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

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frailin - Posted - 07/04/2011:  07:18:14

I've said this before, but how can you not love these guys!?  I'm thankful you're getting a taste for who they really are, what drives them, how they live and how they regard the signifiicance of their work (ie: their position in the world... and what they feel banjos contribute).  

Here's the next 4 Builders that I'm now completing:


Bart (The "Businessman") Reiter  

For over 30 years, Bart has been methodically produced over 3,500 banjos... on his way to 4,000 and retirement.  In addition to building some of the most durable, consistent banjos of all time, Bart has successfully made a living off the trade.  And man, is this guy NEAT!


Doug (The "Artist") Unger

Amazingly talented, thoughtful... it's hard to imagine just how pristine images are in his world.  He's almost mystic-like when you meet him.  And his work?  Impeccably, breath-taking.  BEAUTIFUL!  


Mike (The "Johnny Appleseed") Ramsey

Affable, personable, friendly, humble with a wicked sense of humor.  It's easy to feel like you're known this guy for years.  He knows what he likes and how to get what he wants from a banjo.  And it's as if he can do it with his eyes closed.  Mike is one of many builders that I wish I could just "hang" with. 


George (The "Historian") Wunderlich

Brilliant, effluent, witty, determined.  George has forgotten more about banjo history than most of us will ever know.  Fortunately for us, he's written most of it down.  George's database of old banjo facts and findings assures that history will be able to fully appreciate just how rich the banjo's past really is.  This guy is a stitch to be around.  Oh, saving stitches (from the Civil War) is his day job, too!  


Ok.  It's the 4th of July.  The Eelpouts are playing for the 125th celebration of the Baird House in Edina, MN today.  So I've got the day off (editing-wise).  I'll be back at it tomorrow.  Will try to have these four shows for you, soon.  

And hopefully, Eric will have PPV working within a week or so.  

Have a SAFE Fourth, everyone! 


pjxndvm - Posted - 07/04/2011:  12:47:09

I watched the first round of interviews...I couldn't stop at just one. Total pleasure to see Will Fielding and get to know how he works. His banjos are beautiful. Can't wait to see Chuck Lee at work. It was also very informative to see other banjo makers I didn't know existed. I can't wait for the DVDs this fall.

frailin - Posted - 07/06/2011:  16:52:08

Does anyone here work for... or know people in Marketing at Apple?  

The North American Banjo Builder project is being created ENTIRELY on Apple out-of-the-box hard and software.  Yep... just what I brought home from the Apple store.  Beyond my cameras and mics (which Apple doesn't make), there are no additional ingredients.  Here's my Apple asset list:

* iMovie editing software. So simple, anyone with a little bit of imagination and determination can become a Ken Burns.  iMovie even gives me a Ken Burns signature move (and I use it!).

* iPhoto stores all my pictures and offers me the ability alter/augment or fix whatever I don't like.

* iTunes manages my music.

* iWeb is where I now host the Banjo Builder home page.

* Garageband helps me make sure the soundtrack is balanced and clean.

* iDVD will be the software I use to master the final DVDs.

And of course, I'm doing all the above - seamlessly - at home on my iMac.  This just blows me away. I think this capability is freakin' amazing!!  What's more astonishing is, it's happened WITHIN my life time. 

I wonder how many film-maker wannabes (like me) are out there? Thanks to Apple's easy-to-use technology, how many stories can the common Joe (again, like me) capture for posterity?  It's possible!  It's so possible.  In fact, if Apple is looking for a "how to" example, they don't come much more motivated than me.  In exchange for a story, I'd love to have them as a corporate sponsor. 

Oh, and in case anyone hasn't heard, Google is handing out $100 million to film producers with programs that will give Youtube some "stick" power to compete with hulu, Netflix and the ol' boob tube. That's pretty fair incentive to move beyond Americas Funniest Videos.  Kinda like a gold rush of sorts... there's gold in them thar hills of entertainment.  And Apple is handin' out the movie-makin' equivalent of pick axes, shovels and Levis.  

