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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Banjo Builder Interviews - My 60th Birthday Present.

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BNJOMAKR - Posted - 05/19/2012:  15:07:05


Originally posted by frailin

Hi Marvin.  I'm sorry the DVDs aren't playing on your DVD player.  But I'm also concerned about the sound being "jumpy" when played on your computer.  I'm not sure I know what that means.  The sound on all the final edited programs is smooth and consistent (I hired a professional to make sure).  I'd need to understand more of the issue.

You should all have received the Programs by now.  Is anyone else experiencing issues with these new DVDs?  Please open them up and try them out and let me know if they're working.  

Thanks folks.  Again, sorry for the trouble.  


 I retried the DVD in my computer and the sound is fine this time. Must have been a gremlin in my computer . Volume 1 plays fine in my DVD player, but none of the 3 discs of Volume 2 will play. The player recognizes the disc as a DVD, and then the message says, "Disc Error: Playback feature may not be available on this Disc. Please eject the disc."



frailin - Posted - 05/20/2012:  11:48:12

Volume 2 DVD Playability/compatibility update


Thanks for responding, folks.  I've heard back from about 20 of you and the good news is, the NON-PLAY issue is not as wide-spread as I once feared.  But it's still a problem!!  As such, I'm planning on issuing a DVD fix as soon as my techies can put it together.  

Since the problem does not affect everyone - if you're watching your Volume 2 Shows now (they PLAY), then THERE'S NO PROBLEM!  smiley  But if your DVD player (or computer) DOESN'T want to play the DVDs, you need a replacement set of DVDs.  

I have started a file of Volume 2 DVD Replacements.  Those of you that reported trouble are already on that list (no need to write me) and will receive them when they're ready.  But for the rest of you that I haven't heard back from, if your original Volume 2 DVDs don't work, WRITE ME FOR THE REPLACEMENTS! 

Thanks for your patience, folks.  Now I can go pack for tomorrow's trip to Washington DC to start Volume 3 - "Conversations with Banjo Historians."  

Back soon with more pics and programs about our favorite instrument.  

Edited by - frailin on 05/20/2012 11:55:59

frailin - Posted - 05/20/2012:  12:17:26

Two more things... 

Since I KNOW they play, I will be filling orders for Volume 1 (Builders EAST of the Mississippi) with the Original DVDs (see above) not the new, repackaged programs.  The content is the same.  I just want to make sure all 3 Disks in the new packaging play before I let them go.  


I won't be shipping any new orders for Volume 2 until I have Vol 2 Replacement DVDs in hand (and they work).  Hopefully, that will be within 2 weeks.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but better safe than sorry.  smiley

Edited by - frailin on 05/20/2012 12:19:15

frailin - Posted - 05/25/2012:  09:09:13

Two updates!


Defective DVD Replacements:  I'm now reasonably confident we've found a successful solution to the DVD format/programming problem.  Given a few more tests of the newly-mastered replacement DVD today, I will probably pull the "production" trigger yet this afternoon.  

My hope is to have the replacements back to me by the end of next week.  I'll have the envelopes ready (for those of you already on the replacments list) and put them in the mail asap.  I'm also replacing the DVDs in the rest of the (last) production lot.  So all future shipments will be as they should have been in the first place.  Oh well.  Technology happens.  smiley  Thank you, all for being so patient.  

And for those of you I HAVEN'T yet heard back from, I will have some extras.  Just let me know if you're having issues.  



frailin - Posted - 05/25/2012:  10:25:05

Second Update


This Conversations with Banjo Historian's DVD is going to be freakin' AMAZING!!  big

I keep having to remind myself "I'm here to film! I'm here to film!" Listening to these stories, seeing these banjos... and actually holding them.  I have to keep RE-focusing myself.  There's a romance behind it all that I can't put into words.  It's so engaging, I found myself repeatedly getting caught up in it.  I'm pretty sure you will, too.!  It IS coming through the video.  I know because I'm now working on the first of the Programs (Greg Adams just this morning).  


