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Bring Bluegrass Music to Burning Man!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I met Andy Owens at the International Bluegrass Music Association's trade show sometime in the 1990s, and we hit it off immediately. Andy says, "I’ve been involved in many bands and for twenty years and I have played Bluegrass in over fifty countries. I was once talking to Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass Music, and I told him that my main thing was taking Bluegrass to places it had never been. His comment was 'Mister, Bluegrass music is the best music in the world, and I want you to take it to as many places as you can.' I took that to heart, you can’t really ignore Bill Monroe."


In addition to Bluegrass Music, Andy enjoys the Burning Man Festival, but as he told me, despite the fact that it's a campout in the middle of the desert, there's no acoustic music. Apparently "Electronica" is the only music to be heard.


Well, Andy's out to change that! His dream is to bring Bluegrass Music and North Carolina Bar-B-Que to Burning Man, and to that end, he's designed a banjo-shaped trailer, equipped with a full stage and sound system, that he'll be able to drive around the campground, and he wants to hire some good musicians (including me), to be his band.


Won't you help Andy realize his dream? Won't you help us show the folks at Burning Man that REAL music happens when actual fingers play on actual strings? Here's the link to the Kickstarter campaign for "On Top of Old Smokey."


Thank you for your time and attention.

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BanjerDan Has Moved to California

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1 comment

Newest Music

Genre: Folk
Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

Genre: Bluegrass
Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

Genre: Classical
Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

Genre: Bluegrass
Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

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Playing Since: 1974
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Musician

Gender: Male
Age: 61

My Instruments:
Deering GDL with a customized neck. Taylor 714 guitar. Flatiron Artist A mandolin. Paul Beard MA-6 dobro.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
So many! In bluegrass, Flatt & Scruggs, Seldom Scene, Country Gentlemen, Eddie & Martha Adcock, and Lost & Found were my earliest influences. Later, I particularly liked the Johnson Mountain Boys, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, New Grass Revival, Hot Rize, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band.

Through bluegrass I got into the Grateful Dead and jam music. My favorites along those lines Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Sam Bush, and Ekoostik Hookah. I rediscovered The Beatles in college, and their music is deeply ingrained.

I studied music theory in college, and was immersed in classical music for a while. I guess my tastes are pretty mundane, because my favorite composers are Bach and Beethoven! However, I also REALLY love stuff from Stravinsky, Bernstein, and Copeland. Speaking of classical music, can't forget Frank Zappa and Edgard Varese!

There's not enough room to go into detail about other musicians who have affected me deeply, but they include the great and mighty Early Scruggs, Doc Watson, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, Alison Krauss, Danny Gatton, Tim O'Bien, Peter Rowan, Mike Auldridge, Bill Monroe, Jerry Douglas, and Ricky Skaggs.

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Visible to: Public
Created 2/18/2008
Last Visit 4/29/2021

Born in Summit, NJ, October 1959. 1962: My family moved to Washington DC. (The Country Gentlemen were playing every Tuesday right down the hill from my house, and I didn't know it!) Dec. 1973: My brother got a banjo for his birthday. Spring/Summer 1974: I became interested in the banjo, and eventually took it over from my brother, who switched to guitar. 1975-1985: After a few months of banjo lessons at Charlie Byrd's Music House in Bethesda, MD, I immersed myself in the DC bluegrass world, and went to every pickin' party I could find. After discovering the Seldom Scene, I spent virtually every Thursday night at The Red Fox Inn, also in Bethesda, MD. During this time I finished high school and college, played my first bluegrass bar gigs with "No Strings Attached" (Bob Hummer, Dave Whitaker, Don Walters, Steve George, Dave Bernhardt) and spent a few months as a busker in Europe. 1985-1988: Member of "D.J. & The C.B. Pickers," Fairfield, PA. Other members were Lee Jones, mandolin, Donna Jones, bass, and Joe Longwell, guitar. 1988-1991: Member of "Rockcreek," Silver Spring, MD. Other members were Moondi Klein, guitar, Ira Gitlin, bass, Jamie Daly, mandolin, and Darren Beachley, dobro. 1992=1995: Lived in Nashville. Worked at Opryland, USA, and in several theatrical productions (including some road work). Also played occasionally at The Station Inn with a pickup band called "The Guys in the Suits and Ties." Other members were: Randy Howard, fiddle, Ronnie McCoury and Wayne Benson, mandolin, Rich Arnold, dobro, Johnny Berry, Greg Garing and Keith Little, guitar, and Missy Raines, Roy Huskey, Jr., Ernie Sykes, and Brian Zonn, bass. 1995-2000: Lived in San Diego, performing with a theatrical folk music/comedy act called "The Jackstraws." We were "The Pirate Landing Party" at SeaWorld of California, "The Safari Bush Band" at the San Diego Zoo, and other themes as needed. November 2000: Relocated to my roots in the Washington, DC area. 2001-present: Performing solo as "BanjerDan," and as a sideman in other acts as needed. After 10 years with the outlaw acoustic honky-tonk band, "J.B. Beverley & The Wayward Drifters" decided to re-relocate to California, and focus on my solo work. Now I live in Atascadero, California, close to the beautiful Central Coast!

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