of keeping this great old shop healthy was one of the organizers of the New Port Folk Festival .Her friend Ralph Rinzler became a trustee for Jugtown and  was just putting together the FolkLife Department at The Smithsonian.Together they had helped book New Port for years and Ralph was the guy that brought a lot of this great music from the South to the North . . At any rate there were all these great records of Clarence Tom Ashley at Jugtown and while my friends were going off to Woodstock in the rain,  I was becoming enamored with Clawhammer banjo .. I started studying banjo more seriously as my work took me to South Wales .. When I got back to New England I started sitting in with a great fiddler named Tude Tangquay and his square dance band and getting a great banjo from Roger Sprung .. By 1974-5 I was playing with Gordon Titicomb in a great dance band named Polcat .Later I worked with Liu Collins touring New England playing the folk clubs .PLaying traditional music has always informed my pottery making and making traditional pottery has always informed my banjo playing .So great to be able to talk to banjo players here ! All the best  to anyone reading this .. Yours Guy 


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Playing Since: 1970
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: potter/musician

Gender: Male
Age: 73

My Instruments:
Mostly clawhammer banjo and a bit of up-picking. English & anglo concertina (a bit ) Mountain dulcimer . Guitar (open tunings )

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Clarence Tom Ashley Tommy Jarrall Lilly May Ledford Blind Blake Lonny Johmson Martin Carthy Ry Cooder Joseph Spence Finest Kind Young Tradition The Watersons June Tabor Jorde Savall Baltimore Consort Parthenia Emmet Miller Uncle Dave Macon The Skillet Lickers Tony Barrond & John Roberts

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 1/25/2010
Last Visit 7/22/2021

I am a traditional potter in Litchfield Connecticut . During my apprenticeships I lived in some wonderful traditional surroundings where traditional music was going on .. What I came to think of as "Home Made Music.." In 1969 I was working part of the summer at Jugtown Pottery in Seagrove North Carolina .. One of the trustee's of that pottery was Ralph Rindzler who brought a ton of great music north . It was there that I heard Tom Ashley's music for the first time . I have been with the banjo ever since ..The next year I worked potteries first in Wales and then the north of England and became hooked on the connection between older British music and the American use of the same tunes . When I got back to America I began playing in square dance bands and old time / Bluegrass "Bar Bands " Later playing and making a record with Lui Collins I became hooked on studio work .I love recording . When it asked my proficiency level above I was not shore what to put .. I am a strong player at what I do and am on stage and made a batch of records but I know there are a ton of wonderful banjos players who are a lot better then what I do . Glad to meet other players and make music . I have a ton of stuff on Youtube .. I have been doing what I think of as song circles with banjo players all over the world there ,,.. Have a look if you have the time and come and play with me if your ever in north western ct. .. All the best , Guy

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