Brad Hancock, 16, of Lismore, in the family living room playing banjo with one of the world’s best players, Ross Nickerson.
Brad Hancock, 16, of Lismore, in the family living room playing banjo with one of the world’s best players, Ross Nickerson. Jacklyn Wagner

Banjo boy picks out career in music

“THERE is nothing like the sound of a banjo,” said 16-year-old Brad Hancock.

The Year 10 Trinity Catholic College Lismore student hasonly been playing since May last year and has already performed with one of the banjo world’s biggest names, American Ross Nickerson, at Lismore City Hall recently.

“It was pretty cool,” Brad said.

Not only that,  Nickerson stayed with the Hancock family for three days during his Australian tour.
“I had a one-on-one lesson with him,” Brad said.

Brad said he had always loved music, but until picking up a banjo last year he had been unaware of his gift.

“I didn’t know I was going to be good at it,” Brad said.

Lismore is a bit of a hub for banjo players, according to Brad. “It’s pretty big. There’s about 30 players here,” he said.

Brad is currently recording an album in the studio of his banjo teacher, Chris Cooke, but his long-term goal is to head to Nashville in the US.

“That’s where all the good banjo players are. I’d like to end up in Nashville,” Brad said.

And it sounds like Brad has the right stuff to get there. He worked part-time at Farmer Charlies in Lismore to save $5500 to buy a Stelling brand banjo.

Brad performed recently at Redland Bay in Queensland with Australian banjo playing brothers Peter and Mark Mahyson. On the weekend, he also performed on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.


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