I've been an Apple zealot since 1984 (it did help my career), but as a career marketer, I think there's a story here for Apple.  Not just for old Boomers like me, but for the next generation that's so much more technophilic... capable of using these tools for education and posterity.   

So if someone knows someone at Apple, can you help me with a name? I'd really like to talk to them. I'm hopin' they might feel the same. 



PS -  And on top of ALL these nifty tools to record history and help preserve lost arts, we've got the BANJO, TOO!  

What a wonderful time to be alive.  big


BanjoMc - Posted - 07/08/2011:  20:20:47

I just finished watching the first 6 videos.  I am currently working two jobs and I have been saving it for this weekend.  I made the mistake of starting one this morning to test my video accelerator.  One hour and 30 minutes later I realized I was going to be late for my job.  Completely mesmerizing.  I was really struck by the different personalities, passions and pathways each took to get to where they are at.

One really interesting thing happened to me due to the order I watched these in.  A few years ago I had the good fortune of getting a grant to study a passion of mine...alternative and natural building.  Over a two week period I went to workshops on strawbale, earthbag, cordwood and other methodologies.  On the last day of my trip I walked out of a field where we had just built a livable structure out of dirt, feedsacks, native lumber, sand, water and sawdust...with no power tools.  Two weeks working with nature's most basic elements.  I drove 8 hours to the Indianapolis airport, hopped on a plane and flew to the National Educational Computing conference where I attended presentations on the most sophisticated technology available to educator.  Suddenly, it was all tech, everywhere.  It was almost too much to go from one world to the other.  I kind of went into shock.  Fast forward to this morning.  The order I watched these videos--Galbreath, Fielding, Burns, Menzies, Ross...and then Rickard.  Ross to Rickard really threw me.  I wasn't ready.  There should have been a warning :-)  Two geniuses.  Two passionate people.  Almost opposite approaches in many regards.  Wow!  That alone made my entire morning!  Deja Vu! 

I am beginning my own journey to building banjos.  I am working with Luthier Ernie Wells in Connersville and have visited several luthiers myself.  Each has a different approach. These experiences and watching these videos this morning makes me really excited to see where this will go for me.  I am inspired that each person that Craig interviewed stated that the building of banjos took on a life of its own.  Their paths seemed to have developed organically.  Very inspirational and encouraging.

I would like to thank Craig as his videos have further inspired me.  I also want to thank Craig for giving voice to these 6 (and eventually more) artisans and craftsmen because through their words and actions they are demonstrating not only how to build banjos but are exposing me to a new way of thinking about passion, and this journey called life.  For that, I am grateful.

I think a book could be written -- "Life lessons from the banjo builders"


pernicketylad - Posted - 07/11/2011:  16:54:16

Well Craig the “Banjo Builder Series” is a triumph so far. Sorry for taking so long to respond but I was knocked for six.....took some time to process!

It was a joy to hear such remarkable artists articulate why it is that they do what they do. Through their affirmations and their work we see art dovetail effortlessly with pragmatism.   

What a treat it was to see Pete Ross excavate American culture in the depths of his basement, to hear Richard Jones-Bamman refer to Will Fielding’s “reverence for wood”, to get a glimpse of the world from which Greg Galbreath’s elegant banjos emerge and to be reminded by Bill Rickard that where there is a will there truly is a way.

It seems these days that most TV programming is designed to separate us from anything of substance, from anything that encourages thought or action or anything that reminds us of what Shakespeare had in mind when he asked “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! ”

In this context it was refreshing to be prompted by Jeff Menzies to consider the “dialogue between materials” and to hear the aspirations of a craftsman like Jason Burns as he reflected on the simple pleasure of a sharp chisel or spokeshave.

Bravo Craig. 

frailin - Posted - 07/14/2011:  11:05:35

Next 6 Programs to be posted shortly.


In addition to the 4 Shows I'd planned for this second release, I spent a few extra hours and finished off two more.  The additional Programs are of...

Cedar Mountain Banjo company founder, Lo Gordon (and his son Tim):


And Jim Hartel.


