The Sound

Sullivan Banjos

Putting The Fun In Banjos All Photos Courtesy of Eric Sullivan “Banjos = fun” is the lifelong philosophy of one American luthier. “Sullivan Banjos is fairly recent,” its current proprietor, Eric Sullivan of Alabama, shared during a recent interview. “It started in 1970 when Dad (Bill Sullivan) was working at General Electric in the tool and…

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Jeremy Fritts // Photo by Chris Rector

Jeremy Fritts

The Doctor Is In To say that there are a lot of people providing guitar instruction on YouTube is an understatement…there are thousands…maybe tens of thousands.  Refine your search to bluegrass and fiddle tunes and the numbers drop, but there are still hundreds.  Refine the search again to look for someone who has taught bluegrass…

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End of the End of the World

We all have days when we could use a good-humored song with a classic feel. If that’s you today, I recommend “End of the End of the World,” written by Adam Wright, which fits that bill with playful perfection. As the title suggests, it takes a run-of-the-mill phrase, end of the world, and gives it…

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Grateful Dead

And the Culture of Roots Music Throughout their career the Grateful Dead loaded their song repertoire with American roots music traditions from top to bottom. The Dead were interested in roots music largely because of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter’s (the Dead’s lyricist) early exposure to Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. This anthology…

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Jody Hughes

Online Lessons for Guitar and Banjo While researching an article that I wrote about Allen Shelton in the December 2023 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited, I ran across a YouTube lesson on Allen Shelton “ideas” by Jody Hughes. I was not familiar with Jody, but he mentioned in the video that Allen Shelton was his “largest…

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Has Eastman Brought Affordability TO Bluegrass Guitars?

Photos by Bud Osborne Eastman Music Company, over the last decade or so, has quietly but unmistakably risen to the challenge of building guitars that can satisfy discerning bluegrass players, while retaining the affordability that is the hallmark of APAC (Asia-Pacific) instrument manufacturing.        Case in point is the well-crafted and luxuriously appointed…

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