Playing Since: 1969
Experience Level: Purty Good
[Teaching] [Socializing] [Helping]
OME Custom, Bart Reiter 12 inch with a Dobson tone ring,
Tommy George "A" scale
Earl Scruggs is the Man! Randal Morton! I also like Tom Adams, Larry McNeely, Bobby Thompson, Douglas Dillard, Alan Munde - I love to hear Doc Watson play old-time banjo!
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Last Visit 9/10/2021
While I never heard him play, my grandfather, Coy Everette Bryant, played guitar in West Tennessee in the early 1900s. From information I have gathered and my father's recollections, he played a Piedmont finger-picking style and also played back-up for local fiddle bands. My father, Coy Edgar Bryant, played guitar and a little mandolin in the styles of the day (1930s). I started out on acoustic guitar and he taught me the basics and chord progressions. I got my first banjo in December of 1969 (I was 16). Fortunately, there was a sizeable banjo community at the time (Randal Morton, Tommy George, Carl Collins, Bob Bowen, David Lutttrel) and I was able to pick up the rudiments of bluegrass picking fairly quickly. I also came across a copy of Pete Seeger's book (red copy) at about the same time and began working on some old-time styles, especially clawhammer. I have been hooked on the banjo ever since! I played in a bluegrass/old-time band, Robert Dickey and the Wildwood Rhythms, during the seventies. We played concerts and travelled to festivals in West Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Missouri. We attended the Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddler's Convention in Athens, Alabama regularly. I played rhythm guitar and clawhammer banjo. I then played in a wide variety of bluegrass, folk, and country groups for short times around Memphis. I pretty much stopped performing in public in the early eighties. While I never quit pickin' - I did not play in a band or go to festivals for many years. The only exception was a short stint with the Space City String Band, an old-time group from Huntsville, Alabama in 1987. I started hanging out at some local jams here in East Tennessee a few years ago and then played in a couple of groups - Smoky Creek and then The Boys from East Tennessee.
'7.25 Years of Banjo' 25 min