I heard a 5-string banjo for the first time when I was about 14-15 years old. It was on the
radio, they played a couple of songs from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s
“Will the Circle Be Unbroken". After a few seconds
I knew I had to learn how to play that. That sound totally grabbed my soul.
Those tunes changed my life forever.
My father played guitar around the house and I knew a couple of chords but that was about it.
I saved up some money and bought a banjo.
Now all I had to do was figure out how to play the damn thing.
I wasn't doing all that great so my mother put in an add in the local paper,
looking for a banjo teacher. “Dallas” answered and he taught me the basics.
I am forever grateful.
I then took it from there. The first bands that really caught my attention were Country Gazette and
New Grass Revival. I did spend a lot of time slowing down LP's trying to figure out how they played.
That's how you learn - you copy others!
I soon discovered that I didn't sound like the people I was trying to copy so I decided to develop my
own way of playing. Today I think I sound a lot like me! I try to blend traditional "Scruggs" style with
melodic,single string styles and whatever comes to mind.
I try to play a lot of different styles of music. Although my heart will always belong to bluegrass, it is
fun and a challenge to play other styles as well.
I sometimes have the opportunity to do studio recordings- I just love that!.
To me the banjo is an instrument capable of playing anything -it’s not just a "sound".
There's more to it than Duelin' Banjos......
- Still there's nothing like rolling your way through a fast hardcore bluegrass song!