Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Who have you Met that has influenced you?

Well of course my wife there, but I first met Tony Rice in 1999. I was working at a Ford Dealership as a drivetrain master tech and a Repair order came my way for a 99 mustang with 3rd gear grinding. Well I fixed the car and met my customer David Rice and didn’t think much of it. We became good friends and I did several repairs for different things. Several months went by and I happened in a music store and saw a bluegrass unlimited magazine that had a familiar pic on the cover. I said to the store clerk “I know that guy. I work on his car”. The man replied " That’s Tony Rice"… Ding Ding Ding. Knock me over with a feather. We`ve been best friends ever since. Shared many stories on the road together. As you can tell he was my Best Man and the only time he has ever done so. His music has had a profound impact on me to strive to find my OWN musical identity…


Many over the years, but some stand out to me more than others.
Have met & talked with where we both performed.
Don Parmley
J. D. Crowe
Jimmy Martin
Bobby Osborne

Had the pleasure to pick with
Dana Cupp
Mike Lilly
Doc Watson
David Grier
Bobby Hicks
Vassar Clements
Roy Husky Jr.
Ricky Skaggs
Audy Blaylock
Mike Cleveland

All have influenced my music or outlook in one way or another


In Person, Mark Barnett of Craig Duncan and friends, Greg Cahill of Special Consensus

But the teachers that have influenced me the most online and on DVD are Murphy Henry, Geoff Hohwald, Bill Evans and I mustn’t forget Banjo Ben Clark

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Maybe not what the intent of the question was… but maybe.

When I was like 10, my buddy who lived across the street from me (his name was Billy, no kidding) had babysitter watch him for a couple nights. Well the babysitter was just as stereotypical as my friend’s name, and she had her boyfriend over the entire time. Well, her boyfriend came over with a Marshall 4x12 cabinet and some pointy guitar. I remember him totally shredding. That sparked the fire for me to learn guitar. It wasn’t long after I begged Mom until I had a rented electric guitar and was taking lessons - the guitar and lessons were some package deal from the Music & Arts Center…

Whoever that kid was, he is almost solely responsible for bringing me 35 years of joy…


cool story Bredfan

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Junior Johnson and Doyle Dykes…that’s it…Not many famous people in upstate NY where I lived most of my life.

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Though Billy Martin crashed his car and died just a few miles from where I lived.

And some world famous psycho babble behaviorist name B.F. Skinner grew up in my home town of Susquehanna, PA.

@Triplett The coolest story EVER! Wow!

One of my biggest influences was when I spent some time with Matt McPherson, inventor and businessman, owner of many companies including McPherson Guitars and Mathews Archery. His selflessness and care for his employees and customers greatly impacted the way I approached doing biz.


Thank you Ben, Banjo dojo Master…

Wow, @fiddle_wood, I think a more appropriate question would be, who haven’t you met and jammed with? :joy:

haha…well, I have a few years on me…and I performed a lot when I was younger and got some great meet people back stage at festivals…

Many of my ex band members and friends have gone on the road playing for the big dogs… and I’ve met folks through them as well.