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Mar 1, 2021 - 4:02:25 PM
1127 posts since 12/2/2013

One of the nice things about YouTube is finding a post about banjo-playing from someone you (me) never heard of. No, not BanjoBen who has a website clearly to use the internet as a source of income; no, not Brian Sutton who had a regular role with the Dixie Chicks and who appears sometimes on online playing behind Sam Bush. Who is Bill Knopf or Sean Ray (BTW, any relation to Billy Ray who played banjo with the Kentucky Colonels)? Can someone tell me who these players are? More importantly, there are probably lots of local guys just as good who get no recognition because they don't post. Tell me, who do you know?

Mar 1, 2021 - 4:43:39 PM

2619 posts since 2/10/2013

Bill Knopf has a website with biographical information.

Mar 1, 2021 - 4:45:05 PM
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Foote

USA

451 posts since 3/25/2009

I know Bill Knopf. He's been in the L.A. bluegrass scene since the 70's. He has records out, both solo and with his group Hot of the Press. He is also the author of several excellent banjo instruction books, my favorite being the book he did of Doug Dillard tabs. He also has done studio work (commercials, records) in LA for many years. I saw him on a Toyota commercial a year or so ago. Also, I think he still gives lessons. Great player and great guy.

Mar 1, 2021 - 5:58:46 PM
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tlong

USA

177 posts since 2/5/2009

That was Billy Ray Latham

Mar 1, 2021 - 7:35:38 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24584 posts since 6/25/2005

Is there another Brian Sutton than the premier guitarist?

Mar 1, 2021 - 7:49:16 PM

chuckv97

Canada

56575 posts since 10/5/2013
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The guitarist par excellence is Bryan Sutton

Mar 1, 2021 - 8:51:04 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

56575 posts since 10/5/2013
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.


 

Mar 1, 2021 - 10:09:25 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24584 posts since 6/25/2005

yesyesyes

Mar 1, 2021 - 10:11:45 PM
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3514 posts since 5/6/2004

When I got my first banjo in 2003, I was also given Bill Knopf’s instructional video “Learn Banjo on VCR.” VCR! (It was later reissued as “Learn Banjo on DVD.”) For a brief period, it was the only instructional material I had.

Later I discovered Bill's "Bluegrass Banjo Workshop" series, and purchased Book Two ("Scruggs style licks for improvisation, arranging and back-up"). And if you look on his YouTube channel (P47ROCKS), you'll see a great range of both traditional and non-traditional banjo tunes.

A terrific banjo player and teacher. 

Mar 1, 2021 - 10:21:21 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

56575 posts since 10/5/2013
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Not many in the U.S. have heard of Canada’s own Denis Lepage,, one of the best and the first good bluegrass banjo player I ever heard. Have a listen to his rendition of “Arab Bounce” at 21:59, especially the 3rd break which begins at 24:30. 
youtu.be/ZmAzjL2V09s

Edited by - chuckv97 on 03/01/2021 22:26:09

Mar 1, 2021 - 10:32:57 PM
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3514 posts since 5/6/2004

I'll add: Bill Knopf's "Birth of the Blues."

https://youtu.be/bXUyOObmAz4

Mar 2, 2021 - 1:02:04 AM

78 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by flyingsquirrelinlay

One of the nice things about YouTube is finding a post about banjo-playing from someone you (me) never heard of. No, not BanjoBen who has a website clearly to use the internet as a source of income; no, not Brian Sutton who had a regular role with the Dixie Chicks and who appears sometimes on online playing behind Sam Bush. Who is Bill Knopf or Sean Ray (BTW, any relation to Billy Ray who played banjo with the Kentucky Colonels)? Can someone tell me who these players are? More importantly, there are probably lots of local guys just as good who get no recognition because they don't post. Tell me, who do you know?


Learning to play banjo? It's worth getting to know who other banjo players/teachers are on the social scale. Others have filled you in on Bill Knopf. Sean Ray is a member of the BHO a great banjo player and teacher who has several TAB books out check out his website  https://seanray.com and YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/user/ludwigtrap/videos

Mar 2, 2021 - 4:37:50 AM

phb

Germany

2568 posts since 11/8/2010

Bill Knopf has an entry in the list of "68 leading banjo players" in the "Masters of the 5-String Banjo" book. Born in 1948 he started playing at age 17. His first banjo was a Vega Tubaphone #3 from 1923. His main banjo at the time of the writing of the book was a 1938 Gibson RB-12 with a replacement neck (sounds like a banjo that stays a main banjo). There is more (rather technical) info on each of the 68 players in the list such as preferred string gauges etc. in case any of this is relevant to anyone.

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:22:25 AM

1127 posts since 12/2/2013

Three counts of brain crampitis: banjo Ben played behind the Dixie Chicks; Brian Sutton, of course, plays one damn fine guitar; and yes, at one time I knew Billy Ray Latham played for the Kentucky Colonels. Still, I never heard of Raymond Fairchild until I viewed the Alax Lomax film about mountain music and then found him on Utube, ditto with Dave Hum who is inspirational about keep on keeping on despite health and personal setbacks.But I would still like to know who do you know who may be a local fave or legend who might deserve some recognition, such as Warp or Steve Davis?

