We’re living in a golden age of banjo making it seems. The number of skilled craftsmen putting out gorgeous playing and sounding banjos seems to be growing all the time.
For those of us afflicted with Banjo Acquisition Syndrome, living in a moment like this and still maintaining a positive bank balance requires Herculean amounts of willpower.
Up until recently, I’d been doing well.
And then temptation struck in the form of a Cedar Mountain banjo up for sale in the Banjo Hangout classified section. Specifically, a Cedar Mountain banjo with an integral Rosewood tone right, offered at a price too good to overlook.
I’d known for a few years that this particular combination of materials produced a tone I love – a round, woody, and bell-like voice not found in my current stable of banjos (and I love all of them, don’t get me wrong!). So I caved.
I’m only human, after all.
When it arrived, it was every bit the banjo I thought it would be, and more.
One of the first things that fell out when I grabbed it for the first time was this week’s tune: “Green Willis.” Who knows why, perhaps because it affords so many opportunities to hear the growl of that throaty open fourth string.
Green Willis is a notey little bugger, with enough going on to keep both hands busy. And this one is arranged in full-on melodic style, which in my opinion suits this tune best.