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Apr 15, 2019 - 10:29:23 PM
1 posts since 4/15/2019

Who made ADam Hurt’s Gourd Banjo?

Apr 16, 2019 - 4:18:05 AM
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dbrooks

USA

3591 posts since 3/11/2004
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David Hyatt is the maker. Here's a link to his web site: http://www.dhyatt.com/index.html

Here's a link to a review of Adam's "Earth Tones" CD in Banjo Newsletter: https://banjonews.com/2011-01/adam_hurts_earth_tones.html

David

Edited by - dbrooks on 04/16/2019 04:21:55

Apr 16, 2019 - 10:53:25 AM
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5851 posts since 3/11/2006

Our own Noah Cline makes some great gourd banjos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzR-jYPbiwU

He can be contacted through his BHO homepage.

Apr 16, 2019 - 2:03:10 PM
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6216 posts since 6/27/2009
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When I researched a tune for Tune of the Week for July 6, 2012, Indian Nation, Adam played it on that gourd banjo, so I contacted David Hyatt who wrote:  "Adam’s rendition of Indian Nation draws sounds from that banjo I never thought possible. It's often set to ‘repeat’ on my iPod!  Adam takes the gourd banjo to new levels…The strings were nylgut. The head is goat skin.  This banjo was made from a Bottle Gourd grown in a mold - it is flat on the top and bottom,…grown by Don Mellon in Mountain View, Arkansas.  This is a special banjo made with a tiger wood neck and snakewood overlay. The 26 inch scale neck separates from the dowel stick to form a ‘travel banjo’ about 27” long.”  

David is a remarkable gourd banjo builder, as is Noah.  Are you looking to buy or make one, or just curious?

Apr 25, 2019 - 7:43:35 PM

27 posts since 4/24/2019

David Hyatt's web site looks to be about ten years out of date. I ordered Adam's CD.
What is the downside of a gourd banjo? I'm thinking of going fretless and wonder if a gourd might be the way to do it.

Apr 25, 2019 - 9:06:24 PM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

13993 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Jehoshaphat

David Hyatt's web site looks to be about ten years out of date. I ordered Adam's CD.
What is the downside of a gourd banjo? I'm thinking of going fretless and wonder if a gourd might be the way to do it.


If you've ever played an Ovation guitar then you'll know.

Apr 26, 2019 - 6:59:40 AM
Players Union Member

Helix1

USA

152 posts since 4/17/2019

Just to give you more information

The downside would the a rounded and slippery back

Many Ovation players and fiberglass or ABS case owners glue a sheet of felt on the back to keep things from wandering off the luggage cart at the airport

Jim Croce played without a strap and it’s likely he used some felt

that is one fine example in the photo

Edited by - Helix1 on 04/26/2019 07:06:26

Apr 26, 2019 - 7:53:54 AM

4655 posts since 5/14/2007

Gourds are fragile and, as others have pointed out, can be hard to hold on to. They can be pretty quiet, too.

I played the banjo Adam uses for an few minutes once. Even though I have quite a bit of fretless playing experience, I could see that it would take me awhile to get used to his banjo. I love the sound he gets from it. But I love his sound on any banjo.

Apr 26, 2019 - 8:36:37 AM

80 posts since 4/11/2019

I've got a Barry Sholder and I like it a lot. Excellent value for the price.

Definitely very thumpy, which is what I like.

And its got the violin style peg head, that's something you dont see every day.

May 1, 2019 - 9:35:03 AM

1505 posts since 4/10/2005

Well the sound of that particular banjo and Adam Hurt's playing on the CD are very special.  But I think people ask about Adam Hurt's gourd banjo because they are taken and fascinated specifically by its doubled big pot/little pot config.   I know I was.  

David Hyatt formerly had a gallery you could view of numerous photos of his creations, and he had given that iteration a little name that escapes me. It was something like, small travel banjo, or something.   I don't even know if you could order it, or it was just in the gallery as a one-off.  

I searched it out, but didn't pursue it because I had to get honest with myself and admit I don't see myself handling fretless well, particularly on a tackhead gourd banjo.     Looking for the photos now, I see a "click here for gallery" link for Mr. Hyatt at his site, but it seems the gallery is no longer there.

Edited by - ceemonster on 05/01/2019 09:45:51

May 1, 2019 - 4:41:29 PM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

13993 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by ceemonster

Well the sound of that particular banjo and Adam Hurt's playing on the CD are very special.  But I think people ask about Adam Hurt's gourd banjo because they are taken and fascinated specifically by its doubled big pot/little pot config.   I know I was.  

David Hyatt formerly had a gallery you could view of numerous photos of his creations, and he had given that iteration a little name that escapes me. It was something like, small travel banjo, or something.   I don't even know if you could order it, or it was just in the gallery as a one-off.  

I searched it out, but didn't pursue it because I had to get honest with myself and admit I don't see myself handling fretless well, particularly on a tackhead gourd banjo.     Looking for the photos now, I see a "click here for gallery" link for Mr. Hyatt at his site, but it seems the gallery is no longer there.


If anyone is particularly attracted to the double-head gourd banjo that Adam played on Earth Tones they should be aware that the configuration isn't necessarily robust.

I examined that particular banjo and it has a butterfly patch over a crack between the upper and lower portions of the gourd.  If anyone wants to re-create that particular instrument then it's probably a good point to remember that it may or may not be as robust as a single lobed gourd configuration.

May 1, 2019 - 7:01:44 PM

30 posts since 2/7/2017

...possible to reinforce it with fiberglass?

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