Banjo Brad's Prickly Pear
Who Am I?
I have been playing stringed
instruments for my own enjoyment
since the late 1950s. I am self-taught on the 6-string Spanish guitar,
which I started in High School. I soon
found that I enjoyed folk music much more than trying to play the
popular music of the time.
I took piano lessons from 3rd through 8th grade, so I did have
a leg up by being able to read standard notation
and having a knowledge of basic music theory.
I started trying to play
folk guitar after
the popular groups of the period like the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul
and Mary, Bud and Travis and the Limelighters. With very little
In college, I started teaching myself
to play classical guitar
from the Carcassi Method book, and continued
playing folk music with other students. I also branched out into early
Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Woody Gutherie and other,
After leaving school, I received my
Goya G10 guitar from a
roommate who owed some back rent (thank you, Larry, if you ever happen
to drop by).
It has been my constant companion (although spending several bouts in
the closet as life and work took precedence) ever since, and it helped
me through many dark and lonely times, with never a complaint.
About 1980 or so, I had my interest in
Old Timey music piqued
by an album my brother's string band put out. Although I didn't do
about it at the time, it hung around in my subconscious until the late
1990s. As my life
started to become simplified, my interest in old-time music returned.
2000 I bought a
Deering Goodtime Openback banjo and set about learning to play
clawhammer-style. As I got more
deeply steeped in the music, my interest in learning the fiddle started
to grow, so in 2003, as I
retired, I bought an inexpensive fiddle and added it to my growing list
of instruments to learn.
Fred Bradbury, aka Banjo
The main thrust of this site is to help
the music that is dear to my
heart. That music consists mainly of the Old Time tunes and songs that
came from the
Appalachian/Southern Mountains, and was performed mainly on fiddle,
5-string banjo, guitar, mountain dulcimer and voice. Much probably came
from the English, Irish and Scotch immigrants, who brought their
heritages and their music with them. I also like what is commonly
referred to as "folk music," so you are apt to find some of that here,
Besides the music, I may add other things that I am interested in. So,
this may turn into a rather eclectic site, but then, I've always been a
sort of eclectic fellow!
Tucson Old Time Music Circle
As a consequence of my interest in Old Time music,
and a desire to play, share and learn, I started looking for other
musicians to play with.
Since I couldn't find any easily-accessible groups, in January of 2007
I found a place and posted some flyers around Tucson and Oro Valley.
The first evening, I had over 20 players show up, and I haven't looked
back since. You can find more information on the group's website by
clicking on the name under the "Navigation" heading to the left.