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Banjo lessons in London

About Dick Smith

Multi-instrumentalist Dick Smith is well known on the acoustic folk/roots/traditional circuit. He has played with many noted musicians and his vast experience, which spans over twenty five years, including U.K. performances at Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Celtic Connections, Cropredy and Reading as well as many European festivals from Finland to Romania including E.W.O.B. (Holland) and La Roche (France) Bluegrass Festivals and in the U.S.A. and Canada (SxSW, Austin, TX; AMA, Nashville, TN; Calgary Folk Festival).
Dick Smith playing banjo at a gig

Dick has recently moved to Margate in Kent after 30 years in London, where he has just started teaching locally in the Thanet area. He still continues to teach in London on Tuesdays (Tooting) and Wednesdays (Walthamstow) taking group classes and one to one private tuition.
Performing ‘live’ less frequently over the last 5 years, aside from the teaching, Dick was involved mostly in community projects in East London. Most notably The Smiling Sessions which took music and fun into residential care homes in Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Newham. He also was the creator of WAM (Walthamstow Acoustic Massive) which grew over five years, amounting to ‘shovelling’ over 70 members onto some pretty tight stages, including 2 performances at The Garden Party in Walthamstow, Shoreditch, Leyton and Spitalfields festivals. Guest performers included: Clive Rowe MBE and David McAlmont.

Dick is also the sound (banjo) for the hit Channel 4 series “Catastrophe”, starring and written by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney. He is currently recording for the much awaited third season.

Previously Dick spent 3 years as the banjoist with Sid Griffin in the UK Bluegrass band, The Coal Porters. Their 2010 album 'Durango {April17-April30}, produced by Ed Stasium (Ramones, Phil Spector, Belinda Carlisle, Gladys Knight, Mick Jagger) was met with great critical acclaim and received four star reviews in Mojo, Uncut, Q-Magazine. Since 2007, he also been worked with Lisa Knapp, Mojo folk album of the year winner and BBC Radio 2s folk awards nominee, touring Wisemen (Vendettas) with Dick Smiththe theatre and festival circuit, playing guitar, banjo, hammer-dulcimer, auto-harp and recorder!

Dick was instrumental in the development of the sound in Spider Stacys' band - Wisemen (Vendettas), which was formed with two other Pogues members when The Pogues were taking a hiatus around the time of the millennium. He has been a familiar face on the London scene since the late 80's, and has played in many bands including Beware of the Dog (Gino Lupari, Pat Kilbride and Athena Tergis). Other outfits include the wonderfully eccentric Lost T-Shirts of Atlantis (an acoustic psycho skiffle-billy punk/ska/rock/dub band), The Other Brothers, Psycho Ceilidh, Six Mile Walk and Flint/Flynt.

Dick has recorded with many artists - most notably Nitin Sawhney - BBC soundtrack for the film "Tamworth Two", The Tiger Lillies, The Biblecode Sundays, J.Owen and Naomi Bedford.
Radio/TV sessions include:
• BBC Radio 2
• BBC 6 Music
• Channel 4
• ITV London
• BBC Scotland
• BBC Radio Manchester; Wales
• and his instrumental track "Roadkill Breakdown" was recently featured on The Bob Harris Show (BBC Radio 2).

Dick is currently playing with a number of bands and artists including the occasional gig with:
• Lisa Knapp and Gerry Diver;
• The Infamous Grouse Ceilidh Band;
• fun loving acoustic covers band, The Glenbuck CherryPickers;
• atmospheric, Celtic/Flamenco fusion band, Burning Desire;
• Celtic/Americana influenced Six Mile Walk;
• depping on banjo and mandolin for East Londons' up-and-coming bluegrass band The Wagon Tales;
• developing a couple of duos;
• hosting the odd session and working on his own projects.