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Playing Since: 1973
[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]
Occupation: banjo picker, but i drive a semi to keep from starvin to death!
i play a banjo that i bought from sonny osborne about 10 years ago. i've owned over 100 banjos since i started playing in 74 and i've kept this one longer than any of them. i recently got in the mood for a new ax and sold the osborne clone and bought a new gibson retro 4, its shaping up to be a good ax, but i wanted something that would retain its value, since gibson only made 40 of them, this should hold better than others, it number 12 of 40. I sold the retro 4 and bought a Gold Star Bow Tie 52, and it lasted a couple of years but a Botched fret job made me so mad i sold it to a pawn shop, and was Asked by John Boulding to try a RK 35. I did, and it's my current banjo now for the last 4 years or so.
this is a hard topic for me since i worked the road for years with the bob lewis family, the ezells, vernon macintyre, josh graves and kenny baker. i met and became friends with and still am good friends with alot of well know and popular faces in bluegrass, and alot of my experiences with them were not just casual, so i get accused of being a name droper, i wont apoligize for having lived a life on the road that most people couldn't and wouldnt do even if they could. I started playing the road when i was 16 years old, and at 17 i won a state wide contest for a Banjo job at a Amusement Park in North Central Arkansas called Dog Patch USA.
I have worked in Radio, in fulton Mo when i was a member and resident banjo picker for Ron Lutz at KFAL radio and the Roster Creek Show.
While living in Kansas, i played in a bluegrass band that was part of the Ks Touring Arts Commission, and hosted a public radio show out of Hutchinson Ks, on a local PBS radio show called "All Strings Attached"
During my Tenure with The Bob Lewis Family, the band was one of the showcased bands in the 1999 PBS documentary" Mississippi River Of Song" it was recored on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
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Last Visit 2/7/2022
nothing special, typicial road musician thats always looking for the next gig and paycheck. after 45 years of picking, i'm still crazy about it. I don't play out much on the road anymore, i prefer local Cincinnati gigs, and i tend to lean toward the progressive side of banjo and bluegrass!
'Gold Tone OB-3 Twanger' 3 hrs