Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy
Seventh Annual
SMOKY MOUNTAIN BANJO ACADEMY

SMBA 2012 May 4th-6th at Wa-Floy Mountain Retreat near Gatlinburg, Tennessee


sponsored by:

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO SEE PHOTOS FROM PREVIOUS SMBAs.

  • Beginner to Advanced classes will be taught by experienced professionals, including bluegrass, classical, minstrel, jazz, and various old-time styles. The teacher-student ratio is excellent...often there were are few as three or four students with a top pro, teaching what is practically a private lesson. Every three-day camper also gets their choice of instructors for a one-on-one private lesson.

  • R.B and Bridget Powell from Lewiston, PA are long time supporters and attendees of SMBA. They have generously offered to fund a scholarship for a deserving young person who would not otherwise be able to attend. For more information, contact Director Jack Hatfield by phone or email.

  • Many students and faculty arrive Thursday night to get acquainted.There will be a cookout and jamming, and the students just hang out with the faculty . The student banjo contest Friday evening will feature a Gold Tone TB-100 Travel banjo as first prize. Other prizes include custom straps and leather items by Dave Schenck of Dogwood Designs and Mel Bay instructional products.

  • The concert Saturday night will feature a nice balance of old time, bluegrass, minstrel and maybe even a touch of classical and jazz music. The staff band, Jackie and Cindy Miller and John Miller, will be back . They drew much praise from the audience in years past,and the faculty commented that they were pleasantly surprised at their high level of professionalism and musicanship.

  • Sunday morning R.B. and Bridget Powell will moderat a gospel jam, and their other slow jams throughout the weekend. Sunday morning we will also have an onstage student jam, allowing everybody to perform through the PA system. R.B and bridget have generously offered to fund a scholarship for a deserving young person who would not otherwise be able to attend. for more information, contact Director Jack Hatfield by email.

  • SMBA will continue the tradition of authentic delicious Southern home cooking.The food last time was delicious, scoring an average of "10"out of a possible "10" on the exit surveys. EVERYTHING was made from scratch, even items many fine restaurants get pre-made or frozen, such as buttermilk biscuits and potato salad. Breakfast included omelets made to order!

  • Sister Jane Hatfield will again run the camp store and keep the camp office running like a finely-tuned banjo, and keep Jack on schedule for his classes (?).
  • Assistant Camp Director Betsy Burgin will assist Jack and again organize the faculty concert and as always, work behind the scenes keeping faculty on schedule and directing traffic, making sure everybody is where they are supposed to be. She will also deal with the countless annoying little problems that come up, from maintenance and repair issues with the facility to making photocopies of handouts for the faculty to solving room assignment issues to finding jack's reading glasses. Many campers have commented on how smoothy things run in general, and Betsy can be thanked for this.

    FRIDAY

    8:00AM: Registration

    9:00AM: Orientation

    9:30 History of the Banjo Presentation: Marc Smith and Dave Ball

    10:15 Classes begin

    12:30 Lunch

    1:30 PM Classes resume

    6:00 Dinner

    7:00 Student Banjo Contest

    8:00 Free time, Jamming

    SATURDAY

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    . 7:00 AM Breakfast

    8:00 AM Classes begin

    12:45 Lunch

    1:30 Group Photo

    2:00 PM Classes resume

    6:30 PM Dinner

    8:00 PM Faculty Concert

    11:00 Free time, Jamming

    SUNDAY

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    . 7:00 AM Breakfast

    8:00 AM Gospel jam, Classes begin

    9:00 Student onstage jam

    12:30 Lunch

    1:30 PM Classes resume

    4:30 PM Classes end, Farewell Jam

    CLICK HERE FOR SMBA 2012 REGISTRATION FORM

    The 2012 schedule is posted below. This is the latest update as of 10:00 Friday. Check posted schedule in the hallway and copies handed out onsite, as changes are always possible

    CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOAD of SMBA 2012 CLASS SCHEDULE

    Check out the SMBA 2012 T-Shirt images! These are printed in three color on 100 percent cotton heavyweight safety yellow shirts.The hand image will is on the front and the SMBA logo is on the back.See anything "funny" about the front image? it was Saturday afternoon before one of the students noticed. These shirts are available for sale on the Hatfield Music website.