Those of you that have purchased the DVD set will be given passwords for free viewing.  And Eric tells me he's working on the PPV page.  Hopefully that will be along shortly. 

So, the second batch will be:

George Wunderlich

Doug Unger

Bart Reiter

Mike Ramsey

Jim Hartel

Lo Gordon and Tim Gardner

Will let you know when they're up!  approve

budbennett - Posted - 07/14/2011:  11:49:41

wow!  i just watched Greg Galbreath's interview and it was great.  i wish i would have seen this thread sooner, i live quite close to eggleston and would have liked to meet you craig.


great job!


frailin - Posted - 07/14/2011:  11:54:39

Thanks again for the kind words, folks.  smiley

For those of you looking to see Greg's show, it's still up for free viewing at:

I'll be replacing this "free view" with another Show here shortly... probably one from the new batch. 

frailin - Posted - 07/14/2011:  13:26:19

Handsup8 is added to the DVD list.  Thanks, Ted!

hhunter44 - Posted - 07/14/2011:  22:16:46

Hi Craig,

Please put me on the DVD list and let me know how to access the first six videos. Do you want any money up front?



frailin - Posted - 07/15/2011:  05:09:24

You're added to the DVD list, Hugh.  Thank you!  No up front $$ required.  

URLS and passwords for first 6 shows will be sent immediately.  smiley

cnoe - Posted - 07/19/2011:  07:29:35

Hi Craig

Please put me on the list for both DVDs. This is a great project!

Thank you and greetings from Switzerland

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 07/19/2011:  07:37:47

I was just looking over the last few posts and saw the photo of Lo Gordon and son Tim.  Some while back I heard Tim play banjo at Clifftop, in the quiet of Lo and Mary's campsite.  Tim had real banjo prowess.  And Lo was a solid player whose large hands could work very effectively on a banjo neck.

I've heard some other builders play.  I've always like Pete Ross' playing.  Ramsey shows up well in a jam.  Of course, Wunderlich has this great historic reach into some old styles and is quite a showman. 

Other builders who are players who make notable music: Jeff Kramer (Cloverlick Banjos), Jason Burns (also works well with guitar), Kevin Enoch. 

Might be worth hearing from the BHO group about builders who are players, making them real renaissance talents. 



frailin - Posted - 07/19/2011:  07:41:42

cnoe is added to the DVD list.  Thanks Casper!

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 07/19/2011:  07:46:20

Alright, I'll play your silly game.

Cnoe who?

ScottK - Posted - 07/19/2011:  07:46:49

Jason Romero is a great picker.  You can view his performance with Pharis Romero at this year's Portland Old Time Music Gathering at: 

Brooks Masten is another good picker, currently playing with the Flat Rock Stringband.


frailin - Posted - 07/19/2011:  07:57:50

Just so you know, whenever time allows I'm including some of the builders playing their banjos.  Trouble is, there's SO much GREAT material to cram into 20 minutes, I can only include a snippet.  

The good news is, there are MANY renaissance builder/players out there!  You can hear Buckeye Banjo-maker Greg Galbreath (and his fiddle-playin' wife Cindy) play on the free show up now.

Edited by - frailin on 07/19/2011 08:01:19

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 07/19/2011:  08:00:08

I meant to add that Bob Thornburg of Sierra banjos, the gourd banjo impressario, is a great clawhammer player.

frailin - Posted - 07/20/2011:  05:02:08

Woodturner is added to the DVD list.  Thanks, Denton!

frailin - Posted - 07/20/2011:  19:17:15

Shawn Hoover is added to the DVD list.  Thanks, Shawn!

Shawn Hoover - Posted - 07/20/2011:  20:44:26

Thank YOU, sir! I'm in awe of the work you've done this summer. You're a great interviewer, and the whole production is immensely satisfying and inspiring to watch. And the guys... whew. It must be an editor's dream to have this much solid material to work with. What a jam packed 21 minutes. I love hearing everything these guys have to say, as well as the HD shots of their shops, tools, jigs, lumber caches, in progress builds... all of it!

