Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

So I was talking with Ricky Skaggs & Russ Carson last night and

I went to see Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder last night at the Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsdale, Florida. Wow, what a fantastic show. These guys were on fire, they’re just there with smiles on their faces and laughing, having a great time and just letting us in on their good time. I just love an all acoustic show and this band is so stinking talented. I honestly believe that you’ll find the best musicians in the world in bluegrass bands like KT and AKUS and the like.

I hung out a little after the show and got to talking with Dennis Parker and he noticed my BanjoBen hat and gave me a hug. He asked if I play banjo and when I answered yes, he asked if was in therapy. We talked about James Taylor and addiction and prison and Jesus, he sure has an interesting story. I chatted with Russ Carson on the stage for a few minutes too about his recent trip to Australia. I lived in Australia for a couple years some time ago so I was happy for him that he got to spend that time with his dad there. And we talked briefly about his recent flight with our favorite host/pilot @BanjoBen.

I noticed the line to see Ricky was down to the last few people so I went on over. I watched that man give each and every person his full attention, a selfie, an autograph, a conversation, a laugh, whatever they needed and as much time as they needed. Two ahead of me was a little girl about 10 or 11 with her mandolin, excited and nervous to meet Ricky and he had her come around the table with him for a pic and he signed her mando and with a shaky voice she told him what an inspiration he was to her and he was so sweet to her and he seemed so touched. The next guy was the house steel player with his banjo to be signed and Ricky was just as pleasant to him.

I was the very last person in line and I’m figuring this man probably just wants to get on the bus so I just told him I don’t need anything from him (I don’t even know how to do a selfie), I just told him I really appreciate what he does and congratulated him on his hall of fame induction and told him I think he is a real class act, which he is. I didn’t really have anything for him to sign except my hat, which when he saw it, exclaimed “Banjo Ben?, aw we love Ben”. So, he signed it and I thanked him and wished him safe travels and turned to head out and he scooted back in his chair a little and kicked his legs out like he wanted to stay awhile. He asked me where I came from and we talked a couple more minutes. It seemed like he actually likes spending time with fans. How 'bout that.


Great story @Maggie, Just goes to show that @BanjoBen 's Baseball Caps do more that just keep the sun out of your eyes. They open doors and get you autographs and chatting to banjo and mandolin hero’s.

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@Maggie, that is awesome. What great memories you will replay for a long time. Its so nice to hear that these “superstars” are so down to earth and genuine. I would love to see him play if he ever makes to the south Texas area. I am sure that little girl will be walking on cloud 9 for some time, who knows, maybe someday she will be the one signing the autographs and having her picture taken with some lucky fan. Thanks for sharing Maggie.

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What a great story @Maggie. Thanks for sharing that!

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Exactly right Tye, I was picturing that girl in 10 years as the next Sierra Hull. Just think think about all the artists a guy like that inspires, all the lives that are influenced. And you know, he was inspired and influenced by the likes of Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs. And think about his past and present band members and the opportunities they’ve had and the impact they’ve made on others.

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@Maggie and THAT’S how we all get inspired, by watching and listening to our “idols” and trying to copy their sound the best we can. I know I’ll never be like Earl Scruggs or any of the other banjo players that I admire greatly(yes you too @BanjoBen) but I hope that at least sometime before its time to go I can influence somebody to start or get better at banjo or any other instrument. I have co-workers say that they can never learn to play an instrument, and I tell them that I really didn’t start playing until just a few years ago. Youll never know if you can if you never start.


That was fun reading Maggie!
gave me the goosebum just by reading it.
i know how you feel. had a chans to see special consensus.
and after had a chat with Greg Cahill,took a photo and a sign. he was really down to earth and helpful giving me pointers how to train certain things. thats one thing i love with bluegrass. its not so big. atleast not here.
if it is a rock consert they run away after the show hiding. no chans to see you heroes there :slight_smile:


What a Thrill! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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Jealousy ignited. How do you have enough money to see Ricky Skaggs in the first place?!?! And the title of this thread sounds totally name droppy, in an “I’m trying to be casual about this, but inwardly I’m dancing on the rooftop singing cuz he actually talked to me!” kind of way.


Love this Story!

What a great story! That’s so cool!

That is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

$50 third row, hard to beat that. Sounding name droppy was the intent. I kinda blew it though by misspelling his name, that’s embarrassing, thanks for letting me know. I fixed it.


Cool story! And a lifetime experience.

Wow, great story! Thanks for sharing it and reminding us how class acts like these are made up of real people like you and us. Fun, fun, fun!

Ok, that price is incredible!

That’s hilarious :joy:

I have been advised by one of our wonderful moderators that a few of my comments were insensitive and I have retracted them, and apologize for all inconvenience and or embarrassment I may have caused, and will do my best to be polite in future. Back to your regular programing

For the record Gunnar (@Dragonslayer), I appreciated you noticing and calling my attention to especially that typo, I mean that’s not one I would like to let stand and you’ll notice I corrected it right away, so thanks buddy.

And honestly, @Archie I thought you were being intentionally silly with “your” instead you’re and “mistooks” and “cleaver”. I was gonna chime in too, I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

He gave you pointers? Well that’s pretty neat, I bet that was a treat. Yeah most of these guys are like that I think. At festivals and the like you can sometimes mingle with and even catch a pickup jam with some of these really talented people in parking lots, hotel hallways and lobbies, campsites, etc. You might even be lucky enough to play with the likes of Molly or Sierra or Bryan or Russ or Michael or Jake or Mo or Andy or maybe even Jim or Tim or Ricky or Dan or Pete or Bela or Chris or Noam or Sam… Maybe even Ben. Who knows who might run into?

Tuttle, Hull, Sutton, Carson, Cleveland, Workman, Pitney, ?, ?, O’Brien, Skaggs, ?, Rowan, Fleck, Thile, Pickelny, Bush, and finally Clark. Did I get enough right to have a passing grade?

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