I’ve been playing musical instruments since I was four and played semi-professionally at the age of eight and full-time in my 20s. I learned the trombone, guitar, ukulele and piano as a child, played chromatic harmonica and then in my teens, started playing the mandolin, banjo and assorted strings.
I own a vast array of (primarily stringed) instruments and play all of them, although spend more time on the mandolin, banjo, dobro, mandola and lap steel. I’m in the process of buying a pedal steel guitar to add to my collection. At the same time, I am selling 18 of my instruments to make space!
I’m the editor of the world’s oldest magazine for fretted instrument players, BMG (which has been published on and off since 1903) and contribute articles, music and a regular column on bluegrass banjo playing to it each quarter. I play in a band called Coast, which has just released an album ‘After All This Time’. The band originally formed in 1973 under a different name, split up in 1977 and reformed in 2014, hence the not-quite-tongue-in-cheek album title! We are Cheshire-based and play gigs in the Wirral and in the Altrincham area.
For a while, in the 1980s, I published individual titles for the 5-string banjo under the imprint ‘Fifth String Publications’ and gave up after arranging my 800th tune. We publish some of these tunes in BMG.
I have played in many different bands in both the UK and in Paris, and played pretty much every style, including classical, swing, bluegrass, bebop, folk, country and Americana.
I look forward to joining in discussions on this site.