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

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

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frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  06:14:49

BanjoJudy is added to the list.  Thanks, Judy!  

frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  06:48:30

Mark Rough is added to the DVD list.

Thanks, Mark!

frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  08:16:59

Hey folks, the SURVEY IS on my Autism Hangout site.  I just set it up for this event.  

So go ahead and use it!  The link is here.  big

Edited by - frailin on 06/16/2011 08:24:19

frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  08:35:33

Oops.  My bad.  I forgot, you need to have an account at Autism Hangout to participate in Surveys and Blogs.  Thanks for writing and reminding me  blush.  


Ok.  Survey Plan B:


So head over to Survey Monkey and vote.  That link is here or click on the pic of the survey above.  

Edited by - frailin on 06/16/2011 08:38:10

frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  09:27:52

Couple of you have reported a "bad link".  

Banjo Builder Survey is HERE.  

frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  11:44:35

Grahamule is now signed up for the DVD sets.

Thank you!

frailin - Posted - 06/16/2011:  13:28:03

Survey has been up a coupla hours.  Looks like the choice could be close!  

I'll leave it up for a few days for those of you that wish to share your preference.  ALL these guys (and their Shows) are terrific!!

Edited by - frailin on 06/16/2011 13:29:29

frailin - Posted - 06/17/2011:  18:47:52

Old-timer from Lakeville, MN is now on the DVD list.  

Thanks Rob!

frailin - Posted - 06/17/2011:  18:52:40

Looks like most of you are favorin' watching the Bill Rickard Show.  Great choice!  But then again, they ALL are!  

I'll leave this up over the weekend.  If we reach 50, there's "statistical significance" to the survey's results.  smiley

frailin - Posted - 06/18/2011:  20:10:39

Banjo Builder's Home


I figgered I'd better set up a page outside of this thread where you can find the interviews with these extraordinary individuals.  Finished phase 1 of that tonight (place holder page).  It's at:



Phase 2 will be activating Paypal's PPV set-up for immediately viewing.  I'll do that when I've got some Shows to show.  DVD's will follow shortly there after.  

There's still some time to vote on which Builder's Show you'd like to see for free.  Vote here:



neighbour - Posted - 06/19/2011:  16:29:59

sign me up for both d v d s please  thanks

frailin - Posted - 06/19/2011:  16:54:27

Howdy Neighbour!  Consider yourself added.  Thank you!

Viper - Posted - 06/20/2011:  13:46:08

Hi folks, Frailin took a little time in the middle of his crazy schedule to talk to me about the North American Banjo Builders Series for my latest blog post:

I promise I didn't interrupt any video editing. 

frailin - Posted - 06/20/2011:  20:51:09

Too close to call.  


Ok.  We're 4 responses away from a total of 50 (votes) and its too close to call.  

Looks like the FREE view Show is going to be either Bill Rickard (currently in the lead with 16 votes) or Greg Galbreath (a close second... could be first, at 13).  

If anyone else wants to vote, now would be the time.  Last call!

frailin - Posted - 06/20/2011:  20:52:39

Thanks for the great article, Brad.  Your previous story on Bob Smakula was terrific!  

banjogra - Posted - 06/21/2011:  02:35:02

craig, I came on this link at 7-30am here in england, with plans for the day, that was 3hours ago lol, just following one link after another.

its wonderful, what your doing, I sure wish I was a backseat passenger in your car, take care, bless

ho, what happened to that beautiful red waistcoat you got married in ????

Viper - Posted - 06/21/2011:  06:21:02


Originally posted by frailin

Thanks for the great article, Brad.  Your previous story on Bob Smakula was terrific!  

Thanks, Craig. It was good talking to you. 

frailin - Posted - 06/21/2011:  06:51:32

Photo finish?


48 surveys complete, 2 to go and the leading contenders are ONE vote apart.  This could go either way.  So... which FREE Banjo Builder Program do you want to see?  

u k sandra - Posted - 06/21/2011:  08:59:35

Craig, can you put me on the list for the DVD set.


frailin - Posted - 06/21/2011:  09:01:09

One Banjo Builder DVD set for u k Sandra, comin' up!

Thank you!!

