Hank Smith grew up in South Carolina, and was a relatively latecomer to music, picking up the banjo at age sixteen. However, once he started playing, he was a man on a singular mission, studying the music of Earl Scruggs and Bela Fleck with extreme tenacity.
“I was the kind of kid who would write research papers that were not assigned”, he laughs. “So, I kind of did my own independent study in banjo music”.
After completing an undergraduate and then a master’s degree in Middle Eastern History, Smith gave up the academic path to join the burgeoning jamgrass band Barefoot Manner, which brought him to the Raleigh area.
He fronts progressive acoustic & bluegrass related band, Hank, Pattie & The Current with fellow bandleader, Pattie Kinlaw, touring all over the US and beyond. Hank plays banjo in a neo-classical guitar & banjo duo act, Resonator, with HP&C guitarist, Billie Feather. He is also on faculty in the Music Department at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, teaching banjo and bluegrass guitar as part of the recent Bluegrass Initiative.