Changes don’t always happen quickly; normally it’s a slow progress from one state to another. Before today I had no appreciation for the great sounds that can come from a well-tuned banjo. I’ve long loved the part they play in the bluegrass music ensemble, but the instruments pretty much sounded the same to me. My interest had been in the guitar players who also sing. Think Doc Watson.
My thoughtful wife called me last Friday to ask if I had heard of the Country Gentlemen and if I needed more photos of Dick Smith. I answered yes to both questions. She’d read that he was going to be conducting a banjo setup clinic at Picker’s Supply in Fredericksburg, VA. My hometown. With my kitchen pass and a few cameras I bundled up for the 15 minute drive to their Caroline Street address. Today being the first snow of the year, the atmosphere outside in the streets was quaint but the parking was scarce. I circled the block once and landed an uphill parking spot. This meant an easy walk to the shop, but a cold uphill climb later . . . . Read More