Here's the roster of Shows so far from the first "swing" of 3 I'm planning on taking. 

Meet archivist and ethnomusicologist, Greg Adams... one of our prominent current and future banjo historians.  In the first Show, Greg covers the west African predecessors of the banjo in an amazingly interesting presentation he developed with fellow historian Shlomo Pestcoe.  A virtuoso player, Greg also demonstrates the sounds and playing styles of the Akonting and the Ngoni, learned first-hand from two trips to Africa.


Next is a conversation with historian (and professor emeritus), Bob Winans

Bob describes his work which scholars and period players agree, is seminal to our current understanding of early banjo sounds.  Like a true historian, Bob is driven by a consuming curiosity.  And he finds answers.  Got to see some pretty spiffy old banjos from his collection, too.  


The next day's shoot was a trifecta of stories and artifacts.  

Collector Peter Szego graciously offered George Wunderlich, Greg Adams and me an opportunity to walk through his collection. 

The lively, engrossing discussion that followed lasted almost an hour and a half.  

Bouchers, anyone? 

It's going REALLY hard to try and pare this Show down to even an hour.  The stories and insights into the builders of these banjos, what was going on (in America) at the time, who was playing, what was being played and more is all priceless.  I can't WAIT to open this raw footage up again.  

So... any normal person would have taken a breather at this point.  But I no... not me.  big  What came next was equally as mind-blowing.  


Jim Bollman has the largest collection of old banjos in the US.  

But the banjos are only a part of the stories.  The ephemera (small stuff - banjo-related toys, pictures, etc.) is almost as compelling.  Here's a sand-powered (windup), dancing child's toy.  

It's certainly engaging (you'll see... especially the French "automoton",  similar to the one in Martin Scorsese's movie, Hugo).  

Jim's collection covers 3 eras: the 1830-1860 period (minstrels to the Civil War), the 1860s - 1880s, the beginnings of the modernization/standardization of the banjo, then what Jim considers the banjo's halcyon days - the 1890s to about 1910.  The Coles and Fairbanks presentation models made during this period are a highlight of his collection.  And what a great story teller.  Again, over an hour and a half of raw footage.  What AM I gonna do?!  big


And as I've learned before, when at a banjo person's home, one just NEVER knows who's going to show up.  Fortunately for me, I had just enough film and battery left over to pick up some stories from player/designer/collector/historian, the one and ONLY, Ed Britt.  He also brought some really tasty show and tell (banjos).  

And THANK YOU ED for getting me to the airport alive!!  Boston traffic is the stuff nightmares are made of!  


Ok.  So there's the roster from my first swing.  I've got 2 more in store.  More on those as I get closer.  For now I got lots of editing to do and hard decisions to make.  Would you folks mind if I just left a couple of these conversations intact?  They'd be longer, but no less fascinating.  And I'm pretty sure you'll agree, it's worth it.  

As always, comments welcome.  


PS - When I take a break, I'll be addressing envelopes.  smiley

Edited by - frailin on 05/25/2012 10:29:52

BackDraft307 - Posted - 05/25/2012:  11:24:14

Edit??? heck Just burn it all to DVD... and not hold anything back... even if it is a 10 DVD pack!  After all it is for your BIRTHDAY! yes

Winged Words - Posted - 05/25/2012:  18:59:17

Totally agree. Unique material - give us the lot!
And maybe a director's cut of Vol 1 with the extended format of Vol 2?
Keep up the good work and enjoy yourself.

Edited by - Winged Words on 05/25/2012 19:03:59

J-Walk - Posted - 05/25/2012:  19:51:02

I've watched the first two discs so far. Every bit as good as the first volume. So far, my favorites are Brooks and Doc. Coincidentally, they are the only two I've ever met in real life.

Now I'm thinking I must meet Jim Bollman.