    Help us promote the camp! Take flyers to concerts, bluegrass association meetings, banjo teachers, music stores and jam sessions. Put a couple in your banjo case and hand out to other banjo players, invite them to attend!

    Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy & Nechville Musical Products Announce Special Banjo Auction

    Nechville Musical products as major sponsor, this year will offer a very special Nechville banjo for auction. A Nechville Classic Flex-Tone will be offered up to the highest bidder. This instrument has the Nechville neck connection for easy adjustment attached to a conventional pot via the Flux Capacitor. A curly maple radiused neck with Diamond Wing inlay offers easy playability and adjustment. The neck and resonator are bound with and antique white band. The pot holds a Pro bronze tone find and three ply maple rim that is mounted in a prewar flathead style one piece flange conventional body. Double concentric purfling rings give the resonator a sharp, nicely appointed look. A Nechville inline tailpiece, Enterprise bridge and comfort beveled armrest give the banjo a sharp look and a clear, rich sound. Hard shell case is included. This banjo's retail value is $3500. Bids may be submitted to Jack Hatfield in writing 325 Laurelwood Dr. Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, by email jack@hatfieldmusic.com or by calling 865-428-8744. Bidding starts at $2000. and will close on Saturday May 5, at 6 o'clock Eastern Daylight Time.

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    . SMBA 2012 Sponsor Goldtone Banjos this year will offer a CC-50 travel banjo as first prize in the banjo competition Friday night. This banjo features a 32" scale, with resonater, planetary tuners and gig bag. Retail value of this instrument is $398.00. Second prize will be a Dogwood Designs custom strap, and third prize will be an assortment of Mel Bay banjo instruction books. The contest will be judged by faculty members, National Banjo Champion James McKinney presiding as head judge. Scoring will use the same system and evaluation criteria as the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas. The contest is open only to registered overnight SMBA students.

    Other door prizes and trivia quiz prizes donated by Gold Tone, Mel Bay Publications, Dogwood Designs and Hatfield Music will be awarded throughout the weekend.

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    2012 SMBA faculty:

    Kristin Scott-Benson, Dave Ball, Greg Cahill, Gary Davis, Wayne Erbsen, Jack Hatfield, James McKinney, Ross Nickerson, Tom Nechville, Marc Smith, Don Wayne Reno, Jason Skinner, Sonny Smith, Leroy Troy!

    Kristin Scott-Benson will be on site Friday and Sunday. She performs with The Grascals, , Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year. Kristin is the reigning, four-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year. As a member of The Grascals, she has made an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry. Kristin grew up in South Carolina, surrounded by a musical family. She started playing mandolin and stepped on stage for the first time at the age of five. After receiving a much-anticipated banjo for Christmas when she was thirteen, Kristin became enthralled with the instrument and spent her teen years studying the playing of all the banjo greats from Earl Scruggs to Bela Fleck. After high school, she attended Nashville’s esteemed Belmont University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in Music Business. Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players on the scene, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers. Many attribute her as one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band: “There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.” Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010 She is featured on the four latest Grascals albums, including the most recent release, Life Finds a Way. Grascals and Friends, available exclusively at Cracker Barrel, includes collaborations with many of today’s top country artists, such as Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, and others. Her latest solo release, Second Season, features eight instrumentals (half of them originals) and four vocal performances. The album showcases her powerful banjo playing, while still appealing to fans that aren't motivated solely by instrumental prowess. The project received stellar reviews and features some of bluegrass’ brightest musicians. Copies can be purchased at www.musicshed.com. Kristin plays a 2010 Sonny Osborne Chief banjo and a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings, Takamine guitars, Doc Fossey Guitars, Fishman pickups and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo. After 13 years in Nashville, Kristin relocated back to the Carolinas in 2007, along with her husband, Wayne, and young son, Hogan.