So far I've watched Greg Galbreath and Bill Rickard. Man. Greg's designs are so tasteful and sharp. And that house and shop are to die for. A joy to watch. I'd love to hear more about the transition from biology, the building of the shop, and the backyard jams if only there was more time.​

And Bill. Man. I knew he worked in fabrication and got into banjo building later, but I had no idea the extent of the cross-over. I'm a software engineer who makes virtual things and is always hungry to optimize and investigate. I'm getting into hobby banjo building partly to transfer those skills and hungers to the physical (I was going to have a friend build it, but it soon became clear to both of us that an engineer is not an artist's best customer). Bill is the engineer's builder. The machines, the precision, the repeatability, the balance and cross-over between his trade and banjo building and parts... it's incredible. I like how even his thoughts on tradeoffs come through: Time to work on titanium vs. time to work on this and that. This could just as easily be marketed as a 21 minute ad for his fabrication business when you see the thought process behind his work. (And the results!) Yet I can see why you struggled to name him. His whole approach to life and drive to do this instead of rolling over is pure romance. Genius. Romantic. Inspirational either way.

Thanks, Craig. Thanks, builders. I can't wait to watch the rest, but I've got to pace myself.

Shawn Hoover - Posted - 07/21/2011:  20:47:14

I watched the Greg Galbreath video when the freebie came out, but I watched it again tonight with my wife. I love the contrast between Greg's hand shaping and Bill's CNC routing. Completely opposite techniques both achieving great results. Also, why is no one talking about how much Greg looks like Brad Pitt when he puts his glasses on?!

frailin - Posted - 07/22/2011:  07:32:14

Second FREE Banjo Builder show now up for view!


My sound guy is working overtime on "sweetening" the second batch of 6 shows.  They're not here yet.  And since Greg Galbreath's Program has been up a while, I thought I'd change out to the next FREE SHOW.

Jason Burns

What a delightful (and talented!) guy.   To see and hear his banjo builder story, point yer browser to:

No password needed, just enjoy!


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 07/22/2011:  07:52:56

For moree about Jason see:



I echo Craig's sentiments about this young builder.



banjered - Posted - 07/22/2011:  09:14:32

Great interview with Burns, great questions! I've been thinking for a while along the lines of what Burns said, how the "fit" of all the different components make for a sound. I wonder  if you take a "cheap" banjo how far you can go with altering the components/set-up to get the sound you want - skin head, bridge, tailpiece, etc.  the things Jason talked about. It'd be fun to take several Saga 10s or  Gold Tone CCOTs  and set them up several ways and compare sounds. However, the next bank or liquor store I knock over the proceeds will go toward a custom banjo.... Banjered

frailin - Posted - 07/22/2011:  14:19:20

Hey Pernicketylad, Bisbonian and Derwood400!  I can't get in touch with you! 


The second 6 shows are now arriving.  I have access codes for you to use to watch the Banjo Builders Programs at a channel set up for those purchasing the DVD sets.  Please send me an EMAIL (through the Hangout) so I can forward you the note. 



frailin - Posted - 07/22/2011:  14:22:51

For the rest of you DVD buyers, due Access Codes...


I can only send 20 emails at a time through the Hangout (it's a spam-filter).  I'm playing a Square Dance at Bluegrass Americana Weekend tonight, but I will do my best to get you those codes by tomorrow noon.  

I know I'm biased, but these new shows are (also) terrific!!  I love these guys!  smiley



bricklifter1 - Posted - 07/22/2011:  17:02:08

I'll chime in with the rest of the chorus.....this is a WONDERFUL series. Thanks Mr. Evans for volunteering your time and tire rubber to document the activities of these builders. We are seeing the edited versions of these skillful interviews; what we are not seeing is the tedium that must precede these interviews as Mr. E drives all over creation for these interactions. The series reminds me of the landmark work of Alan Lomax, Herbert Halpert, and a young Pete Seeger, who recorded spirituals, work songs and blues music for the Library of Congress in the 1930's. This is a snapshot in time of small cottage businesses that have an integrity that is foreign to many in our society--well made products created with pride, attention to detail, and a sense of reverent history. Mr Burns refers to the love he has for his craft-- I saw the same attitude at Buckeye Banjos in show #1--what these men do not earn in dollars, they appear to receive in satisfaction from building these impressive instruments. In many ways I suspect that many of us envy their less cluttered lifestyles. Keep it up...this is truly uplifting.


