Brian Stewart's involvement with MBOTMA began in the earliest days of the organization and lasted
until he died about three years ago. The much copied band silhouette logo is his work, and on a large
print of it, you can see that the dog is wagging its tail! Some of the 'usual suspects' appear in in the
campfire session painting that can be seen on the Twin Cities Acoustic Music Calendar and on the wall at
the Homestead Picking Parlor. After a career in advertising. Brian became an 'easel painter', travelling
extensively, giving workshops and doing videos on his art. Much about Brian can be found on line.
But that's not all; he was an outstanding clawhammer banjo player with a huge repertoire of traditional
tunes. His playing was assertive and clear, but sensitive to other musicians. When working out a tune,
Brian would write it out in tablature. We are fortunate that some 80 of Brian's tabs have been donated
for the benefit of MBOTMA and are available for purchase as a pdf through the website. Many of these
tunes are probably impossible to find in clawhammer tab elsewhere.
I was with Brian in Northern Wisconsin once when he was working on paintings for a show in Grand
Marais. He would leave early in the morning when the light was best, and then return hours later saying
that he'd gotten some good paintings. Of course, I asked to see them, but Brian refused, as they were in
the drying rack. He would do the last 10% in the studio, frame them, and then they could be shown.
Total professional! It seems to me that the tabs are similar in that they are from an artist's notebook
awaiting finishing touches. Brian's legacy means that clawhammer banjo players can now participate in
Many thanks are due to JoAnne Lorenz, Brian's partner who made the donation and to Charlie Knuth,
who spent hours scanning the tabs and preparing the pdf.
Teacher at Homestead Picking Parlor
100% of the proceeds benefit MBOTMA