Bill Cheatum

May 21, 2012 3:22 PM

Latest dispatch in über-short traditional clawhammer banjo songs.

Played on my fretless bowlback banjo, recorded through an NT1A into Logic with a M40 Reverb as its only effect.

posted by tmcw (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Wow, man, nice timbre. And that's pretty intricate for clawhammer/ frailing. Sawww..wweet!

(Seriously that's inspiring.)
posted by snsranch at 5:57 PM on May 22, 2012

Nice. Bowlback, you say? I have never heard of such a critter. Homemade?

Sounds a bit like a gourd or like my Prust minstrel. A very respectable version, and pretty darn in tune compared to what I come up with most days. I need a room that gives reverb.
posted by LucretiusJones at 9:01 PM on May 22, 2012

Thanks! There's always room to improve, re-listening makes me cringe at my need to practice more on the fretless. It's handmade, by "T. Bell" I believe - got it on banjohangout. Pretty cool looking, too.

Been so close to getting a Prust at various points - his operation seems like one of those rare, amazing great-person-product-experience-time-period things that I need to get in on, even if it means 'yet another instrument'. Do you like yours?
posted by tmcw at 8:16 AM on May 23, 2012

I went and got a custom one, because it was such a great deal. He was great to work with, and it got made surprisingly quickly. It's a very good instrument. The finish is rough, but the pegs work perfectly, and it's generally a great sounding thing, largely because of its big body--13 inch or so, I think.

I currently have it strung with cello banjo strings, which is a not-entirely-successful experiment. It almost supports the sound, and makes a lovely low mess of things, but it won't quite come to tune, I think because of the neck length. With minstrel nylguts, though, it sounds great. I highly recommend his banjos.

I like the look of the flush frets on yours--do you find 'em useful?
posted by LucretiusJones at 9:00 AM on May 23, 2012

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