Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Bluegrass Festivals

I was checking out some of the bands headed your way. Is it just me, or are there an unbelievable amount of incredibly talented people in bluegrass… including many that I have never even heard of? It’s both inspiring and humbling.

A boat load of talent for sure Mike. A lot are true masters of their instruments which is mainly what I’m there to hear. It’s sort of funny but I think shade tree pickers like us get more out of the festival experience. While most folks are just listening to the song I’m usually busy studying the player’s techniques or trying to figure out just how old that vintage Martin is. Lots of fun for sure.

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Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival in Wilmington, OH. This is held twice a year and is coming up Nov 7th and 8th. The big names are The Boxcars, Russell Moore and Third Time Out, James King Band, Crowe Bros, Larry Stephenson and Joe Mullins and Radio Ramblers (which is local for them). This is close to where Welder lives and only about an hour and fifteen minutes from me. Are you going Welder?

Every summer, Columbus has The MACC Bluegrass Classic (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer). It’s a big four day event with a lot of big names and the proceeds go to St. Jude’s.


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I do not go any where any more I am sort of stuck here at home . I am not looking for sympathy nothing of the kind . I still play and enjoy it . I sure would like to go though . I bet you all have a good time going  at least I hope you do . My advice is go if you can while you can .  Pioneer Village comes to mind close to Caesars creek in Warren Co Ohio . They have one there at least one time a year . I am about twenty minutes from there. Never ever never quit playing .!!!~!~!! That feels like a triple negative with a double positive slant to it. Go and enjoy it for me .

Upcoming Ohio bluegrass festivals for 2016.

Perrysburg Bluegrass Festival
January 8-9, 2016
Perrysburg, Ohio

Southern Ohio Indoor Bluegrass Festival
March 18-19, 2016
Wilmington, Ohio

Bluegrass in the Hills,
June 8-11, 2016
Hopedale, Ohio

The MACC Bluegrass Classic
July 20-23, 2016
Lockbourne, Ohio

Back home from the fall festival today and it didn’t disappoint. Weather was perfect and no snags which made for a good trip. As stated in an earlier post I was familiar with most of the bands. Jeff Scroggins and Colorado was new to me and quickly became a favorite. Shawn had posted a clip of their lead singer Greg Blake singing “Model Church” in a youtube favorites thread on this forum and I was anxious to meet him. Super nice guy and great guitar picker. By the way he told me that’s a friend’s '43 D-28 he’s playing in that clip.

Catahoula Drive was another good band out of Louisiana that I saw for the first time and would recommend.

As usual there were some amazing musicians there who had truly mastered their instruments. That’s always the best part of the festival for me. The only downside to that is realizing just how much of an amateur I really am!

Sweet Bulldog! That’s cool you had a chance to talk to Greg Blake. I really like their band too.

Sounds like a good trip!

Howdy Fiddlewood! How’s life up North?

Hi Mike!

Things are going pretty well.

I’ve retired from climbing trees (the body just won’t put up with it anymore)…well actually retired, and put in a few mornings doing golf course maintenance about 3 miles from the house.

My old dog passed away in Dec. so I picked up a young Staffordshire Terrier at a shelter and have been spending some time on him.

Learning a ton of stuff on the fiddle and having a great time with it.

Just picked up a new fiddle from Courtney Rorrer (Grasstowne) and am loving it. Had to sell off my last banjo to get up the money, but still can’t pick a 5 due to what I did to my hand by overplaying, so not a huge loss.

I’m playing flattop and fiddle in a start-up “country” band at the moment, but not sure how long it will last…love the people but the music is tending toward the more electric rhythmed “wall of sound” than I care for.

Been jamming a bit here and there but nothing earth shattering.

Sorry to hear about losing your dog. That’s never easy. I’m glad you have a new buddy.

I’m glad you’ve been playing lots of fiddle and got a new one. My fiddling buddy just played one from a local maker and was blown away. That guy’s go for about $4000. There is a ton of work that goes into an instrument like that, so at least you can see where the money went.

As far as playing in a country band… who knows maybe it will bend towards something you like better. Here’s hoping anyway!

Well, the country thing didn’t work out. Went through 7-8 Bass players and just couldn’t find one that fit. The band was headed far more rock than what I was looking for anyway.

Been setting in on a few gigs as Bass player, but nothing steady.

The new pup is turning into a pretty decent dog, and I’m still doing 3 mornings a week at the golf course. Not missing all the physical stuff I’ve done all my life.

Fiddling is coming along ok, mostly working on tearing apart old traditional stuff, but a couple newer things.

hope everyone is doing well.


In reply to JW I don’t go outside much any more I am sort of a bed cat . the breathing thing has got me down sort of bad. I would love to go but alas I have not the energy to travel much . I say all of you go and enjoy when you can, it is something I wish I could do . I still try to learn new stuff . and play about every day but not much at a time.

Hope you get to feeling better soon Ken. It’s been a miserably hot summer and doesn’t look any better in the future forecast. Hopefully when it cools down some, you’ll be able to get out more. This humidity makes it hard for about anyone to breathe. :angry:

Take care and keep playing that guitar,

Hang in there Ken!!

Indeed, hang in there Ken. Cooler weather is coming.

Good hearing from you Dave. Sorry that the gig didn’t work out. Maybe there is a better fit on its way.

Thanks…I just go with the flow. Been setting in when needed on some Bass a little this summer, but that’s about it.

Kind of caught in a catch-22: can’t really afford to go out to play unless I’m getting paid, and don’t get out enough to jam and meet up with potential job offerings.

I just keep rolling with the flow and hope something comes along.