O.J. Laier – Oldtime
Music has been part of O.J. Laier’s life from his early days playing trumpet in high school and a U.S. Army band to a busy teaching and performing schedule in Austin, Texas. Inspired by Earl Scruggs-style three-finger picking, O.J. first picked up a 5-string banjo in the early 70s. He was first introduced to frailing when he toured Europe in a Kingston Trio-type trio as part of his Army stint. About five years ago, while teaching guitar, dobro and banjo to students in Austin, he fell in love with playing oldtime clawhammer banjo. It didn’t take him long to get plugged into the amazing picking styles of Adam Hurt, Richie Stearns and many others. He enjoys learning fiddle tunes as a way to hone his banjo chops.
“The traditional style of playing is very addictive,” O.J. says. “If you apply yourself —and do it a lot! — it can get kind of Zen. I am a firm believer in using any and all available material to help me get where I want to go. By ear, tabs, video…it’s all good.”