Meet Liam Purcell, 11-Year-Old Banjo Player from North Carolina

By Dan Gurney - December 17, 2013


Last week, Concert Window’s regular programming was interrupted by an 11-year-old banjo player from Deep Gap, NC named Liam Purcell.

Liam learned his music from locals like Mark Freed, Cecil Gurganus, Jeff Moretz, and more. He has already been playing for six years. “I enjoy bringing others the music of different cultures and styles like old-time and bluegrass,” Liam says. “I also love performing for others.”

Liam had initially learned about Concert Window while watching a live webcast by banjo player Adam Hurt. Inspired by the experience, Liam decided to create his own show. And so, after getting a lift from his father to the local university, Liam hooked up to the internet and played a live webshow to the world.

He didn’t tell anyone about it, wanting to test out the experience. Nevertheless a few Concert Window members stumbled on the page and were treated to a half hour of fantastic bluegrass music. Liam has an easy stage presence for someone so young and the viewers related their enthusiasm in the chat room, and contributed a number of tips during the show.

Says Liam, “Honestly i was nervous seeing people from Amsterdam and California watching me. After awhile though I got used to it and by the end it was really fun because I got to share my music with other countries.”

This Sunday, December 22nd, Liam is back for his second show on Concert Window. He is hoping to raise some money to attend two music camps this summer, where he will be able to hang out with other kids his age and learn from some of the top bluegrass and old-time musicians in the world. The camps are Peach Bottom Fiddle & Strings Camp and the Swannanoa Gathering.

“I have been to Peach Bottom but not to Swannanoa,” Liam says. “Peach Bottom was super fun. It was on a farm with animals and a lake but most of all I got to play with and learn from Shane Cook and April Verch! Last year I recorded a CD on GarageBand to make money for Peach Bottom, I sold enough to go. We considered going to Swannanoa but I didn't have near enough for that. I hope to earn enough on Concert Window to go to both.”

Let’s give Liam a boost and help get him to these music camps. Tune in on Sunday December 22nd at 7pm Eastern Time and hang out with a seriously impressive young musician!

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