Dave Hum

Official website of UK 5 string banjo player and multi-instrumentalist Dave Hum.

Dave Hum Bio

1974 - Dave began learning to play guitar and sing aged 8.

1980 - Dave took classical guitar lessons for a year aged 14.

1983 - He started busking in the subways singing popular tunes.

1984 - By now Dave had built up a repertoire of well known classical guitar tunes and bought a battery amplifier which enabled him to busk on the high street and start travelling. 

1985 - 1988 - Dave got back into rhythm guitar and learnt to play a lot of standard swing and jazz tunes with an older busker who played the clarinet and so began performing as a duo in his hometown. Around this time Dave met his wife Mel. 

1988 - Dave joined a skiffle jazz busking band called Street Level started gigging and playing for private and public events around South England. Experimented with more genres of music - dance, latin, eastern, R&B, rock, pop and blues.

1989 - Dave and Mel had their first child Ashlea who sadly passed away in 2002 from Cystic Fibrosis. 

1991 - Dave and Mel had their second child, Perri, who is now a qualified veterinary nurse. 

1994 - Dave entered and won the BBC Radio 2 - National Busking Competition in Birmingham.

Around this time Dave was visiting Bournemouth one day and stopped to listen to a family band that were street performing in the town square. They were called Same Train Different Teapot and the instruments they played were a banjo, a mandolin, a lap dulcimer and a double bass. Dave really liked the sound of the music they were making and got chatting to the banjo player who organised bluegrass and old time music gatherings in the area and invited Dave along, which is how Dave got hooked on this genre of music and keen to learn how to play the banjo and the mandolin.

1995 - Dave left Street Level band to pursue a new found interest in the banjo, mandolin and acoustic folk music.

1996 - Dave's father in law had an old banjo and a beginner book so Dave taught himself how to play, in particular traditional Celtic and Bluegrass music. He started jamming with fellow guitarist and long time friend Simon Ham.

He took to the street performing for a giggle as The Huckleberries and were soon joined by other musicians which formed the five piece band they are today playing at festivals and many other events. The Huckleberries "sound" blends instrumental Celtic jigs and reels with Bluegrass, Eastern and Latin styles with danceable grooves and folk musicianship - using banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin, mandola, harmonica, drums and percussion.

2001 - Spotted in Guildford by a BBC1 Television Producer whilst busking with The Huckleberries and were asked if they would like to appear as themselves in a drama series called Down To Earth during a wedding scene starring Pauline Quirke and Warren Clarke about a families life trying their hand at farming in Cornwall.The series was a success and they were asked to appear again in the next series and the music from their albums was used throughout the series.

2006 - Dave and Mel's third daughter River was born. 

2009 - After a second bout of pneumonia, Dave came down with septicaemia and spent five weeks on a life support machine, Dave was then diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma cancer. This illness left him disabled for a year and Dave had to relearn how to walk and play instruments again as his hands were badly affected with shortening of the tendons, numbness, a curled fist and the loss of the tip of his index finger on his right hand. Not so good for a banjo player!

2010 - Where there is a will there is a way.
Dave persevered by relearning to play the banjo with a different technique which fortunately has enabled him to create a unique style. 

2012 - Dave had been a street performer for thirty years now and he would be hard pushed to find something that he enjoyed more than busking. In his spare time Dave also composed his own tunes, which are available to purchase in the shop page