Hey! The fastest banjo player in the world lives here!

Categories: Notable MN
bigBanjo.jpg
Photo courtesy of TheMarque on Flickr

And we couldn't be more proud ... even if he isn't a native.

Minnesota Public Radio reported a fabulous story today about Johnny Butten, a Brit who just made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest banjo playing ever!!!

Yes, that notable accomplishment deserves multiple exclamation points. Butten is from Minnesota -- a year ago, he moved with his wife to a farmhouse near Hawley.

Butten has been playing banjo since he was 9-years-old, but began timing himself just two years ago in 2007, according to MPR:

That's when Butten learned an American banjo player, Todd Taylor, had just set a speed record by picking a tune on the banjo at 210 beats per minute.

"I went down to the basement and started picking." said Butten. "I think I was there four or five hours and I came running up the stairs screaming and shouting, 'I can do 210. I can do 210!'"

That success convinced him to chase the world record. His record-setting performance, timed by a metronome, hit 260 beats per minute.

"Fast cars, fast motorcycles, anything to do with speed, I'm there," Butten said with a twinkle in his eye. "Sometimes I'll sit in a corner and just go nuts, play something really stupidly fast you know, kind of come out of it with a big proud smile like a three year old kind of, 'Hah, whataya think of that?'"

We think it's awesome.

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