frailin - Posted - 07/23/2011:  02:49:34

Tom Berghan is added to the DVD list.  Thanks, Tom!

frailin - Posted - 07/23/2011:  04:04:21

Ok.  Everyone with a standing DVD order should now have access codes to the Shows.  If I missed you, please write me here at the Hangout.  

frailin - Posted - 07/23/2011:  10:06:45

Aeroweenie is added to the DVD list.  Thanks Paul!

frailin - Posted - 07/23/2011:  10:15:27

Looking for an "early Americana" illustrator.


Ok.  I've got a concept for the cover of the DVD series but no one to produce it for me.  If someone here on the Hangout is into the type of illustration demonstrated below and is interested in a free, 2-volume Banjo Builder DVD set as remuneration for yer drawing efforts, I'd like to talk to you.  Here's the style of drawing I've got in mind.  

And here's a link to even more examples of this fine (lost) art form.;term=">;term=


I'd like to pay cash, but won't know about my grant in time for production of Volume 1 of the DVDs.  So... In addition to the DVD sets, I'm happy to give you cover credits!

Write me here at the hangout and give me some links or jpegs of your work.  I like collaborating.  So if YOU'VE got an idea for the North American Banjo Builder Series, it just might be better'n mine.  Let's talk.  smiley

pernicketylad - Posted - 07/23/2011:  13:43:04

Myself and my wife met this fellow while on honeymoon in Doc Watson country. He is a musician himself...... 

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 07/23/2011:  15:05:19

I just watched 4 of Craig’s flicks: Reiter, Unger, Wunderlich, and Hartel.  I know Unger, Wunderlich  and Hartel, mostly from the Banjo Collectors Gathering group.   Reiter I don't know, but I gained an appreciation of his approach to banjo building from the film that comports with what friends who knew him way back when have said about him.  The three flicks about friends and acquaintances really brought out their contemplative side, their industry and enthusiasm, and their artistry.  Craig has done a great job, and a real service to this art form.

frailin - Posted - 07/25/2011:  14:46:47

Smithsonian Folkways update.


For those of you that have been writing me, asking about Smithsonian Folkways, we are in conversations (what a class act, they are).  smiley

I will be completing Volume 1 of the North American Banjo Builder Series for their review.  We'll chat from there. They're looking to add to their "collections."  This Series could spark similar documentaries covering builders of fiddles, mandolins, guitars and such.  If those folks are anything like the banjo builders, what a treasure trove of stories and experiences this promises to be.  

Stay tuned... and thanks for asking.


PS - When I was a kid, two of my most respected, favorites things were National Geographic magazine and the Smithsonian Museum.  It's funny... 50 years later, nothings changed.  big

Edited by - frailin on 07/25/2011 14:49:09

frailin - Posted - 07/26/2011:  05:25:45

rproche is added to the DVD list.  Thanks, Bob!

frailin - Posted - 07/26/2011:  06:22:37

I posted this at Fiddle Hangout but realize there are MANY fiddle players over here.  Is there an interest in Fiddle Builders?  Comments welcome!!


Hi Fiddle Folks

Some of you may have been watching the development of the North American Banjo Builder Series over on Banjo Hangout (thread here:  I'm Craig (frailin) Evans, the producer of that programming.  I'm currently in conversations with the good folks at Smithsonian Folkways about the possibility of developing a similar series of documentaries on current violin/fiddle makers.  I'm interesting in learning if this is something you fiddle folks would be interested in seeing?

It works like this.  

