Yesterday I was reading an article in Banjo Newsletter written by a guy I used to know. Some dates were mentioned and I was amazed all that time had gone by. The memories that were brought back seemed to have happened recently, not seven or eight years ago. I started playing the banjo in 1978 and took serious lessons when I moved to Arkansas in 1980. I played a lot and never went anywhere without the banjo. I even took it on canoe trips ala Deliverence without the pig squealing LOL. In 1984 I got interested in the restoration of a 1972 Jaguar E Type and the banjo went in the closet. Time went by and before I knew it 17 years had gone by. I occasionally would play it a day or two and back into the closet it would go. Once it was in it's stand in the living room and a guy saw it and kept telling me to start playing again. Little by little I did. This was in 2001. I even took some lessons from the same person that I did in 1980 to help get me going again. I also took some lessons a couple of years later from another great player to help me with back-up playing. My new goal was to concentrate on back-up, not learning song after song. This didn't last and I ended up picking more songs than I did in the 80s, however, I did enjoy back-up playing more. I also started tinkering as I did before with set-ups and changing the sound. In 2004 I started the Arkansas Banjo Co. This started a huge controversy as I contracted my woodwork. This allowed me to attend 12 to 14 festivals each summer and I still do. The company is doing fine and I still contract my woodwork LOL. I developed a head tensioning system and designed my own rim to lower the bass response. And I'm having fun which really is the ultimate goal. It just amazes me that the time is going so fast and getting old probably has a lot to do with it. The last seven or eight years have simply disappeared.
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Frisco Fred commented on a video '(Bela Fleck) Big Country - Banjo - Gunnar Salyer' 5 days
Playing Since: 1978
Experience Level: Intermediate
[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]
Occupation: Retired Engineer
Arkansas Razorback Serial No. ABC001 in gold
Aria Mach 1 bought in 1979. My 1st decent banjo.
J.D. Crowe and the New South
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Last Visit 3/1/2019
In 2004 I started the Arkansas Banjo Co. Great banjos for a fair price. I'm not a novice and pretty good might be a bit of a stretch. I think I'm a career intermediate player. For the past seven years I've attended about 14 festivals a year and have met many fine people. Jamming is always fun. I live in Beebe which is about 35 miles Northeast of Little Rock. I'm about ready to retire again and would like to pass the Arkansas banjo name on to someone else.
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