    Kristin's teaching resume includes: Sonny Osborne NashCamp, Banjo Camp – Nashville, TN, Fiddle Star Band Camp – Nashville, TN, East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, TN - Adjunct Faculty, British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop – Sorrento, British Columbia, Wabash River Bluegrass Camp – Grayville, IL, Bear on the Square Music Camp – Dahlonega, GA, Fiddle Fest Music Camp – Roanoke, VA, International Bluegrass Music Association Mentor. Plus, Innumerable workshops at premier festivals and events, in the US, Canada and EuropePrivate. She also teaches private lessons in Banjo, Guitar, and Mandolin.

    . Dave Ball is a fine old time, brush and minstrel style banjo player. He is also a builder of fine banjos, with their roots mainly in the fine classic era banjo of the late 1800s. He plays for "The Mumbillies", a well known group in the East Tennessee area. Dave has a collection of old banjos that is so special the world's largest banjo exhibit "The Banjo - From Africa to America and Beyond" asked him to loan them several instruments. This exhibit was held in 2009 at McClung Museum in Knoxville. Dave started playing banjo in 1970, when he took up three finger Scruggs style playing. Dave's grandfather and father both played in western Kentucky stringbands, so he had been around this kind of music his entire life. By the late 1970's, Dave was playing banjo seven nights a week in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and it was also about this time that he took up old time clawhammer style playing. Since those days, Dave has won many banjo competitions including multiple first place honors at the prestegious Mt. Airy North Carolina festival and was National Champion Old-Time Banjoist in 2001. Dave is also an accomplished banjo maker, specializing in fancy high-end custom openback and internal resonator banjos. Dave will perform concerts and talk about banjo history and building and teach old time and minstrel style classes.

    . Greg Cahill has been playing bluegrass banjo since the early 1970s. Greg co-founded The Special Consensus bluegrass band in Chicago in 1975 and has continued to tour nationally and internationally with the band since the late 1970s. In 1984, he created the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program to introduce students of all ages to bluegrass music. He has appeared on all 15 of The Special Consensus recordings, on numerous recordings by other artists and on many national television and radio commercial jingles. Greg has also released three recordings: "Lone Star" (1980, with guests Jethro Burns and Byron Berline); "Blue Skies" (1992, with Chicago mandolinist Don Stiernberg); and "Night Skies" (1998, with Don Stiernberg and guests Sam Bush, Glen Duncan and Tom Boyd). He has also recorded and toured European countries with the ChowDogs (Slavek Hanzlik, Dallas Wayne and Ollie O'Shea). In addition to conducting workshops at festivals, teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and teaching banjo at music camps nationally and internationally, Greg has released four banjo instructional DVDs. He served on the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Board of Directors from 1998-2010 (Board Chair/President 2006-2010) and was elected President of the Nashville-based Foundation for Bluegrass Music in 2011. .

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    . Gary Davis is the ONLY three-time National Banjo Champion having won Winfield in 1986, 1987 and 2002, and owns dozens of state and regional titles as well. Gary is a dedicated banjo teacher, very patient with children and slow learners. He performed for fifteen years at Dollywood, playing wioth Dolly Parton's kinfolks. Being adept at both contemporary country on electric guitar and a banjo whiz, he is one of the most in-demand studio session men in East Tennessee. Recently was band leader and banjo player for Dolly Parton on her bluegrass album "Halos & Horns". he toured with Dolly for a year to promote that album. Biscuit is fluent in many music styles, from bluegrass to swing to jazz. As mentioned, he is also an awesome lead guitar player, bluegrass or country or jazz, and brings many lead guitar techniques to his banjo style. He currently works at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner attraction in Pigeon Forge, is in constant demand in the studio, and somehow finds time to operate his recently opened music store, Biscuit's Music Barn in Pigeon Forge.

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    Wayne Erbsenis a master of a number of styles of music including old-time, bluegrass, folk, Appalachian, cowboy, pioneer, railroad, gospel and music of the Civil War. As a solo performer living in Asheville, North Carolina, he plays clawhammer and bluegrass banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar. His repertoire is over one thousand songs. A typical program would include songs, stories, history and humor mixed with hot instrumentals. Wayne can design an educational musical program perfectly suited to the occasion and the audience.

