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.