Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Who to listen to?

Hello to everyone from a new member in England !! I have just joined the site after buyin a banjo and have found Bens videos and tabs really helpful. I managed to earn a living playing guitar for ten years (although I only remember about four of them) but that was back in the ninties when it was tough to earn money playin and electronic instruments were taking over !! I put my guitar down for the following sixteenish years while turning my attention to family. Now at the age of 47 I am trying to do something I always wanted to which is learning some bluegrass banjo. I am from Birmingham / Black Country… the land of Led Zep & Black Sabbath !!! There aint much bluegrass goin on around here (that i’m aware of). Can anyone suggest bands/groups that have recorded foottappin, stonkin hi-tempo bluegrass stuff… but have fiddle and banjer and geet …and bass player? and or a drummer ?? I appreciate I may be askin for something strange and non traditional… maybe frowned upon by some… but if I ever hear some hot pickin stuff thats driven on by a big bottom end its just the ultimate music for me … am I making any sense ??? Maybe its new unheard of artists with new hi-tec recordings that i’m after but if anyone can suggest some good listening material for me that would be sooo appreciated.
Many thanks :slight_smile:

Hi rossi welcome to the forum, there is a bluegrass picking session fortnightly at the “old moseley arms” tindal st birmingham. this would be a good place for you to sit in and meet like minded bluegrassers (like me!! i live in solihull).
as for who to listen to, well we are so lucky these days with “you tube” perhaps a search for “the seldom scene” the country gentlemen" “earl scruggs and lester flatt” alison krauss and union station" “doyle lawson” and our own banjo ben and his sisters “the purple hulls” there are soooo many great bands but i think the bands i have mentioned will give you a broad grounding of what bluegrass is all about ( i’m sure others will offer their opinions ) so, once again welcome to the forum.
if you need any info on the uk bluegrass scene just let me know.


The Boxcars
Newfound road
The Grascals
Jimmy Martin
Audie Blaylock
Mike Cleaveland
Clare Lynch
Clay Hess
Clay Jones
Dan Tyminsky
Infamous Stringdusters
JD Crowe
Jim Mills
Jim Van Cleve
Larry Cordle
Lonesome river Band
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Ronnie Bowman
Grisman qaurtet or quintet
Shawn Lane
Special Consensus
The Steeldrivers
Terry Baucom

to name a few, are all good choices for acoustic performance.

Have fun!


Thanks for the replies … didnt know what was happenin just down the road !!! :astonished: Would love to know whats at the Old Moseley Arms …whos playin and when… (dont think i can PM)… I grew up in Erdington but am now out past Stourbridge so City is a bit of a trek but would like to come and see the pickin !
Thanks Fiddlewood for the list… have started workin my way through it… Thanks both for your help… if anyone else has suggestions… :smiley:

You have a bunch of great suggestions. As far as represented banjo players, I didn’t see Bela Fleck (Flecktones or Newgrass revival). He’s not strictly traditional, but he’s very talented.

hi rossi, check out there, you’ll find picking sessions etc in your area, also forthcoming festivals. also, if you already play guitar, you might want to check out Bens guitar rhythm guitar tutorials, you will be able to get involved much quicker with your guitar,whilst learning the banjo. check out “dave hum” on you tube. a sensational british banjo player. look out for some discounted camping gear!! your gonna need it for next years festivals!!!. dont worry about being 47 and learning banjo, your guitar background will help no end. i’m 59 just learning guitar!!!


I’ll second checking out Mr. Hum, excellent picker!

I’ll third that Mr. Hum, and Yes, Steel Drivers! Also for something very different, check out “Who’s Feeling Young Now” by the Punch Brothers. They also can pick more traditional style; check out their pickin’ on “Brakeman’s Blues.” And make sure to add Don Reno banjo picker list. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the scaling done by Country Current’s banjo player. Lastly, tune into the Bluegrass Mix online radio station to hear all sorts of bluegrass.