Clare's 'banjo girl' a hit at Tamworth


16 Feb, 2011 10:38 AM

Dubbed the “banjo girl” at Tamworth, Taylor Pfeiffer of Clare became a hit with the locals.

While busking at the Tamworth Country Music Festival last month, Taylor was joined by banjo player Hamish Davidson in Peel Street. Hamish Davidson is one of The Davidson Brothers and together the pair busked for about half an hour after he spotted her. This was just one of the highlights to her time at the Country Music Festival.

Taylor learnt to play the banjo at the age of 7 after hearing the song Skippy, and she hasn’t looked back. Now 11, Taylor has just purchased her second banjo, with money earned from competitions and busking.

Taylor’s pickup wasn’t working on her banjo and, after spending all day trying to fix it, they found Laurie Minsen, who fixed it for them. Little did they know Laurie was a Golden Guitar winner and Lee Kernaghan’s banjo player and guitarist! Taylor went on to play as a special guest in seven shows at Tamworth.

After being spotted by Hamish Davidson, Taylor was invited to perform with the Davidson Brothers at their Bluegrass Breakfast gig at Wests. While at this gig Taylor performed the instrumental Ballad of Jed Clampett (The Beverley Hillbillies) and This is your Land by Shirley Thoms in front of a packed out venue.

Prior to leaving for Tamworth Taylor had auditioned for a ticket to Melinda Schneider’s Schneider Idol. She was one of eight people from Australia to receive a ticket to compete. Taylor performed Be Yourself, she was the youngest performer and this was the only competition she entered while in Tamworth.

Taylor learnt some wise words from all celebrities she met. “I learnt that, every time I pick up my banjo, to learn something new and that nothing is impossible,” Taylor said. The gigs where Taylor was a special guest included the Runaway Dixie show at the Balladeers Homestead, SA Showcase at Coca Cola Stage, Slim, Bazza and Stan Tribute Show at Balladeers Homestead, Davidson Brothers Bluegrass Showcase at WESTS and Andrew Clermonts Bluegrass Showcase at North Tamworth Bowling

One special show was the ABBA Star Quest at Diggers, where Taylor performed in front of Joy McKean – the late Slim Dusty’s widow. After the performance, Joy spoke with Taylor and told her how much she loved how Taylor sang and played the banjo to Slim’s song Saddle Boy.

Taylor is a fan of Casey Chambers and was able to see her again at Tamworth, speak with her and have a photograph taken. Her achievements stretch far and wide and although many of them are trophies and medals, she cherishes the achievements of being booked to do a gig, meeting the famous and people recognising her.

Taylor practices the banjo every day and has lessons once a fortnight with her instructor Peter Miller. She’s not the first to play the banjo in her family, her grandmother also played. Taylor follows in the footsteps of her older sisters who both play instruments and sing. “I hope to become famous with singing and playing the banjo,” Taylor said. Taylor isn’t afraid of performing and loves a crowd and hopes to learn the Julian Banjo soon.

She will feature statewide on ABC Radio with Peter Goers when he interviews her on Friday, March 4, at 7.45pm. Taylor’s mum Brenda said Mr Goers has requested she teach him some banjo during the interview.