Thursday, June 16, 2005
Thursday's banjo has far to go!
Thursday's banjo has far to go! Actually, it's new owner drove far to pick it up! Here is what Kurt has to say about his lovely new Romera banjo. I wish I had a son that made banjos this good. I'd
hope for a significant discount. The curly haired
fellow is Jason Romero. Romero Banjos.
My banjo is his first all wood 12 inch pot. It's a
block rim. The neck and pot are made out of chechen.
I'm not familiar with this wood at all. But it's
highly figured and beautiful as you can see from the
pics at his site. Jason uses some woods I don't
believe very many others are using. The all wood pot
is nothing new. In the 19th century some makers used
this. It really shows off the wood. And those older
makers also used tension hoops like the one Jason put
on this banjo. The hooks go directly into the hoop and
not over the top. You have a nice smooth rim. It looks
very cool and much cleaner IMO. The head is made from
deerskin. The finish is "hard oil".He makes various
tone rings from different woods. I have the bright
sounding ring in this banjo. So Jason is taking some
old design ideas and using them. I like the idea of
him making his pots, his necks, tailpieces and even
his tension hoops. I wanted a modern banjo but still
wanted it to look in it's own way traditional. I think
Jason succeeds in doing so. And it sounds great.
Jason is a "new" maker but he's worked for Wildwood
Banjos for a number of years. I think he's going to be
a well known banjo luthier.
That's his house in the backround. He had a banjo on
the wall that had a head that was autographed by a
bunch of famous banjo players who have crossed his
path. I didn't pay much attention it to it as he had a
bunch of different banjos laying around. He had a
fretless with a radiused fretboard with an 11 inch pot
strung with nylon. And a steel strung 13 inch pot
banjo. A beast. And he had a banjo with a wooden top.
You can see it at his website. And he also had a kinda
hybrid banjo uke. He's started making 10 inch rim
banjo ukes with a neck that's beefy and has a scale
length maybe 15 inches or so. Mando sized I guess.
It's great for playing rythym(sp)in a string band.
Strung with nylgut. I ordered one.
It was a 5 hour drive from my place to his place in
Eureka in Northern CA. I figured it was the least I
could do for the guy making an instrument for me. It
was a real pleasure. I got to see his shop and all his
banjo making stuff/jigs/mystery do dads. Jason is a
friendly ethusiastic fellow. It was great fun
discussing what I'd like in a banjo and what he was
doing. It was a wait to get it but that was fun
looking forward to something.