Posted by nechville on Saturday, November 5, 2022
Every once in a while, I reflect on my successes and I'm really grateful for all the thousands of people who have adopted a Nechville banjo. At the same time I still see tremendous opportunities within the Bluegrass genre itself.
I recently have been talking with traditional Bluegrass pro, Chad Darou about his decision to embrace and perform on a Nechville. Here is the letter I wrote him, I think Bluegrass fans might find it interesting.
Hi Chad, I finally am getting a chance to learn a bit more about your music, your dobro album, and the pro Bluegrass pickers you hang out with. Sorry I was more in the dark than I should be.
First, thanks for posting pictures of Nechville on your Facebook page!
You are a seasoned pro and have deep connections with the traditional scene. I believe you indeed could become pivotal to Nechville’s purpose. That purpose which is best left unstated, screams, from a Bluegrass player with a Nechville.
It is a clearly non-threatening statement of open mindedness, of willingness to embrace good ideas, which seems in short supply in the polarized culture out there.
You still rarely see Heli-Mounts in Bluegrass Bands because of the entrenched belief that we must reproduce a singularity iconic tone with 100 year old designs.
Nechville’s rethought approach to banjo design is like giving the explosive world of Bluegrass a door from where it may freely release some of its creative energy. Maybe I am giving the Banjo too much credit, but it sure stands in the middle of the definition of Bluegrass.
I also think that our designs fit 1000% within the tradition of acoustic music; which honors and builds upon the work of former innovators. Scruggs himself played the latest innovation in Banjo design, the Mastertone pot, which was essentially brand new when he started playing. Gibson’s engineer, Lloyd Loar, removed the metal lugs through the sides of pot and created the flanged Mastertone design. If you continue Loar’s thought of isolating the pot and tone ring from all the metal lugs, your mind eventually takes you to the Heli-Mount, completely freeing the pot of the banjo from any metal connectors, coordinator rods or even neck joint.
With hopeful wishes for the future, Tom
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