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    Jack Hatfield has been a writer for Banjo Newsletter for over 3 years and has written several acclaimed banjo instruction books published by his own company, and five banjo instuction books published by Mel Bay Publications. the largest publisher of stringed instrument music in the world. Jack was a finalist in the Tennessee Banjo Championship and the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas and has worked at several Pigeon Forge Theatres and attractions including Dollywood theme park and Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. Jack has taught banjo workshops all over the USA and in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Canada. He is scheduled to teach in Alberta Canada, and Hamburg, Germany later in 2010.He was Bluegrass Director for all three of Banjo Newsletter's Maryland Banjo academys and has directed the BNL/ SPBGMA workshop in Nashville for fourteen years which has featured names like Richard Bailey, Ron Block, Bela Fleck, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, Sammy Shelor, Terry Baucom, Scott Vestal, Eddie Adcock, Bill Evans, Doug Dillard, Steve Huber, Curtis McPeake, James McKinney, Wayne Erbsen, Sonny Osborne, J.D.Crowe, Pete Wernick, Geoff Stelling, Gary Price, Tony Wray, Tom Nechville, Charlie Cushing and Frank Neat. Banjo Newsletter contributors featured at SPBGMA have included: Janet Davis, Ian Perry, Ira Gitlin, Murphy Henry, Eddie Collins, Ross Nickerson and Andy Cushing. Jack was on the faculty of the very FIRST banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Institute at Cedars of Lebanon state park near Nashville in 1988. He was Bluegrass Director for all three of BNL's Maryland Banjo Academys. The SMBA is now going into its seventh year. Jack is owner/operator of Hatfield Music, providing everything the banjo player needs from instructional materials to banjos to accessories. Jack was featured in Banjo Newsletter, July 2001.

    . James McKinney(onsite Fri-Sun) is an amazing banjo player, one of the most technically precise and advanced players anywhere. James McKinney is a true Master of the 5-string banjo. One of the most advanced players anywhere and a Scruggs and Reno style expert, James is also considered a leading expert in jazz and theory in the banjo world, having been mentored by renowned jazz educator, David Baker, and Mr. Henry Ferrel (teacher of Chet Atkins and Jethro Burns). In his early days James played often with legends such as Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements, and John Hartford. James won the South U.S. Banjo Championship at age 15 and in 1982 he won the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas, as well as first-place in dozens of state and regional championships. He made the first of several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, The Porter Wagoner Show, and the stages of Opryland at age 19 as part "Smoky Mountain Sunshine" combining his talents as a banjoist with those of musical arranger. In the 1980's he lived in Dallas and recorded and toured with his band "Danger in the Air" and later moved to Nashville to do full-time touring and studio work. James spent many years as a popular studio musician in Nashville and performed/recorded with the likes of Porter Wagoner, Barbara Mandrell, John Hartford, and Johnny Cash in addition to a long and close friendship and professional relationship with legendary fiddler ,Vassar Clements, with whom he toured and performed as "The Vassar Clements Band". James has recorded on many projects and taught at many major banjo camps including SPGBMA workshops and other Master workshops all over the USA and in Australia. Today, James lives in Atlanta, GA and has launched a new acoustic group called, "The Night Travelers", together with bassist Niki Portmann. They currently tour and play in the southeast region and are soon to release their first CD project, "Campfire".

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    Tom Nechville, of Nechville Musical Products, (onsite Fri-Sun) has been in business since 1989, manufacturing professional banjos and related accessories for the booming acoustic and electric string instrument market. He has gained a respected reputation among the nation's top builders as being a leader in innovation and design. His company owns patents on Nechville's unique Heli-mount banjo design and it has been enthusiastically accepted by the world's top players such as Bela Fleck and Alison Brown.

    Nechville Musical Products is always innovating to meet the changing needs of modern musicians. Replacing more than seventy parts of a traditional banjo, the Nechville Heli-Mount body tightens together much like a jar on a lid; greatly reducing the assembly time and improving the banjo's sound.

    Tom has spent years in development and in consultation with the world's top players researching and finding ways to meet the needs of professionals. His experience has led to the refinement of the electric banjo, which has re-directed a new world-wide spotlight on the banjo. Nechville instruments have appeared on MTV, the Olympics opening ceremonies, CMA Awards show, numerous cable and Direct TV specials and in major live Country, Rock, Jazz and Bluegrass concerts around the planet.

