Maryland Banjo Academy 2002

What a great weekend! I just returned from Maryland Banjo Academy, and if you were there you probably feel the same as I do. If you didn't attend, you missed a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from such legends as Pat Cloud, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, Eddie Collins, Tom Hanway, Mark Johnson, Ken Perlman, Brad Leftwich, John Herrman, Debbie McClatchy, George Wunderlich, and more. Add to that the mini-concerts, jam sessions, and socializing, and you have all the ingredients for a banjo player's dream event.

As usual, Turtle Hill Banjo Co. had a vendor's booth. I managed to fit nineteen banjos and cases in my two-door Buick (this could be a world record), so I had a variety of instruments on display. For me, the most enjoyable part of the weekend was meeting so many people who share my love of banjos.

Those attendees who came by my booth Friday afternoon had an unexpected treat. Keith Arneson and Wayne Taylor, banjo and guitar player respectively in the Navy's Country Current bluegrass band, were sitting there just enjoying themselves and playing music that ranged from traditional bluegrass to original material. Keith is an absolutely incredible banjo player (but if you were there you already know that). You can read about Keith and Wayne's newly released CD in the
CD Review section of my web site. Do your ears a favor and order a copy.

I'm already looking forward to the next MBA. If you haven't been, you owe it to yourself to go. You won't regret it!

Ome Banjos founder Chuck Ogsbury at his booth.

Dick Smith (formerly the banjo player with the Country Gentlemen) on guitar and Fred Geiger on banjo. Wow! where'd Fred get that shirt?!?!

Um, why is that person wearing a Stelling jacket and looking at minstrel banjos in George Wunderlich's booth? The mystery man is Ned Luberecki. Ned told us "I was wearing the Stelling jacket because it was cold on that Sunday morning (40 degrees or so). The reason for looking at George's minstrel banjo: They're too cool for words to describe!"

Is Ray Hesson always this happy?

Part of the Turtle Hill Banjo Co. booth
at MBA 2002

Mrs. Lo Gordon with her fiddle (yes, other instruments were allowed at MBA)

Keith Arneson, of the U.S. Navy's Country Current band. He and Wayne Taylor played for almost two hours in the vendor area. What a treat!

Tom Nechville, owner of Nechville Banjo Company, working on a banjo. You should've seen him scooping out a fingerboard!

Smile Mike Ramsey! You're on Candid Camera.  

Who ARE these guys? Actually, they're George Wunderlich and Dr. Frank "Buddy" McCutcheon.


Mark Johnson, of Clawgrass fame, trying a Nechville.


Rik Barron came all the way from Canada.

Spencer Nitchie, wondering "what have I gotten myself into?"

Tom Hanway

Ken Perlman and John Herrman taking a break from classes.

Wayne Taylor, of the Navy's Country Current band, during an impromptu jam session.



This banjo head was autographed by
nearly 40 performers and builders.

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