29 December 2021

Banjo-related news (addendum)

The board of directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the IBMA Trust Fund board of trustees voted unanimously on 8 December 2021 to pass a joint resolution recognising Sonny Osborne (above) for his work as a founding member of the IBMA and IBMA Trust Fund and his great contributions to bluegrass music. The full text of the resolution is on the IBMA press release.

The BIB recommends (again) the documentary video 'A Kentucky treasure: the Osborne Brothers story', and - for a special focus on Sonny - the two-and-a-half-hour video interview with him by Tom Riggs in 2009 as part of the International Bluegrass Music Museum's Oral History project. Sonny's face is always worth watching.
Nearly ten years ago (28 Feb. 2012) the BIB drew attention to two YouTube videos of stage performances by J.D. Crowe and the New South, which (especially the second) gave clear views of J.D.'s hands while playing. Anyone who liked these should also visit this video on the Bluegrass Music Channel - fifty minutes of J.D. bringing out the tone of three different banjos at a private session in the late 1980s, videoed in close-up.
A special 'Happy holidays' greeting from the Deering family and the Deering Banjo Company can be seen here.
Ken Perlman announces that the complete programme schedule for the next Suwanee Banjo Camp (10-13 Mar. 2022) is now online.
Tom Nechville announces that a number of Nechville Musical Products' elegant and innovative banjos have recently been shipped to dealers and may still be available. The list of dealers, with photos of the varied banjo models concerned, can be seen here.
Much interest has been aroused among banjo players by the advent of Rickard Cyclone 10:1 tuning pegs with their unique gearing system. A comprehensive review of this product by John Lawless on Bluegrass Today makes clear why, in his concluding words, 'We have to rate these tuners as first rate, excellent in every way.'

The review begins by stressing that at between $205 and $225 for a set of five tuners, the Rickards are a premium product. To put this in context, the Beacon Banjo Company, founded by the late Bill Keith, sells its highly regarded standard tuners at $130 a pair in stainless steel; its D-tuners (the celebrated 'Keith pegs') are $260 a pair.

Addendum: Rickard Cyclone 10:1 tuners are also fitted to the high-quality guitars which the company is now producing.

© Richard Hawkins

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