08 September 2022

Visiting US pickers, Sept. 2022-Jan. 2023

Mark Epstein (right) plays banjo and sings in the high-energy traditional bluegrass band Badly Bent, based in Durango, CO. Mark is visiting Ireland later this month, primarily for a golf trip; but being a picker, he is also hoping to find and join any open jams here. He arrives in Belfast on Sunday 25 September, and will be travelling around from there. If your jam has a spare chair for a banjo-player, Mark can be contacted by e-mail.
Hank Smith (left), whose videos of banjo advice and instruction on the Deering Live channel have often been mentioned on the BIB, is co-leader, with Pattie Hopkins, of the progressive bluegrass band Hank, Pattie & the Current, and since 2017 has been lecturer in banjo at the University of North Carolina. He is also a friend of Dublin's own Paddy Kiernan.

Thanks to Hank for the news that he and Billie Feather (the Current's guitarist, who is also an educator) will be travelling as a duo to Ireland at the end of this year, and will be in Dublin from 29 Dec. to 7 Jan. As the Current's YouTube channel and Spotify playlist show, they are masters of a variety of genres as well as bluegrass - folk, jazz, classical, etc. Hank and Billie hope to learn of any gig or workshop opportunities in the Dublin area in that time frame. Hank can be contacted by e-mail.

Update 10 Sept.: Hank demonstrates the Deering Goodtime Blackgrass banjo (and his impressive command of the instrument) in a two-minute video of 'Dear old Dixie' on the Deering YouTube channel.

© Richard Hawkins

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