Every September brings cooler temperatures, the state fair with mouth-watering food, and the giant ferris wheel to Oklahoma City. Bricktown is the epicenter of talent the first weekend of the month, September 6-9, at the American Banjo Museum where BanjoFest 2019 made it’s debut on Thursday. From the moment you exit the car, the aura of music and the sound of banjos can be heard. There is that smile at the door, Margie, one of the many volunteers at the museum, which makes you feel right at home. Tonight we all gather around downstairs, awaiting the moment for the event to begin. In the near distance, you can smell the aroma of BBQ, and then the magic of the evening begins.
BBQ & Banjo music… nothing more American than that! Entertainment was given in stages of 3. First entertainers to take the center stage in Shaky’s Parlor were Tom Owens & his wife, Debbie Shreyer. Johnny Baier, director of The American Banjo Museum, introduced one of the newest collections in the museum (on loan from Jim Bollman). Jim Bollman is known for his banjo collection (with over 10,000 historical photographs), and there is a small part of the collection on hand at the museum for 13 months.
Then back to the parlor, where four time national banjo camp, Gary “Biscuit” Davis picked his way through banjo tunes, from yesterday and today. Biscuit has a talent of taking non-traditional banjo tunes and making them sound like they were written for the 5 string. The entertainment continued with the Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Jazz Band from Orlando, FL. The evening came to a close (after 2 standing ovations, with 1 encore), with all of us hungering for more.