Damn, Craig. You are doing some historical stuff here.

bricklifter1 - Posted - 05/25/2012:  19:58:01


this will be a great addition to the banjo builders collection

i submit that you should not edit it too much--why deprive us of one tasty morsel of knowledge (unless it will drive your production costs higher)

it would be like leaving the roe off the sushi roll

what'll she cost? can i pre-order

bricklifter1 - Posted - 05/25/2012:  20:01:04


this will be a great addition to the banjo builders collection

i submit that you should not edit it too much--why deprive us of one tasty morsel of knowledge (unless it will drive your production costs higher)

it would be like leaving the roe off the sushi roll

what'll she cost? can i pre-order

bricklifter1 - Posted - 05/25/2012:  20:02:04


this will be a great addition to the banjo builders collection

i submit that you should not edit it too much--why deprive us of one tasty morsel of knowledge (unless it will drive your production costs higher)

it would be like leaving the roe off the sushi roll

what'll she cost? can i pre-order

frailin - Posted - 05/29/2012:  13:18:20

The First of the Banjo Historians Programs is now up on Vimeo!


In this first installment of the "Conversations with Banjo Historians" DVD (Volume 3 in the "Conversations with North American Banjo Builders" Series), historian Greg Adams covers the Banjo's African American Origins and West African Heritage.

Greg gives a very complete description of where we are and what we know in terms of the banjo's developments abroad and in the US. He also demonstrates some fine playing skills on the ngoni and akonting (banjo predecessors).  

For those of you that have pre-ordered Volume 3, I've forwarded a link and password (for immediate viewing).  You will be shipped DVDs when they're finished and released later this year).  

Greg is indeed a "shining star" in the realm of banjo history!  Warning:  His enthusiasm and love for the instrument is highly contagious.  

What a great intro to the background and history of the banjo!  This history lesson is much more exciting that what I remember from High School.  

Up next is Jim Bollman's collection.

Enjoy, folks!


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 05/30/2012:  04:58:08



This was a very cogent presentation, one I've had the good fortune to hear often in the past in various versions.  The version now on film courtesy of Frailin Craig Productions is earnest, honest about intel gaps, and forward looking in terms of an agenda for future research and a trajectory for banjo scholarship. 


I remember sitting with Greg in a California Pizza Kitchen in the shadow of the Pentagon during the late 1990s and getting a preview of the banjo data he (and George) had amassed.  I think I recall listening patiently (or as patiently as a Pentagon Bureaucrat could listen) and, at the end, saying "now that you've laid all of this out and said what you've said, what did you mean?" 


This presentation gets to the heart of it, aims directly at the "what did you mean" part of the work, and is done very effectively.


It's been a while since I've seen Greg, though we have chatted electronically.  It is gratifying to see that all this hard work has at least greyed his hair.


Finally, I was pleased that you, Craig, managed to make the last sound we hear in this film be George Wunderlich's distinctive laugh.  It has always been, to me, symbolic of the energy and fun associated with banjo stuff.


Take care,



frailin - Posted - 05/31/2012:  07:42:06

Historian Installment #2:  Take a tour of Jim Bollman's EXTRAORDINARY banjo collection. 


Jim Bollman's historic banjo collection is so magnificent (and massive!) that there's really no way it can be completely covered in a day.  To do it justice, it might take months if not years of cataloging.  But this whirlwind tour provides enough eye-candy for at least another decade of waiting... and the history is equally as compelling.  

Jim is a superb tour guide as we pass from the early primitive banjos of the 1830s, to the "commoditiization" period of 1860-1880s, (Dobsons, Teeds, Tiltons and more) up to the truly incredible Cole and Fairbanks Presentation Models of 1890 - 1910s.

And there's a wonderful discussion of the seminal engraver, Icilio Consalvi... and Jim's tireless quest for the infamous "King" banjo.  

But his collection is so much more.  The pictures, clocks, pamphlets and toys are equally as interesting.  

