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Meet my Cabin Camp Instructors!

by Ben Clark August 09, 2021


Banjo Ben's
Cabin Camp
Instructors!

Let me introduce you to the folks who make Cabin Camp such an amazing experience. These are the finest teachers I know and you're gonna love 'em as much as I do!

Alan Munde

"I have enjoyed my life-long
participation in good music making..."

Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I was born in Norman, Oklahoma, but I currently live in Springfield, Missouri.
 
How were you introduced to Bluegrass/your instrument?

When I was 14 or so my brother Mike came home from the Navy. He brought a guitar and a record on how to play it – Pete Seeger’s “Folksinger’s Guitar Guide.” He left for college and left the guitar and record at the house. I was intrigued with the sound of the guitar on that recording and decided to learn how to play. I found Mike Richey's Guitar Center in the phone book and started taking lessons from Slim Richey himself!

Why Bluegrass?
I've just always loved it. It's my specialty.
 
What do you look forward to most about Cabin Camp?
I enjoy being around so many people who have a passion for bluegrass.

Do you have any advice for campers as they prepare for camp?
Don't fret too much about preparing. We'll help you get where you want to go. Looking forward to meeting you!
 
 

Dave Dillard

"I've always loved the sound
of homemade acoustic music..."

Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I was raised in upstate SC near Greenville, but have lived in Nashville past 36 years, ever since college.

How were you introduced to Bluegrass/your instrument?
My dad noticed that high school football wasn't going so well for me, so came up with an idea all on his own. One day he picked me up from practice and there was this banjo laying in the floorboard of the pickup. He drove me over to a guy named Al O'Steen's store, and Al taught me how to pick the banjo. No turning back after that.

Why Bluegrass?
I've always loved the sound of homemade acoustic music. My first album was Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," and that was a big part of what introduced me to the whole world of bluegrass and old-time music.

Do you have a favorite musician or band?
Lately, I guess I'm most fascinated with Adam Hurt's clawhammer banjo style and CDs.

What do you look forward to most about Cabin Camp?
I love the chance to teach, and I love to see the lights go on in the faces of students when they learn something new and and it starts to all come together. Also, the cookies.

Do you have any advice for campers as they prepare for camp?
Don't be anxious or nervous about not being ready for camp or all "practiced-up.". All the teachers and hosts really meet you where you and help you make the most of the whole weekend.

What is one of your favorite life experiences so far?
Road-tripping with my wife Robin all the way from Tennessee to the corner of Washington State to visit our son in the Coast Guard. Driving across our beautiful country, with my wife all to myself, was absolutely wonderful. We also had packed some amazing snacks for the whole trip.
 
 
 

Jake Stogdill

"The music really brings
people together..."

 
Where are you from? Where do you live now?
SW Missouri, on all counts.

How were you introduced to Bluegrass/your instrument?
My dad played banjo, I got interested at about 15 and learned to play guitar to accompany him.

Why Bluegrass?
Because it’s the best, no debate.

Do you have a favorite musician or band?
Too many to list.
 
What do you look forward to most about Cabin Camp?
The fellowship with all the other musicians and getting to meet new folks. This music really brings people together with a special bond.

Do you have any advice for campers as they prepare for camp?
To relax, don’t get nervous or anxious about it. These camps are so much fun with tons of encouragement and camaraderie . It’s a judgment free zone.

What is one of your favorite life experiences so far?
I’ve been blessed with so many great experiences that it’s hard to narrow down. I have a wonderful family and set of friends.

Katy Clark

"It’s an encouragement to be a part
of someone’s learning experience."

Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I hail from and now live back on the farm where I was raised in Kilgore, Texas.

How were you introduced to Bluegrass/your instrument?
My family attended the Overton Bluegrass Festival a few miles from home every year. It was my only exposure to bluegrass as a kid, but we didn’t have any instruments in the house (besides a piano), so I guess I never saw an opportunity to learn a stringed instrument as a kid. But every year we went home with every band’s cassette tapes from the festival, and I just loved it all—especially my New Found Road and Special Consensus tapes!

Why Bluegrass?
It was never a real thoughtful decision. But as the Lord would have it, a banjo was left at home by my brother, Ben, when I was a teenager. I picked it up and learned a few rolls when I was bored one day. And I just kept on keepin’ on with it. My first year at South Plains College, my dad mailed me our first guitar. It was a natural progression into the world of bluegrass & acoustic music.

Do you have a favorite musician or band?
As far as bluegrass goes, I’ve been digging the Kruger Brothers as of late. They have so much taste in everything they do, and their musical influences are all over the place, which comes out in their song selections, writing, and arrangements. On top of that, they can plain execute some crazy stuff! They’re the whole package.

What do you look forward to most about Cabin Camp?
The relationships started and developed with folks from so many different walks of life. It’s an encouragement to be a part of someone’s learning experience. At the close of every camp comes a feeling of gratitude for getting to be a part.

Do you have any advice for campers as they prepare for camp?
Hmm. Expect to make a friend or two and to have a positive overall experience. You will leave knowing things you didn’t know before, and also possibly having some new musical experiences during your time at camp!

What is one of your favorite life experiences so far?
I honestly think getting to work alongside my family, and the simple fact that the work involves making music. Getting to travel the world with my sister and experience so many cultures and places together has been something that’s shaped me into who I am as a person.
 
 

Penny Clark

"I love listening to my
friends’ music the most!"

Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Kilgore, Tx on a farm; Kilgore, Tx in town

How were you introduced to Bluegrass/your instrument?
A local bluegrass festival every year in Overton, Tx Then my brother, Banjo Ben, said “here’s a banjo, you should play it”, when I was 16.

Why Bluegrass?
It’s what I grew up hearing at the one festival, and it’s fun, challenging and rootsy. It's both vocally and instrumentally driven, which I love!

Do you have a favorite musician or band?
Truly, I love listening to my friends’ music the most!

What do you look forward to most about Cabin Camp?
Getting to know the campers!

Do you have any advice for campers as they prepare for camp?
Play with others as much as possible!

What is one of your favorite life experiences so far?
Cabin camps rank high up there. Haha. Either that or watching my cat give birth.
 
 
 
Ben Clark
Ben Clark


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