Edited by - frailin on 06/21/2011 09:01:28

frailin - Posted - 06/21/2011:  09:09:34

Oh my.  It's a tie!


Didn't see this one coming.  

Ok.  Tie-breaker anyone?  smiley

Edited by - frailin on 06/21/2011 09:09:55

frailin - Posted - 06/21/2011:  11:35:19

Banjogra is added to the DVD list. 

Thank you, Graham!


frailin - Posted - 06/21/2011:  11:36:55

And another person voted... but it wasn't for either of the current leaders.  So the tie remains.  smiley

J-Walk - Posted - 06/21/2011:  18:09:10

This one might have to go the the Supreme Court for a decision. It's happened before.

frailin - Posted - 06/21/2011:  19:36:42

OMG!  More votes, STILL TIED!  J-Walk might be right (this one is tough to call). 


Ok.  Let's keep it open until a clear winner emerges.    smiley   For those of you that haven't please vote now:

frailin - Posted - 06/22/2011:  07:05:49

We have a winner!  



The first FREE-to-watch Banjo Builder Show will be Greg Galbreath's ("Buckeye Banjos!").  I'll let you all know (here) when it's ready for it's debut.

Edited by - frailin on 06/22/2011 07:06:50

Brentk5s - Posted - 06/22/2011:  07:57:59

Way to go Greg!

Clawhammer Clint - Posted - 06/22/2011:  18:03:01



That sounds like a fabulous project. I'll be fascinated to see what trends and themes emerge from your interviews.  By the way, this is my first post on the BHO since my quadruple bypass on April 25. I started picking again in late May.

Edited by - Clawhammer Clint on 06/22/2011 18:04:40

Bob Robert - Posted - 06/23/2011:  05:42:24


Originally posted by frailin

The original INTRO footage was too messy... I had to clean and tighten it up.

Here's the remake:

There. Now I feel better.

Oh. And if you want to get the full HD effect, in the lower right hand corner of the Youtube video player, click on 360p and reset it to 720p. Then expand the image to FULL SCREEN. Gotta admit, HD is cool.

I watched, in HD. Sounds like a great idea and I look forward to following all of it. However, my daughter, age 8, said, "He's not wearing his seat belt!" shock

*sigh* It's so hard to find good role models. big


SCclawman - Posted - 06/23/2011:  07:08:40

Love the website and the project.

I'm real excited about buying the PPV version of Lo Gordon's when it's ready (when will it be ready?). I live 3 hours from Brevard, and always enjoy going into Celestial Mountain Music. That store is actually one of the main reasons I play now.

After a long day of hiking, I went to the store with a few buddies, and Mary (Lo's) wife spent about 30 minutes with us teaching us basic clawhammer technique. She is one of the nicest ladies you'll ever meet. It took almost 2 years before I finally decided to buy a banjo and start, but that was the initial spark into the world of clawhammer.

I have a $400 Morgan Monroe open back now that I bought as a starter banjo, and I love it other than the intonation (which could be fixed if I find someone in SC that can do it). However, my ultimate goal is to have Lo Gordon make one at some point down the road.

Can't wait to watch the videos!


frailin - Posted - 06/24/2011:  14:54:46

Banjo Builders not in this series


Once or twice a week I've been receiving email from folks wanting to alert me to a particular banjo builder that has not been included in this series.  Whether the email comes from a satisfied customer or the builder himself, I'm excited to see the work. And I'm happy to say, in all cases, the work I've seen is quality.  

I know I've said this several times before, but it bears repeating:  Due to limited time and resources, I am UN-able to physically conduct filmed interviews with every qualified banjo builder in North America.  That's why I made the selection criteria as objective as possible.  But no system is perfect.  And even 24 builders is proving a "reach" (12 would have been much easier to accommodate).  All that being said, the knowledge and experiences of the selected group ARE accurately representative of the people comprising this amazing "point in time"... a banjo building renaissance period. 

I am sorry ANY-one has to be left out.  But the reality is, there simply are too many for this yeoman's (birthday) effort. To that point, I believe compiling a list of ALL banjo builders might be in order. I've seen a couple such lists around the web, but I'm wondering who the folks at Banjo Hangout are buying banjos from these days?  

