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Obit: Barry Murphy

GUEST,banjovey 26 Aug 11 - 04:01 AM
Will Fly 26 Aug 11 - 04:10 AM
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Subject: Barry Murphy
From: GUEST,banjovey
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 04:01 AM

Barry Murphy, banjo player and luthier passed away 15th Aug. RIP

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Subject: RE: Barry Murphy
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 04:10 AM

How sad to hear that! A couple of years ago, Barry made a lovely tone ring for my 1920s Windsor banjo, and I had the pleasure of going to his house in Windmill Hill (near Herstmonceux) to discuss the project with him. We went into his studio (a converted, air-conditioned garage) and I played a selection of guitars and banjos he'd made himself. I played Doc Watson's "Deep River Blues" to him and he pointed behind me to a photo on the wall - of Barry with Doc at Doc's house. Barry's wife is from the US and he lived there for a while, doing setups for Doc's guitars. Afterwards, we sat outside in the summer evening sun and drank coffee with apple cake. Barry had one of the worst stammers I've encountered (having a very slight stammer oneself highlights these things). He never let it interfere with the conversation, finishing sentences with a variety of techniques that got him past the stammer.

A charming man in a charming environment. Condolences to his family. When I last met him, Barry was making a test plectrum - from lignum vitae - to send to Doc. I wonder if he finished it.

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