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I did not write this myself!


I thought I would share an email that arrived yesterday regarding a banjo I recently built. I did not write this, nor did I even solicit the idea of writing a testimonial, but I couldn’t have written a more glowing review even if I tried! Thanks, Janice!

“Hi Jeffrey, I’ve been meaning to get back to you to let you know about the overwhelming response to my banjo.  My instructor, [well-known instructor with own signature model banjo for another banjo company], was very impressed with its “work of art” looks and incredible sound.  She played it for a bit and remarked about the ease of play and she especially loved the armrest/tailpiece design.  Yesterday was 3rd lesson with it and [Instructor] commented on how much more comfortable I seem with the banjo.

At the jam the banjo held its own and was a huge hit!  The sound was loud, punchy, and clear.  I’m still getting compliments about the design and sound almost a month later.

Jeffrey, I just want to thank you again for your outstanding craftsmanship.  I love every aspect of this banjo.  It’s light, comfortable, and sounds amazing.  I marvel at your ability to create my dream banjo from friendly conversation.  I am truly a Weitzel Banjo fan.

Best regards,

PS:  I’ll be attending Women’s Banjo Camp at the end of July.  If you get a chance, would mind sending me more business cards?”

Northwest Handmade Instrument Exhibit in Review

Todays show was a successful event. I was able to turn many heads in my direction with banjos that have not been seen by many before.  It was also a great opportunity for networking between luthiers, players, suppliers and other builders and I made numerous contacts to all those ends, as well as having fun ogling at some truly incredible workmanship and trading pointers on building.  I wish I could have spent some time taking in the many performances that were done on these handmade instruments, but at least my family came along to take in that part and tell about the stellar musicians and the instruments they played. Here are a couple of shots from todays show.


Hinoki and myself at the table


The Eichler Banjo – just far enough along to get some strings on for the show!

There will be much more to say on the Eichler banjo as it gets finished up. Stay tuned for updates!

A Big Thank you to all of the Contributors!

As promised, part of everyone’s perks for contributing to Pickin’ Beyond Tradition was to receive a shout out on my Website (which will also be posted to Facebook). I find the list of names quite impressive, not just because there are 50 distinct people there (representing almost 100 separate contributions), but because I don’t know many of them – this isn’t just family and friends (although I certainly could not have done it without the family and friends!). This campaign has helped me beyond just earning funds to make more banjos, it has helped me spread the word far and wide about the next wave of innovative banjos! As a result, more doors have opened, and new friends and connections have been made. There were also another 18 contributors who wished to remain anonymous. Thank you to all!

Here is the list (in no particular order that I can figure out):

Jean E Jordan, Tyler Frank, Dorothy Brunsvold, Angie Boettner, Marcia Cottrill, LeRoy McCoy, Kate Ali, Mike Lawrence, Steven Brunsvold, Jerry Burgess, Rudy Brunsvold, Rebecca Legard, Claire Wagner, Dianne Weitzel, Sally Hines, Jane Scheidecker, Don Borchelt, Rob Legard, Paul Kosiewicz, Rich Peterson, Brian Gillogly, EllenTykeson and Ken Hiday, Jill Davidson, Ed Snyder, Buff Vaughan, Cindy Wilson, Kari Carlisle, Kim Legard, Dan O’Keefe, James Schroth, Alex Mallett, Andrea and Martin Campanella, Duncan Knarr, Gail Weller, Erik Weitzel, Joe Deetz, Cynthia Sayer, Mike Culbertson, John Halley, Lew Stern, Andrew Stevenson, Ian Smith, R. Ragan, Philip Lawson, Steve Goodale, Michael A Sanchez,  Jamie Harms, Ed Hines, Chico Schwall, Takayuki Yamada.

New Sound Files!

I’m really excited to add these new sound files. Sean Shanahan is a local musician who is as comfortable in a bluegrass setting as he is playing amped up psycho-billy rock. He has played with Vassar Clements, John McCuen, Doug Dillard, Joe Craven and many more. We took a trip to the recording studio today to record a bit of the bluegrass stuff on my banjos today. These are the tracks I’ve been waiting for to showcase the sound of these banjos. There are three tracks on each banjo, the Denuo and the Accipio. They make it easy to capture the character difference in each banjo, the Denuo’s cutting attack and the Accipio’s, round full profile. Have a listen and enjoy!

On the Denuo Banjo

Shenendoah Breakdown Blackberry BlossomWeeping Willow

On the Accipio Banjo

Shenendoah Valley Breakdown Banjo in the Hollow Home Sweet Home