Dink Roberts – vo/bjo/gtr
Haw River, NC – ca. fall 1973
Dink was a “find” of Kip Lornell, who had some great luck over time in North Carolina and Virginia – he located guitarist/pianist James “Guitar Slim” Stephens and guitarist Pernell Charity, among many others. Roberts was a fine banjo player and singer who also played guitar in an open tuning with a slide. I was able to do only one recording session with him in 1973, when this photo was taken. I regret not going back more to see him, but I try not to let such thinking get to me too much – one cannot do everything on their own – and be grateful for what I did get in those ten years wandering through the South East!
Cece Conway recorded Dink later on as well and he is extensively mentioned in her book on Black banjo playing and players.* It was Jim Watson of The Red Clay Ramblers who indicated in casual conversation with me that White country (OTM) musicians often referred to open tunings of the guitar as “banjo tunings”! It figures.
* CONWAY, Cecelia: African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia: A Study of Folk Traditions; University of Tennessee Press (1995) Knoxville, TN.