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Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith
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Ben Smith is the founder and editor of Oldtime Central. As an ethnomusicologist, applied anthropologist, luthier, and oldtime musician, he is particularly interested in nurturing the oldtime community worldwide.

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Dear Uncle John: Help, I’m losing my girlfriend to oldtime!

In this column, readers write in to query the oldtime wisdom of Uncle John. You might not always like his answers, but he always gives it to you straight – or crooked, as the situation requires. Write in and read on!

Hilarie Burhans

Hi! I’m Hilarie Burhans.  After a childhood spent all over the world, my family moved to Athens, in the Appalachian part of Ohio, when I was in 10thgrade. I guess I was eager to put down roots, as the...

Banjo Billy’s “500 Fiddle Tunes: Old-Time Archive”

When I was nine years old, my fiddle teacher sent me to a workshop from the “Famous Fiddlin’ Banjo Billy Mathews.” Having played less than a year and being deathly shy, the workshop was one of the most challenging, terrifying, addicting,...

Craig Judelman teaches Possum on a Rail

Here Craig Judelman teaches the great Possum on a Rail from the Mississippi Possum Hunters with lots of slides, hammer-ons, fingering choices and bowing options. The tune is in the key of G, standard tuning (GDAE). For inspiration, check...

Larks and Ravens

I want to talk about Larks and Ravens. I know that there is lot confusion and controversy about the current push to switch to non-gendered terms. I know that a lot of people who prefer it to stay ladies and gents...