Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

So I was talking with Banjo Ben Clark the other day and

After acquiring my pre-war Gibson Mastertone conversion from Jim Mills and having it spiked by Charlie Cushman, I high tailed it over to Ben Clarks’s to show it off because I knew he would truly appreciate it. And well, I just wanted to visit with Ben, I mean who wouldn’t? He’s a multi-instrumentalist that has toured with Lila McCann, Craig Morgan, Josh Gracin and Taylor Swift, was a song writer for Sony Publishing, and is a member of the Purple Hulls. He wanted to stay closer to home to be with his family and raise his little girls, he’s my brother in Christ, has a great smile, and was born to teach. I love his entrepreneurial spirit and BanjoBenClark.com is the simply the best instructional site out there.

He greeted me outside and showed me in to the studio and we sat and talked for a spell, getting caught up. I told him about my travels and he filled me in on the camp that I missed. I was so happy for him and all y’all that did attend and that it was a success. My banjo, still in its case, was calling out – play me, play me - I looked at Ben and said get on it. With a big ole grin, he took it out and cut loose and boy howdy that thing rang out. I got a kick out of watching him play excerpts from a variety of tunes, down the neck, up the neck, all over the place; I asked him if I could video him and he said sure, here’s that video.

I had suggested to him earlier that he could use it in his next lesson and we discussed that again while I was there and he seemed up for it and I was thrilled about it so I left it with him and picked it up a couple days later on my way home.

@BanjoBen was so very gracious and I really enjoyed my visit, thanks Ben for having me. It’s so cool that I’ve had three world class players in as many days play my new old banjo. And would you believe it? Ben Clark signed my BanjoBen hat. Kind of a key signature that was missing, so I’m happy to have that one before it fills up. I got home and found that the new lesson, Shove The Pig’s Foot A Little Further In The Fire had been posted and I watched it on my big TV with a decent sound system and I got goosies. Thanks Ben for doing that.

This is the 3rd installment in a series of 3. It was an amazing week; visiting such talented people, acquiring a new old banjo, visiting family in Lebanon, TN, and going to the Grand Ole Opry. On the show the night of April 9th were Terri Clark, The Del McCoury Band, Pam Tillis, Dan Tyminski made a surprise appearance, and the show was wrapped up by The Charlie Daniels Band. Charlie is 82 I think, and he was on fire playing his guitar and fiddle, just amazing. As I write this, I’m listening to the archived Grand Ole Opry show of April 2nd, the one I missed.

I got to road trip thorough some pretty country and listen to a lot of good music along the way which is one of my favorite things to do. I arrived home with a slight sense of melancholy but it’s nice to be home and sleep in my own bed and sit down and write these trip reports. I’ve had an awakening of sorts since I picked up the banjo last summer, found this awesome resource called BanjoBenClark.com, all y’all cool cats on the forum, went to several concerts, attended a music festival, made this road trip, and I got to brag about it all. Thank you for letting me share all this and indulging me; I’ve been truly blessed. I have nothing else scheduled so I’m gonna hunker down and play banjer for a spell I reckon and figure out how to pay for all this.

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Maggie, you’re the coolest. It’s worth down-sizing in other areas if you are going to upsize your musical endeavours like you have been. Thanks for all you do on the forum.

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That’s awesome. That banjo sure will inspire you to keep playing.

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Such an honor to meet you, Maggie! I surely appreciate the kinds words, but our of Jimmy, Charlie, and Ben…one of those is not quite like the others :laughing: Please come back anytime and your stories on the forum are so awesome!

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Maggie I’m so jealous I’m a good way and made up that you got the dream banjo and got Ben to test drive it

Dan T is in my must see list :+1:

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Great report @Maggie, thanks for sharing.

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I think I’m gonna have to downsize a bit more to pay for all this. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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At this rate you’re going to have to downsize to pay for more caps!

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That’s so cool… and Charlie Daniels?! Wow! It’s like you just crammed years worth of amazing vacations into a couple of weeks!

I don’t know how you go back to regular life after all of that. Thanks for continuing to share. I have to admit I’m living a bit vicariously through you.

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Right?

I don’t know how you go back to regular life after all of that. Thanks for continuing to share. I have to admit I’m living a bit vicariously through you.

I was pretty tired after all that, so I hit the sack right away. I’m done for a while so you and I both will have to live vicariously through someone else now. Maybe Gunnar (@Dragonslayer). I wonder if he’s back to Mozambique yet.

Anyone else have anything cool going on? Can Mark and I live vicariously through you?

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I think they said they were going to stay in France for a week or two before heading home. I also think Gunnar had to turn in the phone he was using here in the States, so he may be AFK for a while.

I heard that…

I’m in France right now, dependant on wifi for any internet, fortunately, there’s wifi here where we’re staying in a chateau in a small village. We’ll be headed back to Africa in a week, but won’t get to Mozambique till almost May

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Oh, and Maggie, that sounds like an awesome trip! Congrats on all of it.

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Oh hey, thanks for the update buddy. Enjoy your stay. Keep us posted.

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I am doing taxes…

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I just spent about six weeks with kidney stones in both kidneys, along with a bruised and bleeding kidney (they blasted a little too hard)… How cool is that!?.. Not! (unless one enjoys excruciating pain).

I’m good now though!

Thanks for sharing these stories Maggie, they’re fun to read, very interesting and all well presented!

Also, congrats on that great Banjo!

Mike… Taxes huh?.. Yeah that’s way cooler, you win!

J.W.

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Gunnar, Isn’t that the place (chateau d’if) where Count of Monte Cristo was in?!! So now going to return with the treasure?!!!

Guys, I’m loving the Elixir strings bought from Ben’s store. Bought it couple weeks or so ago, installed it last weekend. When I played it the first time, clear tone, sounded different with a bronze or brass type of tone, different than the muffled sound i was used to. Seemed a bit hard on my fingers. I adjusted to make it closer to the fret board. Now after a week’s time when I played it this weekend, it wasn’t hard. Now I feel like how I missed using strings like this all these years, 5 years or so. Now every single string tone is very clear and sound like a much expensive guitar now, Thanks Mark, Ben, Raymond and Gunnar?? and everyone else for your advice!

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With so much going on (state takes away my time indirectly), it is a stressful thing to do taxes when it is not straightforward and when expenses to include… This Friday state was asking me to do it. I have asked for more time.

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I don’t believe it’s the same one. They probably would have told us if it was

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J.W., I’d say that a lithotripsy trumps doing taxes. You win!

I guess the procedure isn’t (normally) that bad, but kidney stones trump most things by themselves. You doubly win!

Glad you are doing better and I am glad that is behind you. It is disconcerting to see those colors come from your own body :flushed:

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