    Tom has worked with Alison Brown, Bela Fleck, Eddie Adcock, and others in development of his designs, and currently provides instruments for many of the world's top country, bluegrass, and jazz performers. Learn what's wrong with most banjos and see how Nechville has designed solutions to nearly every banjo problem. His patented designs such as the elegant helical head tensioning Helimount, adjustable neck attachment, beveled armrest, built-in capos, and compensated Enterprise bridges are stirring up the banjo world. Nechville is leading the "Banjo Revolution" into new territory with his unique designs for the electric and synthesizer banjos as well. Tom will have several instruments on display and will cover things like the benefits of radiused fingerboards, tunneled 5th strings, in-line tailpieces, and compensated bridges. Owners of traditional banjos as well as anyone interested in banjo will benefit from Nechville's set-up tips and theories for optimum banjo sound. In adition to teaching banjo setup/repair and theory, he will be displaying his full line of banjos. His book Dynamics of Banjo Sound will also be available.

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    . Ross Nickerson (onsite Fri-Sun) is a gifted musician who has performed all over the world and made his home for several years in shows in Nevada casinos with the stars. He has taught private lessons and group workshops alike, including the SPBGMA/BNL workshop in Nashville. Ross started publishing banjo instruction books in the 1990's and has several Mel Bay titles and at least a dozen self-published books to his credit. Since 2001 he has conducted online lessons and sells his instructional DVD's, books and banjo accessories from his website Banjoteacher.com. He also conducts an annual Banjo Cruisewhere he teaches classes for a week while cruising the Carribean. Ross appeared at the 2006 SMBA and was a huge hit with students, the staff band and other faculty.

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    . Marc Smith (onsite Fri-Sun) is a fine eclectic banjo player whose interests run the gamut of banjo history from the minstrel era to bluegrass. He plays old time, classical, brush style and minstrel style on authentic period instruments, as well as some fine bluegrass. Marc will perform a mini-concert, talk about banjo history and teach introductory classes in all these various styles. Marc has been playing the 5-string banjo since 1979 and teaching informally since the late 1990’s. Initially playing Scruggs-style, he quickly branched out into Clawhammer and Irish Tenor styles. A Banjo Newsletter reprint of “Spanish Fandango” from 1877 sparked an interest in historical banjo styles and attending the Tennessee Banjo Institute in 1992 fanned that spark into a flame. Since then, he has collected and studied banjos and banjo sheet-music from the 1850’s thru the 1920’s, learning the specific styles needed to play the music with historical accuracy and a feel for the period. Marc’s collection of 19th cent. Banjo sheet music is getting close to 1000 individual pieces with more being added every month. Marc has attended every Antietam Early Banjo Gathering (studying the banjo and its music 1830-1870) as well as being a long-standing member of the American Banjo Fraternity (Classic banjos and music 1870-1920) and is a member of a variety of internet groups which specialize in early banjos and the music that was played on them.

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    Sonny Smith was born in Winchester,Tennessee on July 19, 1965 . Around age 7 his father instructed him to not play the banjo that he just put in his closet . His father also put a guitar in his brother's closet and instructed his brother Kenny as well "what ever you do do not play that guitar. Well being the golden goodness that they were and after being instructed to leave those instruments alone. Their father stepped outside of the house. Sonny gave the wink to little brother that the coast was clear ! The rest is history. These two boys would grow up playing music professionally. Sonny winning the National banjo championship in 1998 and little brother hauling in top honors in the bluegrass world as I.B.M.A. guitar player of the year. Sonny recalls his father not reprimanding him or his brother for playing those instruments in the closets.

    Sonny entered his first banjo contest at age 10 in Portland, Indiana. "There were a lot of people out there in the audience" Sonny recollects "...and they had trophies that were almost as tall as we were to give away". From that moment on Sonny was hooked on contest banjo playing, something he still enjoys today.