For all I know, this late 19th century French automaton might have been Martin Scorsese's inspiration for the movie Hugo.  I sure found it inspiring!  

Jim is an incredible host for this Program.  He's contributed volumes to what we know about the banjo.  His work will be prized for years to come.  This history is so captivating!  

If you've already purchased Volume 3, you can watch this Show now at Vimeo.  Info on purchasing at:


Next up, a personal tour of Peter Szego's collection with Greg Adams and George Wunderlich providing color.  This one is also really fun.  big


Edited by - frailin on 05/31/2012 07:44:32

frailin - Posted - 05/31/2012:  09:35:23

I know this has nothing to do with banjos, but I couldn't help posting it.  big



I'd like you all to meet the inspiration behind Autism Hangout (dotcom). Nolan Parks. Like his mom, Nolan is creative, talented, compassionate and funny. Nolan also has Asperger's. I call him my "courageous son" for many reasons. And yesterday, in graduating from Transition Plus with his GED, he gave us one more.

DeAnne and I couldn't be prouder of Nolan for his ongoing accomplishments.

If your family has been touched by autism, there is great reason for optimism.  Nolan proves that.  big


neillconnor - Posted - 05/31/2012:  10:15:28

My videos work fine thanks both on my computer and DVD. Computer uses windows 7.
Great vids

ScottK - Posted - 05/31/2012:  16:58:49

Hi Craig,

Congratulations and high fives to Nolan! And to DeAnne and you!

Best wishes, Scott

p.s. Just ordered the Banjo Historians DVD. Really looking forward to those interviews! Thanks for your ongoing efforts!

bricklifter1 - Posted - 06/03/2012:  05:05:40

so many famous people probably had aspergers :  daryl hannah, dan akroyd, george bernard shaw, ben franklin    ,two people who work in my field have it--they describe it as a condition or a difference instead of a disease--just a different sort of wiring.



frailin - Posted - 06/05/2012:  14:11:24

Volume 2 Replacement DVDs have been shipped!!


I'm happy to report that very soon, those of you that have so patiently waited to view Volume 2 will have that opportunity.  big 

The "DVD won't play" problem wasn't wide-spread, but I had extra replacement DVDs made, just in case someone else hasn't yet found out they got a few of the bad lot.  Fortunately, DVD formatting problems don't happen that often.  

And in my case, I'm VERY hopeful they will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!  approve

Thanks for your patience, folks.  

pddngtn - Posted - 06/05/2012:  19:09:44


Looking forward to viewing the next installment of your great work. ( without having to schedule time on the wintel ). Best wishes and heartfelt congrats to you and your family.

Thank you,


BackDraft307 - Posted - 06/07/2012:  17:41:08

Just got my set in the mail today,  Ran them on the Macbook pro,  The Asus Tower DVD, and DVD player hook up the TV...  All work flawlessly...  



frailin - Posted - 06/07/2012:  19:05:43

Yay!! Enjoy! :)

BNJOMAKR - Posted - 06/08/2012:  02:42:36

I got my replacement DVDs yesterday and watched Disc 1 last night. It worked great. Enjoyed it very much. The stories of how they got started into banjos and banjo building is interesting. I really liked all the shop tours. I like seeing how other people build. It was nice to see Bob Flesher's neck cutting jig using his band saw. I use the same type of jig on my mini banjo necks, only mine is made of plywood!smiley

flatfootjohnny - Posted - 06/09/2012:  05:33:05

i'll be ordering mine next week... cant wait!!

pddngtn - Posted - 06/14/2012:  11:56:58

Congrats Craig, Just got the JDMC flyer featuring " Conversations with NABB" at the top of the Fathers Day gift recommendations.


J-Walk - Posted - 06/16/2012:  17:23:21

Duh! Today I realized that I never did watch the 3rd DVD!

