“I’m going to play this song because your fuzzy microphone cover reminds me of a rabbit,” Ben Shirley told me as he warmed up. After a moment, he added, “It was on the Three Pickers record, so this can be a tribute to Doc and Earl passing this year.”
I first met “Banjo Ben” Shirley last year, when he came through town with Abby “The Spoon Lady” Roach on their never-ending busking tour. Strangely, even though I’ve seen the video from that recording session, I didn’t immediately recognize him. (Even more surprising is that I’d written about him only that morning when I posted the HD video of their performance.) But once I made the connection, I couldn’t have been happier to see him perform again.
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Shirley is, as should be obvious from the video, an outstanding picker. With all the attention Abby got from the 2011 video, I always felt that his playing was a little overlooked. And not knowing anything about him, and having not seen him perform since last year, I was starting to suspect I’d missed a great opportunity by not recording him solo. Thankfully, I had the chance to fix that situation last week. Check it out.
One thought on “Banjo Ben Shirley performs “Feast Here Tonight””
Dude can flat pick and hammer….sweetness
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