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Joe Bethancourt

Member sinceApril 16, 2006
LocationPhoenix, AZ
Artist Biography:
He's been playing the banjo since he was old enough to know better, and is a compulsive picker, collector and learner of weird instruments. He plays (at last count) 65 different instruments, and sings in several languages. What makes this even more remarkable is that he has never had any formal music training, doesn't read music, and is on leave from the Phoenix Home for the Musically Bewildered.

Joe's clawhammer banjo technique is unique. He's been called one of the nation's best clawhammer banjo players by people who should know, and Dave Van Ronk said that Joe could hold his own with any guitar fingerpicker in the USA. His flat- picking sounds like a battery of Gatling guns at full roar.

He is active in the Single Action Shooting Society, and in Old West living history with the 9th Memorial Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers), and is a walking library of traditional music history.

Joe, his red-haired wife, several looney sight- hounds, a constantly changing number of cats, and a houseful of musical instruments live some of the time in an otherwise normal neighborhood in the outback never-never of north-western Phoenix, Arizona, and some of the time in a cabin outside Prescott, Arizona.

More by Joe Bethancourt:

Bella Dona
Flop Eared Mule
Me And My 30'06
Snakes And Cactus
The Attitudinal Cat Rag

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