Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Lame Horse banjo

Here's a pix of my new Lame Horse open back banjo prototype.
I'm thrilled with its tone and the wood is really beautiful.
If you'd like to see close up pix and hear a couple MP3s--here is the link to Jenkins Brothers Guitars.
Here's my review of this banjo. :)

Review of new Lame Horse Shooting Star banjo prototype.

Clear and pretty tone. Records extremely well. Good volume for playing with other instruments without being too bright or ringy.

Sound Rating



Yes, it was set up nice, but it was shipped from Texas and I had a local luthier set it up for the new environment.

Setup Rating



The wood and craftsmanship on this banjo are breathtaking--but very tasteful and not gaudy.
The pot is made of 48 solid blocks of wood.
The pot is bubinga and anigre. Both are
west African woods, which are very beautiful, and very good tone
woods. The neck is anigre, maple, and bubinga. The peghead overly is
ebony, as is the fingerboard. The peghead inlay is mother of pearl
(gold and white), and the inlay at the 5th fret is ivory.

Appearance Rating



It has those new black tuners that are so expensive--but they work wonderful.
This whole banjo is made of quality parts and workmanship.

Reliability Rating


Customer Service

Chris Jenkins is the best. This particular banjo was the prototype for this model.
This is a top notch luthier who is interested in producing an awesome open back banjo for the Lame Horse Instrument line.

Customer Service



Everything is lovely on this banjo. I particularly like the clear woody tone--it has the woody tone without sounding muddy. The ebony fretboard is particularly smooth and easy to finger.
There is a pretty scroll at the top of the scoop. The inlays (a small lame horse and a shooting star) are understated but exquisite.

Components Rating


Overall Comments

Love this banjo--we bonded immediately and it had to stay here. It is one of my favorite banjos.
You can hear an MP3 of it on my webpage:
You can see detailed pix of it and hear sound samples on the Lame Horse web site:

Overall Rating


Sunday, August 16, 2009

RK Ne Plus Ultra banjo at St. Malo beach

Here's a quick video of me ( Mary Z. Cox) playing Foggy Dew under the sea wall at St. Malo. (France) The waves are pretty loud, but the tide is coming in. When the tide is out--you can walk out to islands in the English Channel. Once the tide is in, it fills to the top of the sea wall and sprays over on the sidewalk and street. So, guess I'm actually playing this tune at the bottom of the English Channel. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Be A Banjo Star Workshop/April 2009

Here are some pix of the workshop I taught at the John C. Campbell School last week.
The students were awesome. :)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Spring festivals and banjo workshop

(pix by Lee Howell)

The crab apples and azealas are blossoming in Tallahassee, and we have a few fun events coming in March and April. Many folks ask us, "when are you playing someplace near here?" Here are three events in or near Tallahassee. Hope you will come out and join us and have a good time.:)

There is a strong possibility that I may be toting my new 5 string cello banjo to some of these events--so if you have never heard one, this is a good chance to get up close for a listen and look. :)

Also, there are a couple openings in my "Be a Banjo Star" workshop at the John C. Campbell School in April. This will be the first time we've been in the springtime and we hear that it is really pretty then.
If you have been to this workshop before and would like to come again--please let me know and I'll work in some new tunes with the techniques for you. :)

New on Banjoquest!
(Field videos of banjoists, banjos, tunes, and banjos in locations you may or may not have seen or heard before. :)
I've added Ernie Williams, Tommy Bledsoe, and Mark Johnson and there will be more fine banjoists appearing on Banjoquest soon.

Hope to see you soon. :)
Best wishes,
Mary Z. Cox


Date: 3/7/2009
6:45 PM - 9:00 PM

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Cracker Coffee House

Bob & I will be hosting the March 2009 Coffee House this year instead of February. March is Bob's birthday month--so we will be celebrating folks with March birthdays as well as St. Patrick's Day. :)
Sign up by 6:45 with Larry Hoover in the auditorium to play a tune.
White Springs FL 34432

This is great fun and would love to see you there. We've already heard that Mike and Ellen Sheppard, Jim Crozier, and Michael Vicky are going to be there too.

Contact Information:
Name: Larry Hoover

Location Information:
Stephen Foster Park auditorium
White Springs, FL
United States

Suwannee Valley Quilt & Old Time Craft Festival

Date: 3/14/2009

Mary Z. & Bob Cox - 2:00 PM

US Hwy 129 & Hwy 26
Trenton FL 32693

Price: free
Suwannee Valley Quilt & Old Time Craft Festival Mary Z. & Bob Cox play banjo, dulcimer & guitar at 2:00 PM on the Old Railroad Depot stage--old time music and dancing in the afternnoon with Tom and Ellen Hogan & the Flying Turtles and the Hot Pepper Steppers :)
Contact Information:
Web site:

Location Information:
Trenton, FL
United States

Tallahassee Community Friends of Old Time Dance

Date: 3/28/2009
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Tallahassee Community Friends of Old Time Dance

Drumming On the Edge of Banjo with Mary Z. Cox & Yazid - 7:30-10:30 PM

Tallahassee FL

Price: TBA
Two time Florida Banjo Champion, Mary Z. Cox, and African Caribbean drummer, Yazid, blend early Florida roots music in highly percussive rhythms for dancing and listening.

Yazid (William Johnson) is a professional drummer and percussion instructor that plays regularly with several performance and dance groups all over Florida. His musical background ranges from professor of ethnomusicology at Florida State University to drummer for Marvin Gaye.

Mary Z. Cox, banjo recording artist, plays banjo with her guitarist husband, Bob Cox, in concerts and workshops from coast to coast, and has also played for old time dances in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina for many dance groups.

Mary Z. & Yazid are very pleased to introduce this new sound that draws from the not so diverse African/Caribbean and Southern banjo cultures. The banjo is, after all, a drum with strings.

Yazid and Mary Z. are currently recording a “Drumming On the Edge of Banjo” CD which will hopefully be available in 2009.
For more details:
Contact Mary Allgire at (850) 421-1559 or by sending e-mail to:
or mail to: TCFOOTD, P.O. Box 5992, Tallahassee, FL. 32314
Contact Information:
Name: Mary Allgire
Phone: 850- 421-1559

Location Information:
Tallahassee, FL
United States

Will Mclean Festival

Date: 4/3/2009

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Will Mclean Festival

Mary Z. & Bob Cox at Willfest

Dunnelon FL

April 3, 4, 5, 2009
More details arriving soon.
See festival website for latest information.

Contact Information:

Location Information:
Dunnelon, FL
United States

Be A Banjo Star: Banjo workshop with Mary Z. Cox

Date: 4/12/2009

Sunday, April 12th-17th 2009

John C. Campbell Folk School

Be A Banjo Star: Continuing Clawhammer Banjo
April 12-17 2009

Expand your repertoire of banjo tunes, while improving your technique and tone. We'll explore tunings beyond basic G, begin drop thumbing, and play together as a class to steady right hand rhythms and practice simple chordal back up.
This is going to be great fun--the food and facilites are awesome at Campbell--and it will be a week of fun and banjo!)
Contact John C. Campbell Folk School for free color catalog and registration.
Contact Information:
Web site:
Phone: 1-800-365-5724

Location Information:
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902
United States
a secret life of banjo blog :)