What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
Maybe Saturday evening music shows during the 60’s are what first intrigued me. I think I have just always wanted to play banjo. Life circumstances just never allowed this to happen. I was allowed to be in my school band from the 6th grade until 9th as long as it was during regular school times. During this time I played the trombone and learned to read and understand music, but all I really wanted was to play strings. I have picked around on the guitar over the years, but very minimally.
How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
My life took a drastic turn in 2008. I was involved in a work accident and it nearly cost me my life. I was unable to work and spent the next 4 plus years with constant doctor appointments and 3 times per week in extensive physical therapy sessions. Through God’s grace, by the beginning of 2013 I had improved enough that I could get around on my own. Through all this I had become extremely restless, you can only watch so much TV and I don’t do well with idle hands.
I decided that I wanted to seriously start learning to play banjo. I think a lot before I act, and the store banjos that I had picked around on just didn’t give me what I wanted in sound, playability, etc. With this I searched for good used higher end banjos but just couldn’t find what I was needing.
While researching I found Bishline Banjos in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I planed and designed my own instrument to have Rob Bishline build for me. He got it built and I started serious picking and learning in February 2014.
I know this will sound biased, but it’s the best instrument I could have ever found. Just having this custom banjo by itself has helped me be a better player, faster. I can’t say enough about her. Oh, by the way her name is “Jaclyn” and my wife calls her my Hussy. I guess because I spend so much time with her. LOL
What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lesson of Ben’s has been O Holy Night. It was probably to advanced for me at the time, but Ben’s arrangement is just so beautiful. I just had to learn it. It really pushed my limits but has been amazing how much that one song has taught me, with finger placement being my best advancement. I practiced it for nearly 5 months and played it for our church Christmas special in 2016. It went very well and I found out it was my pastor favorite, after service.
What’s your goal when playing?
I have gone at learning with gusto. My goal has been to try to cram 30 years of lost time into 5, and I have done a pretty good job of it. I want to be able to improvise with ease better while jamming. Especially when playing with people whom I have not played before, and not knowing the songs.
Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I like all kinds of music, but I would have to say that bluegrass gospel is my favorite. I try to play songs at church that have different arrangements, that don’t sound like hymns. Ben’s arrangements have just been wonderful. Thanks Ben!!
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep I know that I’d utilize that time very wisely. Time just gets away from us all and I don’t want to waste a second of it.
How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I don’t know how long I have been a Gold Pick Member, you would have to check that for me. I did use it for over a year before I joined. I used my friends when I visited him but that ended up not being enough. So I signed up for myself. Great Decision.
What do you do for a living?
I own my own business. I have a dump truck and haul building materials for construction sites, I love it.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
My best adventures are packing in the mountains with my mules and my best friend Rickey. Brisk nights picking music around a campfire can’t be beat. It’s heaven on earth.