Forum - Banjo Ben Clark


With so many cool festivals around the country, I thought it might be fun to see where everyone is headed for some parking lot pickin’.

I’m hitting this festival next week. Kind of an eclectic lineup, but it’s for a good cause, and there should be plenty of campground pickin’ going on.


I went to the one I can afford this summer.

Looking forward to this one next year. Best parking lot pickin’ in the Midwest and affordable too.

I’d kind of like to see the Labor Day show in Kendallville. Dry Branch is always entertaining. Ron Thomason is a walking library of banjo jokes.

Been there many times both as camper and in bands. Normally never go near the stage at a festival unless I’ve got friends playing.

Larry, I like the line up. I haven’t heard of many of them, but how wrong can it be with a mixture of Peter Rowan, and bands with names like funkUs, DJ Triclops, and Vlad the Inhaler?

I love Dry Branch… never seen them live, but now I have them on my list.

I am going to try to make it to Pearl, TX before too long (maybe it will cool down a bit for September). They are first Saturday (except September which is second Saturday)

Also a bit closer is Glen Rose. I keep planning to go, and something seems always seems to intercede. They are on a 3rd Saturday schedule, so next one is the 18th. Maybe it will work out! … -Session-8

Those are a couple of nice options for you, Mike. And, they’re on different Saturdays, so you can go to both.

The Suwannee Jam is an interesting mix. I don’t know who a lot of the bands are, either, but I enjoy Peter Rowan and Donna the Buffalo. Peter likes playing with DtB, so I imagine he will be 'lectrified.

The mando player from this Georgia band contacted me on my Soundclick page a while back, so I’m hoping to catch up with them. Looks like they could be a fun to pick with.


Just found out they made the Suwannee Flood Jam free for residents of Suwannee and surrounding counties. How sweet is that? Plus, it’s in the same park where my weekly jam meets, and it’s potluck dinner night.

Two days of Peter Rowan, my regular bluegrass jam, dinner, camping… and it doesn’t cost a dime!

I know I put them in Larry’s other thread, but I’ll re-post these here, just to keep them together. In another week I’ll be headed east to the Santa Fe bluegrass and old time festival. I’m really looking forward to it because old time fiddler Rayna Gellert will be there and I’m a huge fan of hers.!festival-2012

Then after Labor Day, I’ll be at the Pickin’ in the Pines festival at Flagstaff to watch Hot Rize, Laurie Lewis, and local favorite Arizona band “Run Boy Run”. Should be a good jamming weekend!

The Flood Jam was a blast. More electric music than I would have prefered, but still plenty of good stuff.

The best part about it was the size. I’d guess there were maybe three or four thousand patrons, in total, spread over 600 acres. Enough people to have fun, but small enough that I was able to walk right up to the rail and watch from the front row whenever I wanted. It was also small enough that the county sheriff’s office didn’t feel compelled to establish a presence, so the entire festival had a really relaxed feel.

I’m glad you had a good time Larry. Did you get to catch DJ Triclops and Vlad the Inhaler?

I didn’t make it to Glen Rose again. I hosted a party for our pastor who is departing Friday and had an anniversary date with my wife Saturday night. I could have made a little of it, but I was beat. It was raining anyway, so I think it was a good time to miss.

Didn’t catch either of those bands, Mike. It was a pretty diverse lineup, so I mainly caught with the acts I was familiar with and did other stuff the rest of the time.

Fiddlewood, my sister is going to be at the Labor Day Kendallville show. Are you gonna be performing there?

No , I retired form play9ng on stage a few years ago. I only play with certain people for a couple yearly things now-a=days.

I just got back from a fun festival in Santa Fe. Good weather and got to listen to some fine picking from a bunch of bands I’d never heard before. Also got to meet Dan Miller from Flatpick Guitar Magazine and went to a couple of informative workshops on flatpicking and crosspicking. AND I got to see Dan and Rayna Gellert which was one of the reasons for making the 950 mile round trip drive in the first place! Rayna was amazing on fiddle and the occasional guitar number, and Dan was a wiz on fiddle, guitar, clawhammer banjo and his neat fretless banjo.

Friday night, Rayna on fiddle and Dan on the fretless banjo

Saturday, with Rayna on fiddle, Dan on clawhammer, and below on guitar

Sounds like a fun weekend, Max. Cool you got to meet Dan Miller.

I started clicking on your Rayna pics, hoping they were vids, but they wouldn’t play.

I wish I had brought something with me to record it Larry! They played some amazing stuff. One of these days I should get myself a decent video cam to bring around to the festivals and jam sessions.

I’m glad you had a good time. That’s awesome.

Looks like a good time, canyonhiker. Man, I bet that old Gibson guitar has a few stories!

Mighty slow around here. Are you all competing at Winfield this weekend?

Haven’t seen Jiminkansas around in a while. Did you make it to Winfield this year, Jim?

We’re on the cusp of festival season here in Florida… after a long summer I’ve got three festivals to choose from in the next five weekends. I’d like to see them all but it’s too cost prohibitive, so I think we’ll probably go to Magfest and Dixieland and skip Palatka since they have reserved seating this year… seems a little too elitist for a bluegrass festival.

Palatka Fall Bluegrass Festival
October 11-13, 2012
Palatka, Florida

October 18-21, 2012
Live Oak, Florida

Dixieland Music Park Fall Bluegrass Festival
October 31 - November 4, 2012
Waldo, FL