The Sound

Ringing in the Changes

Geoff Stelling Bids Farewell to Banjo Making After 48 Years It may seem an odd thing to say in an age when the options for professional-quality banjos are plentiful, but there once was a time when they didn’t extend much beyond Gibsons.  But by the mid-70s, when Geoff Stelling was thinking about starting his own business…

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Eric Skye with his Santa Cruz 00-Skye. // Photo by Andrea Corrona Jenkins

Santa Cruz Guitar  Company Turns 45

With A Lot of Help from Its Friends Shaken by tragic personal loss and global economic turmoil, the Santa Cruz Guitar Company and its founder, legendary luthier Richard Hoover, have come through a perfect storm of emotional and business challenges over the past two years and emerged stronger than ever as the company celebrates 45…

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Wait A Minute

An instant classic for The Seldom Scene and widely recorded by artists across many genres, “Wait A Minute” was written in 1972 by Herb Pedersen, who at just 20 years old was already a notable songwriter and contributor to the American music scene. He would go on to earn significant renown through his solo artistry…

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Dobro Joe’s Dobro School

If you’ve ever searched “Dobro Lessons” on YouTube, you’ve probably come across the lessons posted by “Dobro Joe” Wilson.  You can also find a couple of lessons from Joe on the lessons page of the Bluegrass Unlimited website.  While it is generally harder to find Dobro lessons than lessons for guitar, mandolin, banjo, or fiddle,…

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Bob Minner and Norman Blake. Photo by Ginger Minner

When Heroes Become Friends

Bob Minner Pays Tribute to Norman and Nancy Blake Although Bob Minner has spent the majority of his musical life over the past thirty years performing as a member of country star Tim McGraw’s band, he is still a bluegrass flatpicker at heart.  By the time he was twelve, Bob was studying the guitar playing…

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Hatfield  Banjos

Hatfield Delivers the Real McCoy It’s an age-old conundrum for anyone trying to learn a new instrument.  You first buy a cheap banjo, guitar or mandolin to see if you even enjoy playing it. The further you progress, and the more time you put in, the more your instrument’s shortcomings become apparent. Pretty soon you’re ready…

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