Edited by - flyingsquirrelinlay on 03/02/2021 06:23:54

Mar 2, 2021 - 8:19:05 AM

11662 posts since 6/2/2008

Banjo Ben Clark was part of Taylor Swift's touring band. I can't find anything about him being in Dixie Chicks band. Not saying it didn't happen.

Mar 3, 2021 - 8:27:34 PM
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Paul R

Canada

14210 posts since 1/28/2010

Frank Evans of the Slocan Ramblers is a triple threat - Bluegrass banjo, clawhammer banjo, and lead (and harmony) vocals. Check out his clawhammer solo in "The Law and the Lonesome" (and no scoop!). The band itself is amazing, four young musicians all highly skilled and in sync.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxxGE8NLbc0&feature=emb_logo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IHnPJmvIZE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJvxD-GiMVE

Mar 3, 2021 - 8:42:41 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

56575 posts since 10/5/2013
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And let’s not forget Nick Hornbuckle, member of John Reischman & the Jaybirds, who has 2 albums out on his own. A friendly American who migrated north to Vancouver Island. Here’s a great one by him - try this with just thumb & index like he does!
youtu.be/2F3laeXnQro


 

Edited by - chuckv97 on 03/03/2021 20:43:54

Mar 3, 2021 - 9:26 PM
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Jim Yates

Canada

6717 posts since 2/21/2007

I learned a lot from this book, Hot Licks & Fiddle Tunes by Bill Knopf about 40 years ago.  I think I still have it somewhere.


 

Mar 4, 2021 - 1:41:21 AM

phb

Germany

2568 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Paul R

Frank Evans of the Slocan Ramblers is a triple threat


A threat?

(Having watched the videos: wow, that is really amazing banjo playing!)

Edited by - phb on 03/04/2021 01:53:53

Mar 4, 2021 - 7:47:42 AM

Owen

Canada

8251 posts since 6/5/2011
Online Now

 <snip> ....there are probably lots of local guys just as good who get no recognition because they don't post. Tell me, who do you know?  <snip> I would still like to know who do you know who may be a local fave or legend who might deserve some recognition....   <snip>

Everybody that can play  a musical instrument deserves recognition and gets kudos from me!   Unfortunately so far as "local guys just as good," there are a couple/few around here, but for some reason banjo players seem to be giving west-central MB a wide berth.   I don't expect anybody to dumb things down for me, but the discussions on banjo playing/players produces a big "whooosh" in my ears.  wink  

Mar 5, 2021 - 10:39:30 AM

Owen

Canada

8251 posts since 6/5/2011
Online Now

I happened upon this video today... I don't know how widely Sylvia O'Brien was known, and whether or not if fits in with the OP, but I'm glad I came upon it:

Edit: Seems I'm unable to embed (?) the Youtube video..... maybe this will work???   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KS2b6919oE

Edited by - Owen on 03/05/2021 10:41:40

Mar 5, 2021 - 11:23:34 AM
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Plfmud

USA

1 posts since 9/9/2020

This may be a good place to mention Al Osteen. Al was a great banjo player who taught banjo his whole life. He was born in Anderson, SC and lived mostly in the Greenville, SC area. In his younger days he played with Jim and Jesse, Charlie Moore and Jimmy Martin among others. The road life didn't suit him so he returned to Greenville to teach. Among the many people he taught are Kristin Scott Benson and banjo champ Charles Wood.
Al died about ten years ago at the age of 60. Any musician who knew him or played with him will say that Al Osteen was among the world's top bluegrass banjo players.

Mar 7, 2021 - 3:46:48 AM

Fathand

Canada

11718 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Yates

I learned a lot from this book, Hot Licks & Fiddle Tunes by Bill Knopf about 40 years ago.  I think I still have it somewhere.


I have that book. Somewhere I read it's gotten rare.

Mar 8, 2021 - 7:29:12 AM
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2619 posts since 2/10/2013

When I lived in Battle Creek the radio station at Western Michigan University had a great program that play folk and bluegrass music. It introduced me to Denis LePage. I bought a record featuring his band.

Maybe the term "well known" instead of "great" should be used when referring to banjoists.
I have heard local banjoists who can play as well, or better, than some well known banjoists.
They preferred having other occupations and are just playing for their personal enjoyment. But they are well known by local bluegrass music fans. I knew one unknown banjoist who was so good other banjoists would not take their instruments out of the case when he was around. He was sitting and playing one day, and a little boy and his mother walked by. The boy looked at his mother and said "How come the banjo sounds like music when he plays ?".
That banjoist would not play professionally because he enjoyed jamming at bluegrass events, and many band leaders did not allow this.

I have also heard many unknown amateur singers were better than some professionals.

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