So I had an enjoyable time watching the last three. Those Romeros have it made, eh? What a life. 

frailin - Posted - 06/20/2012:  06:44:35

Volume 3 Update


Hi folks.  Wanted to let you know I've been dutifully slugging away, editing the tour of Peter Szego's AMAZING banjo collection.  George Wunderlich, Greg Adams and Peter added some incredible historic commentary about the 7 artifacts we reviewed.  I'm being especially careful in selecting the conversations around the Boucher and Ashborn banjos as those stories are not only historically noteworthy, but fascinating!!  

I also had to upgrade my software and computer to be able to handle the editing task of this particular Program.  I AM coming up to speed (the software is much more sophisticated than my iMovie), and realize... it's worth the effort.  smiley

Due to the DVD formatting error (and its associated costs), I've had to cancel the Smithsonian shoot.  But be not dismayed, I have captured that banjo history in Peter Szego and Jim Bollman's collection.

In early July I'm heading to NC to film historians Bob Carlin, Cece Conway and Laurent Dubois.  Will give you more updates then.   big

Edited by - frailin on 06/20/2012 06:46:17

Oplunk - Posted - 06/20/2012:  10:18:02

I can hardly wait for vol 3!!! I have watched vols 1&2 multiple times already. Heck, I even got my wife to sit down and watch a couple of maker interviews! Along with the plea of others to give us as much as possible of the historian interviews, let me also suggest extended outtakes and extras from all three volumes would make a great volume 4 offering. Just sayin'!!!! Again, thank you for taking on such an awesome adventure and sharing it with the rest of the banjo obsessed.

bricklifter1 - Posted - 06/21/2012:  16:14:11

truly bummed about the Smithsonian--that would have been cool: i was impressed by the photos taken by Wunderlich a few years ago during his visit....i actually just finished a Boucher based on his measurements.  i wish someone with video experience could go as a proxy or something.  Either way, the rest of the material sounds GREAT.  Cant wait to order it....if its half as good as banjo builders 1 and 2, it'll be worth every penny?


Edited by - bricklifter1 on 06/21/2012 16:17:12

frailin - Posted - 06/22/2012:  12:11:10

Hey!  I'm in Georgia visiting my in-laws for a few days.  Plan to make it over to Dahlonega to attend Debbielee and Joe's jam sometime tomorrow.  

If you're in the area, please stop by to play a few tunes and/or just say "hi!"  big

Edited by - frailin on 06/22/2012 12:12:19

maryzcox - Posted - 06/24/2012:  11:53:42

Originally posted by J-Walk

I've watched the first two discs so far. Every bit as good as the first volume. So far, my favorites are Brooks and Doc. Coincidentally, they are the only two I've ever met in real life.

Now I'm thinking I must meet Jim Bollman.

Damn, Craig. You are doing some historical stuff here.

Met Jim Bollman a few years ago and he is truly a fascinating character. His whole life has been devoted to banjos :)

frailin - Posted - 06/24/2012:  13:45:26

Yay Georgia jams!  


Comin' to Georgia to visit DeAnne's family is one of my favorite things.  I get to play with some of BHO's finest players!!

I put out the call last week, asking about jams and such.  Debbielee wrote back and reminded me of the Saturday afternoon jam in Dahlonega.  Sure enough, they were assembled in the square as usual with a fine crowd surrounding.  And there in the middle was Debbielee and hubbie Joe.  And they'd brought along their fellow American Honey musicians, Dean and Judy Robinson.  Lucky me!

We sat and played a spell.  Good singin'!  But after a few too many verses of an Elvis Presley number (complete with a serenading walk through the crowd), I think we opted for something a bit more traditional.  

We reconvened in (air conditioned) Vintage Instruments... fiddlin' John Grimm's musical establishment on the square and continued in a fine, relaxed old-timey form.  What a great afternoon!

