Hank Smith


Hank Smith is a performer, teacher and mentor who is well known to the PineCone community. He performs as a part of Hank Pattie and the Current and remains the guiding light behind Raleigh’s Beer and Banjo series. Hank teaches undergraduate students in the Bluegrass Program at UNC Chapel Hill and at the PineCone Bluegrass Camp each summer.

Hank Smith grew up in rural Florence, South Carolina, where he adopted the banjo as his instrument and his passion as a teenager. He honed his skills at the Saturday jam sessions of the nearby Southeastern Bluegrass Association. As a student at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Smith expanded his musical influences to include all manner of rock, jazz, reggae, folk, blues, and classical, while earning a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies, followed by an M.A. in Middle Eastern History.

Now a professional musician based in Raleigh, Smith plays with the progressive bluegrass band Hank, Pattie & the Current. The band’s fifth album, “Letters” was released on Robust Records in 2022. Previous bands include Hank Smith & Lindsey Tims, The Morning After, The Kickin’ Grass Band, and Barefoot Manner.

Hank is a graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program, a faculty member of the Bluegrass Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, and co-founded the non-profit American Music Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.

This session was recorded in 2020 for the virtual festival IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC. It was shot by Cinehawk and later shared with Wake County schoolkids as a part of our Bluegrass in Schools program.