Aside from the 24 builders I'm visiting, who else needs to be on the Comprehensive North American Banjo Builder's List? 

I'll start with these notable folks.  PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST.

* John Gough

* Helix

* Ken LeVan

* Wayne Sagmoen

* Kevin Fore

* Roy Smith

* Glenn Carson

Note:  If you're in the market for a new banjo, ALL the builders warrant a look. 


Edited by - frailin on 06/24/2011 15:03:06

pernicketylad - Posted - 06/24/2011:  15:44:46

Jeff Delfield.

ramjo - Posted - 06/24/2011:  15:48:04

John Gough. I couldn't find a website, but check this out:


Ken LeVan:

Wayne Sagmoen:

Kevin Fore:

Roy Smith: I couldn't find a website, but check these out:,

Glenn Carson: no website, but our own Kansas City Mark Johnson can fill you in:, and check this out:

ramjo - Posted - 06/24/2011:  15:49:30

Jeff delfield:

frailin - Posted - 06/24/2011:  15:55:55

Excellent ramjo! Thank you!

srrobertsiii - Posted - 06/24/2011:  16:19:47


Has anyone mentioned Jeff Kramer of CloverLick Banjos ( He builds Dwight Diller models now, I think.

Sam Roberts

RWJonesy - Posted - 06/24/2011:  17:40:56

Wyatt Fawley of whom I am the proud owner of 2 of his banjos!!! What an an interesting wonderful person and artist Wyatt is!

Edited by - RWJonesy on 06/24/2011 17:43:06

J-Walk - Posted - 06/24/2011:  18:19:02


Originally posted by frailin

Due to limited time and resources, I am UN-able to physically conduct filmed interviews with every qualified banjo builder in North America. 

Man, he's already promoting the sequel! Coming in 2013.

Read this in a really deep announcer-type voice...

"In a time when you've thought you've learned all about the great banjo builder, you ain't seen nothing yet! Coming to a theater near you: Banjo Builders: Those Who Were Left Out. You'll laugh, you'll cry... blah blah blah"


frailin - Posted - 06/24/2011:  19:05:15


frailin - Posted - 06/25/2011:  05:10:13

Good News! Today is Saturday, June 25 and the FIRST 6 BANJO BUILDER PROGRAMS ARE FINISHED! approve

Bad News! The PPV programming - allowing you to watch individual Programs - is not yet in place (so you can't see the Shows).  At least not yet.  disapprove

The BEST NEWS!  Until PPV is operational, thanks to your "vote," you can watch GREG GALBREATH's Program FOR FREE!!  big


Aim your browser to  Once the page loads, it asks you for a Password.  Put in "freebie" and you're there.

Meet one of our terrific Banjo Builders!  Be sure and bring some popcorn... and ENJOY!! 



banjered - Posted - 06/25/2011:  05:21:54

the "freebie" password didn't work for me? Banjered

frailin - Posted - 06/25/2011:  05:26:18

Don't include the quotes... just try entering freebie.


Yellowhouseroad - Posted - 06/25/2011:  08:11:17

Nice! I love watching the banjo building process, and the art of it! Great job Craig!

corgies - Posted - 06/25/2011:  08:38:44

Nicely done, Craig!

Enjoyable way to start a Saturday morning.

Pine Cone - Posted - 06/25/2011:  10:31:16

Really enjoyed it. Can't wait to see the rest of them.

RWJonesy - Posted - 06/25/2011:  11:25:32

Thank you Craig for that free interview. Greg is an interesting person with one beautiful home. I would love that beauty and solitude to retreat to everyday. I bet there are some wonderful jan sessions held there. Beautiful banjos !

jbalch - Posted - 06/25/2011:  12:07:54

Well done Craig.  Thanks.

pammiec - Posted - 06/25/2011:  16:09:52

That was great Craig!  What an awesome guy!




pernicketylad - Posted - 06/25/2011:  16:14:56

I don't even want to think about the damage these interviews could do.....and there I am thinking I've all the banjo I'm ever going to need.

pernicketylad - Posted - 06/25/2011:  17:30:58

Think I've survived my earlier BAS episode but stumbled upon this in the interim........ 

Seems like a comprehensive list to me.....links and all!


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