I research the leading 20 or so violin/fiddle makers (based on criteria like: full time builder, 5+ years in the trade, producer of 20+ instruments a year, perceived widely as a "historically accurate" or "interesting/innovative" or "maker of exceptional instruments"  ... and more).  I interview them about their influences, backgrounds, take a guided tour their shops (recording stories on how they build) and then show pictures of some of their best work.  The 20 minute shows are complied onto several DVDs and individual shows made available as PPV "eaches".* 

Here's an example of a Banjo Builder Program:

The Programs - a "time capsule" for how this work was completed in 2011 - become a part of an Americana Instrument Builder Collection at Smithsonian Folkways.  Imagine how we would feel if we found something like this from Builders 100 years ago... or how people will respond as they watch this program 100 years from now.  It's exciting.  :)

If the 20 minute programs were priced at something between $30 and $85 per DVD of 10 or so fiddle makers (probably 2 DVD sets for the Fiddler Builder Series), is this something you would be interested in viewing?  

Comments welcome!

Craig (frailin) Evans

* The DVDs and PPVs will be sold on BHO and a % goes to our favorite forum!  (Thanks, Eric!).


Edited by - frailin on 07/26/2011 06:23:21

frailin - Posted - 07/30/2011:  12:50:47

A few updates...


Earlier this week, I turned the last two Banjo Builder interviews (Kevin Enoch and Chuck Lee) over to my sound guy.  This COMPLETES the "East of the Mississippi" swing (yay!).  I also handed him 3 more bonus Programs!  

Interviews with Performers - "What's important in a banjo?  Which banjos do you like?  And "What has the banjo contributed to society and culture?" are a few of the topics they address.  What performers Paul Brown, Riley Baugus, Steve Arkin, Howie Bursen and Bruce Molsky look for in a banjo is most interesting.

Interviews with Banjo Retailers - So banjo sales are up.  But did you know open-backs are outselling bluegrass banjos by a margin of at least 2:1?  And listen to whose buying them.  Listen also what this new group of players thinks of the banjo.  Encouraging!

A Conversation with Ethnomusicologist Richard Jones-Bamman - Banjo Hangout's very own resident ethnomusicologist shares some of his thoughts on the banjo... where its come from, whose building it and where it's a-goin'.  This 20 minute chat is Informative, enlightening and fun!  Richard's forgotten more about the banjo than I'll ever know.  



"And when will that DVD be delivered?" you ask.  Good question!


Here's a mock up of the cover:  

I shouid have the copy for the DVD package finalized (and edited) by next week.  I found a (local) duplicator and now need to hammer out a better price (yikes!  CDs are much cheaper).  Once my sound guy finishes, we program the DVD, test it out and we're off to the dup shop.  Turn around time from when I hand it off is about 10 days.  My GOAL is to have it ALL DONE, ready for shipping by the time I start fall semester teaching (8/22).  

I'm also kicking around a price change.  Not going up... but coming down.  I'd like to make the Series available to more people.  The stories and experiences from the builders are inspirational.  Many of you that have already seen the programs are confirming what exceptionally interesting  lives these builders lead.  And All you folks that have committed to buying at $75 a program will come in on the lesser, introductory price (if I reduce it).  

What I'm curious about is, would more of you folks be interested in buying the Programs if they were priced at, say $30 (plus $6 shipping) per Volume?  Leave me your thoughts please.  I can still adjust production (dup) quantities based on feedback.  Also... if the Smithsonian Folkways folks decide to pick up the Programs, I don't know what effect that could have on price.  And frankly, ALL the proceeds from the Programs I sell NOW, I can use to help fund my production effort.  I'm still hoping to break-even in this life time. smiley




I'm made 1-4 minute "Preview trailers" of the 14 Banjo Builder Programs and posted them at  If you've got a favorite builder, come take a look at the short reel.  Enjoy!

And for those of you interested in the Series, but not interested in a $75 per Volume price, please let me know if $30 would cause you to buy.  

Thanks, all. 