Thanks, Debbielee and Joe for the southern hospitality and terrific music.   big

Here's banjo builder Dean Robinson (a part of American Honey), Debblielee and me (picture, courtesy of Joe).  Yee-ha!  

PS - We all especially like the placement of Debblielee's sock.  

Debbielee - Posted - 06/25/2012:  12:17:40

What a fun afternoon! Hopefully see you again next year! Always, always our pleasure! P.S. Will Fielding...if you read this thread, it was I clean sock (I think).

StraitsBlueGal - Posted - 06/25/2012:  13:45:15

Just pre-ordered #3 - can't wait!   


Your work here is a real inspiration, Craig, for what a person can accomplish when they are passionate about something and want to share it with others.  Thank you for doing this instead of thinking "what a great idea" and setting it aside.  All of the banjo fans, lay historians and wanna-be luthiers (I'm in that all three groups) are getting a lot of enjoyment out of this project!

frailin - Posted - 06/26/2012:  06:31:19

Again... thanks for the kind words of encouragement, folks.  I'm delighted you are enjoying these "conversations" as much as I am.  I couldn't think of a better 60th birthday gift for me.  The fact that you-all are enjoying them along with me is just icing on the cake.  smiley

I head to NC and WVA on Sunday July 8th to take in more historians and a piece of current history.  More enlightening time with those that love this instrument as much as me.  These'll keep me editing for the rest of the summer.  For those of you that have pre-ordered Volume 3, I'll let you know when there's new Programs to view.  

Wheee!  big

frailin - Posted - 06/29/2012:  11:40:19

Been editing on the Peter Szego, George Wunderlich, Greg Adams walk through Peter's amazing banjo collection.  

The information the three of them share on Bouchers and Ashborns is incredible.  As a part of the Ashborn discussion, Peter shows examples of the beautiful guitars Ashborn made (before and during his banjo construction period).  

This history lesson will be a primer for anyone looking to learn more about the early American history of the banjo.  

Thanks, George, Greg and Peter!!  

Edited by - frailin on 06/29/2012 11:47:52

frailin - Posted - 06/29/2012:  13:43:22

50,000 Reads.

Sheesh!! big

bricklifter1 - Posted - 06/29/2012:  14:16:43

just ordered volume 3 about 15 seconds ago!


Proud owner of all 3 volumes--i honestly think i have watched vol 1 and 2 4 or 5 times: i always see something different



GrizClaw - Posted - 06/29/2012:  16:38:02

frailin, I've been very delinquent in telling you what a great thing you are doing. I turn 60 in a year and I'm ashamed to say I'm not doing anything nearly as worthy as you. Maybe seeing you in action will provide more of us "old ...arts" the inspiration to do something more meaningful with our time and talents. Regards, Rick

bricklifter1 - Posted - 07/01/2012:  20:37:14

50 thousand reads......imagine if everyone of those people bought all 3 volumes !!!!!!

150,000 copies of Banjo the dvd manufacturer would take notice.

I think I might quit the day job for a couple years :-)


Just finished the ethnomusicologist presentation/lecture: I took allot of history classes as an undergrad. at the University of Virginia....professors with his communication style were the easiest to learn from...inspiring.



DPortella - Posted - 07/03/2012:  15:13:21

Craig, thank you so much for providing this for the community ... Volumes 1 & 2 arrived on Saturday and I've already watched the complete set. Informative, entertaining, and inspiring. I will be ordering Vol. 3.


Frontiersman101 - Posted - 07/03/2012:  18:48:32

I am sure it is been addressed before, but how do I order?

frailin - Posted - 07/03/2012:  19:22:56

banjered - Posted - 07/03/2012:  20:44:29

Frontiersman101 - Posted - 07/03/2012:  22:51:43


frailin - Posted - 07/04/2012:  07:11:06

Website woes.


