Placing second in the 2007 banjo competition was a thirty-six year old welder from Natrona Heights, PA. Jason Ericsson came for the first time in 2002 and made the cut to the top five. He returned this year and not only did he make the cut to the top five, he took home the 2nd place trophy and a Deering Calico Banjo by Deering Banjo Company of Spring Valley, CA. Jason says he has been playing the banjo for 28 years and comes to the Festival to enter the competition and to “hang out with all the great Parkin Lot Pickers.” His first banjo was a gift from his dad, who by the way, plays and builds acoustic instruments there in Natrona Heights. In addition to the banjo, Ericsson plays the fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Kind of ironic, he won 2nd place in the banjo competition at Merlefest this year too. Jason teaches some and plays in a couple of bands, “Paradise Ranch” and he also plays with Laurie Shea.