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

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

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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