    Sonny also plays fiddle and has won many state titles and performing with some of country music greats such as Dolly Parton, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Billy Walker, Johnny Bush, Arkey Blue and Elmer Dryer. Sonny recently performed in the Smoky Mountain String band at Dollywood theme park, along with Joe Sharp and guitar virtuoso Richard Bennett. He is currently performing at the Hatfield-McCoy Dinner Theatre in Pigeon Forge. Sonny also teaches private lessons when time permits.

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    . Don Wayne Reno (onsite Sat-Sun) is a virtuoso banjo player. He is a son of famed bluegrass musician Don Reno who was offered a job with Bill Monroe before Earl Scruggs, but had to decline to join the service. Reno was a true pioneer of bluegrass banjo. He learned the three-finger roll from Snuffy Jenkins, the same player Earl emulated. More than just a bluegrass band player, that, Don Reno was a great soloist, applying the three-finger roll style and the single string style that bears his name to pop, swing and jazz numbers and to slow songs as well as traditional bluegrass. Don Wayne plays all his dad's arrangements exactly like his father and can teach Reno Style with the insight of someone who has lived it from childhood and has it in his genes. But Don Wayne is also a great musician in his own right. Like his dad, Don Wayne does not limit the five-string banjo to bluegrass and old time music. He applies the five-string banjo to popular and rock music, as member of Hayseed DixieHayseed Dixie, an eclectic band with bluegrass instrumentation that tours worldwide playing hits of the rock group AC-DC among other things. Don Wayne is breaking the mold, in the spirit of his dad who ventured way beyond bluegrass on the five-string banjo.

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    . Jason Skinner (onsite Sat-Sun) is a young North Carolina picker who has absolutely mastered the style of Don Reno. Jason has has made his life's purpose increasing awareness of Don Reno's contributions to the banjo world through his articles in Banjo Newsletter magazine and his Reno workshops. He also created and maintains the Don Reno Fan club and has produced ten instructional DVD's teaching Reno style. He has published several Youtube videos which can be accessed from his website. Check these out..if you close your eyes you would believe it is Don himself.

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    . Ron Stewart (onsite Sunday only due to performance obligations) is well on the road to becoming a legend in contemporarybluegrass music. Ron is banjo player for the new supergroup "The Boxcars" with Adam Steffey, John R. Bowman, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon. He is already one of the most sought after multi-instrumental session players in the genre's history, and is in high demand as an engineer and producer. Stewart grew up in rural southern Indiana, an hour and a half from the famous Bill Monroe's Bean Blossom bluegrass festival, surrounded by a family that played bluegrass and oldtime country music and a community rich with musicians. In his thirty-three years of playing banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, and mandolin, Ron has gone from fronting his family band for over ten years to working with a who's who of bluegrass, including Lynn Morris, Curly Seckler, a guest appearance at age nine on a live album with Lester Flatt, and, most recently, a six-year stint as fiddler for JD Crowe and The New South. Notably, Ron engineered much of and played fiddle on The New South's 2006 release, "Lefty's Old Guitar," which is nominated for a Grammy. Stewart has been seen filling in with a host of top bluegrass acts including the Lonesome River Band, Rhonda Vincent, the bluegrass supergroup Longview, Don Rigsby, the Bluegrass Album Band, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Blue Ridge, and many more. Chances are, if you have a bluegrass CD in your collection from the last ten years, Ron is probably on it. Ron was given IBMA's "Fiddle Player of the Year" award in 2000, and has been nominated every year since. In addition to his work with the Dan Tyminski Band, Ron is currently working on a new solo CD as a follow up to his 2001 Rounder release "Time Stands Still," which featured several Ron Stewart original songs and instrumentals. To quote Lynn Morris, "Ron Stewart has Flatt and Scruggs in his deepest roots, the feel of a Mississippi blues man in his soul, and the power of a lightning bolt in his touch." Leroy Troy (onsite Fri-Sun) is famous for zaney antics and entertaining in the style of Uncle Dave Macon, a minstrel/old time performer famous in the 1930's and 1940's. Leroy has apprared and Tennessee Banjo Institute, Maryland Banjo Academy, previous SMBA's, on the Grand Ole Opry, at dozens of festivals, and on Hee HawTV show. He was recently featured on the CMT TV show "Outsider Inn" with Bobby Brown, Carney Wilson and Maureen McCormick.

