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Willie! (Lillee's new brother)

Posted by banjo_robb on Wednesday, February 18, 2009

While at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival this past weekend, I was honored to take receipt of a new banjo built for me by Bill Hayes (Bill-in-Me) here on the BHO.  Actually, my hubby, PyrPups, "designed" this banjo exactly one year ago while at the last Joe Val, with the help of Bill & also Tom Mirisola!  The new banjo is an early Gibson 100, converted to an RB-4 by Bill.  He had the resonator re-skinned in a beautiful burl walnut, with concentric rings, & he built an impeccable walnut neck!  The fretboard is Brazilian rosewood & the rosewood is from a stash that Bill has had for quite some time.  The rosewood is so dark that it almost looks like ebony.  Bill did the inlays himself, using Paua abalone in the Flying Eagle pattern.  He also had the abalone truss rod cover engraved with my name!  The pot assembly was beautifully fitted with a Dannick No-hole tone ring and topped off with Tom Mirisola's new AMB head.  The tuners are all by Bill Keith.

Enough about details.  Let me tell you about the sound of this banjo!  PHENOMENAL!  It has tremendous power & sounds like a cannon!  A very pleasing, crisp tone up & down the neck.  Many folks, including Ben Freed, played it at the Joe Val & could not get over the sound & power from a new banjo which had only been assembled 2 days prior.

Bill Hayes did a SUPERB job all-around in building this banjo.  And what a nice fella to deal with!  His talents will be enjoyed by me for many, many years to come.

Anyway, my new banjo's name is Willie (in honor of Bill Hayes).  Goes great with the name of his "sister", Lillee, eh?

Stay tuned for photos, folks!


4 comments on “Willie! (Lillee's new brother)”

fisher Says:
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @3:57:09 AM

Now I'm really jealous. I have a 100 that has a dannick in its future.

banjo_robb Says:
Thursday, February 19, 2009 @6:55:52 AM

Don't be jealous, Fisher!  You can play my Willie whenever you like!  And you will be more than pleased with the result of putting a Dannick into your 100!  And if it is a No-hole Dannick, look out!

kathy315 Says:
Saturday, February 21, 2009 @3:49:39 AM

Robbin,don't ever let Fisher play with your Willie...err..

PyrPups Says:
Saturday, February 21, 2009 @6:43:03 AM

Amazement with this banjo increases tenfold every day. Banjos can be assembled from the finest components available and never come close to this one. Bill Hayes is beyond a master luthier, he is an artist in his trade. Tom Mirisola has provided a superb tone ring but he also has done his homework when it comes to being highly selective on who he choses to be a certified installer of his products. Putting all this together produces instruments that are second to none in quality, tone, fit and finish. Those looking for the ultimate, truthful and honest instrument need look no further than AMB's certified installer list. An instant heirloom is sure to evolve. Again, thanks to all who made this banjo come to life!

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