First was guitar, hearing a recording of Black Mountain Rag by Doc! I worked it up to a fast tempo but slanted my pick so badly that I could only move down the strings with a downstroke. I remember my mom watching me play it and telling me it “couldn’t possibly be right.” Well, she was right…
I’ve been in music for over 30 years now, but playing guitar for about 20 years, banjo for 18, and mandolin for 16ish. My motivation to play is to get better and learn how to play stuff I want to teach.
It’d have to be Banjo Billy, I reckon. That is my true alter ego. I think the reason may be that Billy doesn’t care what others think about him, and deep down, I wish that were the case for me as well.
One of my favorites to go back and listen to is “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” I think I did some of my most tasty work there, by the grace of God.
My goal when playing is to see how far I’ve regressed that week. KIDDING! (kind of.) I really do just love to have fun playing. I don’t get that much anymore. I was out at @Jake’s this week and we had a chance to just simply pick and I had fun.
I go back and forth between guitar and banjo, but seem to get stuck on mandolin in a group setting.
There was an old man around my parts named Mitch Key, kind of the Clayton Delaney in the Tom T. song. He greatly inspired me and built my first real banjo, the Phantom. It was JD Crowe that I first saw, however, and he even taught me some basics:
TONS and TONS on YouTube, but in person, I’ve learned from about every picker I’ve jammed with. I usually learn something from everyone, regardless of their “skill” level.
This is perhaps the toughest question of the bunch, @Archie! More than places, I love people. I really do. But if I had to name a place, it would be the rainforests in South America. I had an opportunity to spend a couple weeks in the Suriname Amazon bush with a local tribe called the Aukan people. We spear fished for piranhas and paddled deep into the forests, shared a campfire under the incredible Amazon sky, and developed a deep connection. I can’t wait to go back, Lord willing!
Hands down, flying airplanes, and doing stuff like this with my little girls:
I also love bowhunting.
I teach people to play banjo, mandolin, and guitar here on the site! I would say that I sell instruments too, but I haven’t made a cent yet! Hahaha. Jake told me a good one this week: How do you make a million dollars in our business? Start out with TWO million!
Love all y’all!