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Buckeye Banjo no. 113: A Testimonial

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Buckeye Banjo no. 113


A few days ago I picked up Buckeye Banjo No. 113 from Greg Galbreath in Eggleston, VA and it's scarcely been out of my hands ever since. The first note I played was actually startling and it's there again every time I pick it up. I've been chasing a specific and elusive banjo sound for years, and I was beginning to think it only existed in my imagination. This instrument surpasses my every expectation. Playing it for the first time was like discovering, as an adult, that I'd been adopted and had unexpectedly found my biological family in the mountains of Virginia. Everything suddenly made sense.


There is a unique and mysterious but somehow very familiar quality to the tone, look and feel of this banjo. It has the disorienting ring of a strange rumor that's been drifting through history, like those stories about Jefferson Davis attempting to sneak across the Mexican border disguised as a woman in the final days of the Civil War. The characters and place names are all familiar, but the costumes and story line are weird and exciting.


I have to admit that I'm still slightly intimidated by this instrument. Playing it is like finding a empty seat on the New York City subway at rush hour and realizing that Abe Lincoln is sitting next to you reading a copy of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Why does that guy seem so familiar? Am I dreaming? What year is this anyway? I think Greg's banjos should be pictured on US currency!


Buckeye Banjo no. 113


Here's the basic facts. 12" black walnut. Brass tone ring. Goatskin head. All brass hardware. Hand engraved pearl inlay. Astonishing!


I've posted a few photos here:


I'll add more photos and sound/video clips when I get some time. Now it's time to see what songs are buried inside that black walnut!


Go visit Greg's website:


1890 Remixed and Remastered!

Thursday, March 31, 2011 Add Comment

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A Kids History of the Banjo

Monday, September 20, 2010 Add Comment

Norwegian High School Tour

Sunday, September 19, 2010 Add Comment

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Friday, July 23, 2010 2 comments

"A Day Out in Coney Island"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 Add Comment

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Newest Videos

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Curtis Eller: "This is Christmas Time (1972)"

The Bipeds "Bury the Light"

God Damn that Bird no.7

Curtis Eller on Patreon!

Fireside Chat no. 21: Washtenaw County

Fireside Chat no. 20: Buster Keaton

Fireside Chat no. 19: Last Flight of the Pigeon Club

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Playing Since: 1984
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Banjo player, songwriter, rock & roll singer

Gender: Male
Age: 53

My Instruments:
Buckeye (no.113), Bart Reiter (Standard), Gold Star (GF-100FE)

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Elvis Presley, Buster Keaton and Abraham Lincoln

Classified Rating: not rated
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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 3/6/2006
Last Visit 9/3/2021

Curtis Eller is a banjo player, songwriter and rock & roll singer. A twenty-year show business veteran, Eller and his band The American Circus have developed a devoted international following based on dynamic, highly physical stage performances and an extensive catalog of curious phonographic recordings. The iconoclastic musician has spent more than a decade relentlessly touring the club, theatre and festival stages of a dozen countries in North America and Europe. Eller is a gifted and prolific songwriter who's banjo-driven songs describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one. The American Circus is diligently at work on a new full-length album on which they have augmented their indelicate, rock & roll rhythms with a tempestuous cloud of horns and an graceless choir of backsliders in their quest to bring Eller's historically evocative compositions to vivid, cinematic life.

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