Hey everyone.  Apple turned OFF their MobileMe service on 6/30... which means and went dark.  BHO's Eric (Schlange) is helping me out, providing a new host server, but there's been some problems (on my end) getting it all set up.  So I'm NOT sure if either of my sites will be fully functional.  IF you're interested in buying Volumes 1 or 2, there are several places to pick it up.  

Here at Banjo Hangout (a portion of sales goes back to Banjo Hangout to help keep the lights on) -

Elderly Instruments -

Janet Davis Music -

If you're interested in Volume 3, I can only take PRE-orders at  You might give this link to one more try (just for fun).  Otherwise, you'll have wait a day or two while Eric helps straighten my sites out.  approve

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Edited by - frailin on 07/04/2012 07:17:14

frailin - Posted - 07/05/2012:  14:12:22

Banjo Builders - The Music Video


Ok. Ok.  I'm probably COMPLETELY out of control at this point... but why shouldn't I do it?  smiley

I've got a final segment planned for the Banjo Historian's DVD series.  It's going to be me talking about what has touched me the most through this journey.  Specifically, it'll be about community, and why we celebrate this music (and the banjo).  I'm going to film it when I'm out in NC next week... probably at Mt. Airy or Galax.  

As a part of that, I really want to share some of MY music community with you.  So at the August MBOTMA festival, I'm going to attempt to herd 50-200 festival go-ers (cats) up to Old Wash Machine Hill (where we usually camp) for the recording of a favorite, 1840's song of mine - the Tombigbee River.  

Here's a link to the Mitch Miller version I've posted for those that want to learn it and be a part of the fun.  Click on the pic or go to:

If'n yer around for the festival, bring yer banjo and sing along.  Everyone welcome.  big

Edited by - frailin on 07/05/2012 14:20:16

BackDraft307 - Posted - 07/05/2012:  16:34:19

Awesome...  That was very nice...  Two Thumbers UP! 

frailin - Posted - 07/08/2012:  16:34:12

North Carolina Banjo Historian Swing - Day 1


DeAnne dropped me at MSP International at O-dark 30 this morning.  Wheels down in Raleigh/Durham at 10:35A.  I jumped in my rental and headed off to Lexington to meet up with a hero of mine, Bob Carlin.

It's hard to imagine a better start to any Swing than a conversation with the brilliant, engaging, delightfully entertaining Bob Carlin.  We covered everything from Joel Walker Sweeney up through Earl, Bill Keith and John Hartford.  We were even mostly serious... mostly... sometimes.  

And wow... you might not always agree with his take on things, but Bob IS as forthright as they come.  Once we got through all that, THEN he started in on some Hartford stories.  Oh my.  I can't wait to experience this one again in edit. The first time around (as it happened), I was mostly in shock.  big

And here's the perfect topper to my first day... meeting up with Ol Pete (Thad Bateman) and family.  

We sat down for a sweet tea (what else?) at the local Lexington, NC BBQ/hangout called Smileys.  Perfect title for a perfect experience.  I got a chance to meet the lovely (and talented - plays upright bass) Ms. Pete (Tami) and their at-first-shy-but-quickly-warms-up equally talented daughter, Katie.  An enthusiastic builder, Thad wants to make sure he's on the list for the next "new" Banjo Builder's DVD Series.  I'm afraid I'll need to rest up a bit first before taking on that next assignment.  

Thad is a "friend" in the Banjo Builder Series credits.  He was one of the first on board when I announced my 60th Birthday present idear a year ago last March.  Thanks, friend!  

Tomorrow I see CeCe Conway to talk about the influential Piedmont folks highlighted in her book, and Laurent Dubois (at Duke) to discuss his current research and writing on the early banjo in the Caribbean.  

Ah... another GREAT day in store!  smiley

PS - With all the sugar in the tea down here, I sure hope I can sleep.  

Edited by - frailin on 07/08/2012 16:36:45

dbrooks - Posted - 07/08/2012:  16:56:50

Another great update, Craig.  Your energy is amazing.  I'm looking forward to the Banjo Historians DVD.


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