Final Notes, Brady ”Brooks” Smith

West Virginia banjo player Brady ”Brooks” Smith passed away on September 24 at the age of 84. He was from Dunbar, in Kanawha County, and had been playing the banjo for more than 65 years. Equally comfortable with clawhammer and finger-style playing, Smith won many awards at festivals and music competitions across the state. He received the Vandalia Award in 2000 from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. He was the subject of a feature story in Goldenseal in Spring 1996, “Brooks Smith: The Making of a Banjo Player,“ by Andrew Dunlap. Smith was well loved for his generosity with his music, particularly by the many younger musicians with whom he shared his talents.


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