Edited by - frailin on 07/30/2011 12:54:12

mworden - Posted - 08/01/2011:  07:12:27

Craig, I've been following this extremely cool project with great interest and I've enjoyed the two freebies.  Personally, I would commit to buying the DVDs at the new special low introductory price (but wait there's more!  order before midnight tonight and we'll throw in absolutely free two amazing giinsu banjos!  Now how much would you pay....?) but am hesitant at the $75 price (I just spent all my money on a Romero...).  I sure appreciate the effort and sacrifice you are putting in, though.  Best of luck with the series and the grants!


orangikan - Posted - 08/01/2011:  11:01:33

I, like so many others on this board, am absolutely in love with this project. Because I'm a graduate student (i.e. poor of cash, but rich in book-learning), I've balked at the $75 price point. Not that the discs wouldn't be worth it; I just figured I'd have to wait a while to make the purchase. At $30+S&H, I'd be on board right now. I'm not trying to wheedle down the price; just putting in my .02.



Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 08/01/2011:  12:17:59

30 bucks might work.  Anything over 50 and I end up asking the eternal question: "why not just buy another banjo?"

whitetop_banjo - Posted - 08/01/2011:  14:58:36

Looks like a neat project and $30 is both a price that is affordable and hopefully gets you some of your $ back. I imagine (but could be wrong) places like Elderly and County Sales might stock such a project, especially at the price, also.

Mark Johnson - Posted - 08/01/2011:  15:00:39

posted this in another thread, but thought it was funny and perhaps more on-topic for this thread.  Mike Ramsey reminds me of Bilbo:">


New additions are top notch, Craig.  It's given me a bad BAS flare up.



frailin - Posted - 08/01/2011:  15:44:14

Actually Mark, that parallel extends beyond their physical appearance to their personalities.  They're both happy sorts, wanting to make their world(s) a better place.  

Dunno If Mark has hair on the bottom of his feet (or the top for that matter)

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 08/01/2011:  16:04:17

Five toes on each foot.  One for each string.

rudy - Posted - 08/01/2011:  19:09:19


Craig sez:

"What I'm curious about is, would more of you folks be interested in buying the Programs if they were priced at, say $30 (plus $6 shipping) per Volume?  Leave me your thoughts please." 

I would definitely be interested at the more affordable pricing. The cost of propane's killing me...smiley

frailin - Posted - 08/03/2011:  11:51:15

Whoa!  It's official!  The North American Banjo Builder Series is being added to the Smithsonian's Catalog!!


Here's the letter I just finished sending to the banjo builders...



Hi guys!


I had a delightful conversation with the folks at the Smithsonian this morning.  Trust me on this, these guys are VERY excited about the banjo and have some extraordinary plans for the coming 2 years.  And as of this morning, the NORTH AMERICAN BANJO BUILDER SERIES IS NOW A PART OF THAT MOMENTUM!    :)  




In their continuing effort to "connect more people to the banjo and, through the banjo, connect more people to each other," the Smithsonian is now actively exploring strategic alliances to help make connections like these possible.  Watch for exciting things to come!


I'm DELIGHTED the world will now meet each and every one of you. Your positive messages (and the banjo) are sorely needed.  Know that on a daily basis, you and the work of your hands spreads joy and MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU DO!    


I'm so proud of you guys!!  YOU ARE that inspirational!  This endorsement proves it.  If you were here we'd all have a big group hug.  :)





frailin - Posted - 08/03/2011:  12:34:33

In an effort to make this series available to more people, I am lowering the price to $30 per volume.  smiley


Everyone that has placed an order at the $75 price will pay only $30... and I personally THANK YOU for your early faith-in/recognition-of-the-value-of the builders in this Series! 

These folks have now been added to the DVD Volume 1 order list (at the $30 price):






Thanks, folks!


Delfield - Posted - 08/03/2011:  12:42:39



I've been following this since day one and have loved all the freebies you have generously given us.

At $30, I'll commit to buying volume one of this series.


Thank you - sincerely,


frailin - Posted - 08/03/2011:  12:45:49

Cool, Jeff.  Yer in!  approve


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