30 September 2015

Ramble back in the limelight

IBMA's World of Bluegrass began yesterday in Raleigh, NC, and Ramble the Banjo-Picking Squirrel (above: photo by Becky Johnson) was there at the end of a five-month journey (see the BIB for 27 April). He looks lean and fit (if a little tousled) after the trip.

Attentive readers will see that he has not just changed strings and bridge since the spring: he has a new banjo with gold-plated hardware, more brackets, a scalloped tension hoop, and a fingerboard that overlaps what looks like a Renaissance head. This instrument, like the other, is distinctly old-time in style, an impression emphasised by the new sling. Is this a message about the direction that IBMA is taking?

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