Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Sioux Lookout Breakdown

At the end of a local bluegrass jam last night, I met a wonderful banjo player and his guitar playing wife with a great voice who were visiting from Guelf, Ontario. Apparently they heard about the jam and just joined in. I mentioned to them that I was born in a small town called Sioux Lookout which is up on the Pine Tree line, that northern point where trees don’t grow anymore. I really didn’t think he’d know where that was, but he got a strange look on his face, like he knew it well.

Just FYI, yeah I was born in Canada; my dad was in the US Air Force stationed on a radar base there as part of NORAD. So, in addition to being Canadian, I am a natural born American, so I could still be President, you know, if I wanted to; just sayin. But I digress.

He said he spent quite a bit of time there and even wrote a song called Sioux Lookout Breakdown. “GET OUT OF TOWN” shouted I in disbelief. So, he and his wife, still with their instruments on their shoulders asked if I wanted to hear it so I grabbed my brand new ZOOM H2n mic & recorder and said “kick it”. Here it is.

I had to chop off the end to get it down to size. But the entire song and some instruction can be found at

Darin Parise is a multi-instrumentalist and his wife is Anita. You can find him on FB and on YouTube where is has a couple of channels:

I really like his Gibson Mastertone and it sounds great. My RK76-E looks just like it, right down to the inlays and everything, the only differences being his says Gibson on the head and mine says Recording King and mine doesn’t have the Mastertone plate on the 21st fret. I’d say my RK sounds almost as good as that Gibson. I’m still so very happy @BanjoBen turned me on to it.


A great player and great tune!


That is so neat Maggie. Thanks for sharing!

BTW: Did your dad ever hear of the NORAD Commanders? Back in my College days I had one of their records. We played a tune the NORAD Commanders did called “MERCY, MERCY, MERCY”. Playing Lead Trumpet always seemed to have me up in the stratosphere range-wise and don’t miss the bruised & swollen chops. At any rate, the “NORAD Commanders” had their own Jazz Band for a time. They in part, provided inspiration for us Campbell Boys to take up the trumpet. Fun stuff!

1 Like

That’s a really cool tune! Send it off to Ricky Skaggs, I want to hear him play it. Maybe as one of Russ Carson’s YouTube jam sessions

1 Like

You go for it @Maggie


I just found that tune on YouTube,, pretty good, I like it. I used to be into jazz too and played trumpet as well in high school. Got braces for two years and it hurt too much to keep playing so I gave it up. Wow, just realizing all the things I’ve “given up” - I’m such a quitter.


Oh my Gosh…That’s it! I still have that Album. The NORAD Commanders played at our College in town (Ferris State University, Big Rapids) and really inspired me playing the Trumpet. What a blast from the past. Thank-you Maggie!

1 Like