25 November 2020

The Randy Wood FeatherLite banjo

The BIB editor writes:

For any bluegrass banjo player who has ever wished that the lovely thing wasn't quite so heavy (or has even just wondered how it would feel to play a banjo that made no more physical demands than a classical guitar), there's good news: luthiers are addressing the problem, and one of the best solutions so far is the Randy Wood FeatherLite Performance Banjo. 'Performance' in the name is important: it implies that the banjo both sounds and looks like a bluegrass banjo should.

Randy Wood announces in his latest e-newsletter that he is currently accepting orders for his next batch of FeatherLite banjos. Mahogany models start at $3495 (with hard case); the curly maple model starts at $3995. Contact his store (+1-912-748-1930) for more details.

The newsletter also includes links to videos of four musicians playing Featherlites at professional level - and one of them is a video by John Watson of Ballinamallard, Co. Fermanagh, taken when the fine Virginia band East of Monroe were touring Ireland in April 2018, with Terry Wittenberg on banjo.

The 2018 photo (above, from Facebook) shows an early model of the FeatherLite, fitted with the optional Kavanjo pickup system.  As well as being one of the most experienced and respected luthiers and repairmen in the bluegrass world, Randy Wood operates Randy's Pickin' Parlor in Bloomingdale, GA.

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