I’ve been doing some duo shows around Nashville lately with the lovely and talented Jenni Lyn Gardner. We’re having lots of fun arranging traditional material to fit the duo instrumentation, and working up some new original material too. And of course, no acoustic duo is complete without a little instrument swapping!! You’ll have to catch us in person to hear my dazzlingly executed mandolin solos, and Jenni Lyn crackin’ that 5 just like her Granny taught her. And we’ve got another project together in the works, so keep your ears out!
I’ve been having fun playing an electric banjo this year. It was built by Ian Davidson in California. It’s a very cool instrument. With an acoustic pickup under the bridge and a humbucking electric pickup in the neck position this banjo has a pretty wide range of sounds. I mostly alternate in a 60/40% ratio in either direction, depending on what type of song it is. The neck feels great, thinner than most banjo necks, easy to play fast. I run it through a Fender Deluxe tube amp right now, with the occasional wah-wah pedal, which you’ll hear near the end of the video below. I spent my teenage years playing electric guitar in punk rock bands, mostly in basements, and very loud. So it’s nice to get to plug in and make some real noise again.
Check out Ian’s website for more electric banjos, he has some really cool looking stuff on there.
Here’s a compilation of footage from FrazierBand shows where I’ve played this instrument at The World Famous Station Inn and The 5 Spot in Nashville TN, and The Grey Eagle in Asheville NC.