Hooked on Bluegrass

Rich Ferguson

I was in my mid-30's when it happened. From out of nowhere, my wife bought me a banjo for Christmas. I was very lucky that she got a 5 string banjo and a bluegrass lesson book. It was the only banjo in the music store that she went to. I must have said something to her that I liked banjos. I did not know bluegrass from dixieland. I thought that in 3 part harmony they were singing the same note.

I remember that Christmas because it was the first time that I had to work on Christmas day at the fire station. I took my new banjo with me to work and tried to play it on my lunch break. I immediately broke a string. Now what? I would have to find someone who could change the strings for me.

After playing about 6 months, I entered a banjo contest in SF that was put on by Lori Lewis. I took 3rd place in beginners (only because there were only 3 beginners entered). Right after that I started playing with some people at church. We started a band that we first called The Snake Pit Band. We later changed the name to Gospel Creek, and we are still playing today. I am now married to my bass player and we live in perfect harmony.

(posted 3/25/2008)

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