    Leroy was only 2 years old when he got a toy fiddle for Christmas. Then at the age of 7 he discovered his parent's Flatt and Scruggs records. He wore that Foggy Mountain Breakdown record out and that started his fascination with the banjo. When Leroy Troy was 13 he found his first banjo on a junk truck at a flea market. He paid $7.00 for it. The frets where burnt off so he removed the fret board and made a fretless out of it.

    By 1980 Leroy Troy had developed a reputation as a good Old Time Banjo Picker and Singer minus the banjo tricks. Then when he was 17 he met an old timer named Cordell Kemp. Leroy was amazed with Cordell's banjo playing. Cordell had learned first hand from"Uncle Dave Macon" star of The Grand Ole Opry. Cordell showed Leroy some banjo licks and tricks! Cordell Kemp influenced young Leroy so much he wrote and recorded "Ballad of Cordell Kemp." Leroy practiced, refined and expanded those banjo tricks and it was not long before he dazzled a nationwide audience on the hit TV Show Hee Haw. It was on this show Leroy Troy honed his country humor with some help from the Hee Haw cast Grandpa Jones, Archie Campbell, Junior Samples, and Minnie Pearl. Leroy made regular appearances on Hee Haw the seasons of 1984 and 1985, playing his banjo and he also played the part of Billy Bob in the "Farmer's Daughter" skit along side of Linda Thompson and Kenny Price.

    Leroy Troy has been entertaining audiences since 1979 and continues to do so from New York to California, Maine to Florida and even Ireland and England. Be sure to check out his schedule and catch him at a festival near you!. He will be onsite Saturday doing concerts and teaching classes in Old Time and entertaining. .

    SMBA STAFF BAND

    John Miller is a gifted guitarist and lead/tenor singer. John hails from Northern Virginia, but is an east East Tennessee native. He has worked recently with Herschel Sizemore and done some fill- in work with the Lonesome River Band. He has has also played with Jack Hatfield's True Blue Grass and does instrument repair work specializing in acoustic guitars.

    Jackie Miller is a virtuoso mandolin and fiddle player and sings great harmony vocals. Originally from Greenville TN, he now resides in Nashville, performing with the Ronnie reno and The Reno Tradition. He works for the Gibson company during the week, assembling and doing finish work on Gibson mandolins.

    Cindy Miller, wife of Jackie, will lend an apt hand on upright bass. (By the Way, Jackie and Cindy are not related to guitar player John Miller!)

    SHOPPING FOR A BANJO? DAYDREAMING ABOUT A FUTURE PURCHASE?
    The full inventory of Hatfield Music banjos will be on display: Deering, Deering Goodtime, Nechville, Gold Star, Gold Tone, Recording King and many used banjos. (See website, click on "home" link below then "used instruments".) Banjo manufacturer/innovator Tom Nechville will have many banjos on display including his newest models.

    MINI-CONCERTS
    Mini-concerts will be ongoing, featuring each faculty member. Combination mini-concerts such as Scruggs Jam, Fiddle Tunes jam and Jazz Jam will be performed by groups of two to four faculty members.

    How great was the last SMBA? Read the rave reviews and check out the photos from the 2010 SMBA!

    Contact Director Jack Hatfield at:

    Hatfield Productions
    325 Laurelwood Dr.
    Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
    1-865-428-8063

    CLICK HERE FOR SMBA 2012 REGISTRATION FORM

    Help us promote the camp! Click here for a SMBA 2010 flyer to print and post at music stores, teaching studios, concerts, and jam sessions. Put a couple in your banjo case and hand out to other banjo players!.

    Click here for photos.

    Click here for Driving Directions to Wa-Floy retreat.

    Click here for Yahoo driving directions to Wa-Floy retreat. Enter the destination address 3610 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN, 37738 WARNING: Yahoo often uses the shortest, as calculated by a computer, but not always the FASTEST or EASIEST route!

    SMBA logo image courtesy of Dan Levensen.