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Comment by Jody Stecher on August 17, 2010 at 0:38
Is this actually yours? I've seen many a photo of this model but not the real thing. What does it sound like?
Comment by Liz McElwain on August 18, 2010 at 18:31
Hi Jody - Yes, it most certainly is mine. It was one of those impulse eBay purchases last November when I'd only been playing for a couple of months (I'm told we all do it!). Since the photo was taken it has had a clean up and some TLC from Dave Stacey with a new calf skin head and nylon strings. As a result it sounds better played as an open back. It has no tone ring so it isn't loud - as Dave said it's good for "playing on the sofa" - which is exactly what I use it for, picking away while the others are watching TV. I'd be interested to learn where you have seen photos of it, and any other info you may have about it, as I trawled through the 'net when I was contemplating buying it but could find very little about this model. If you happen to be at the Backwell Rally on 4 September, me 'n' the Benares will be there! Cheers, Liz
Comment by Jody Stecher on August 18, 2010 at 21:00
Well congratulations, it sure looks spiffy.

Actually I'll be an hour + north of Blackwell on the day of the rally, playing at Didmarton Bluegrass Festival with Peter Rowan Bluegrass band. We don't play until evening so I'll do my best to get down to the rally but it might be logistically tricky.

I've seen these Benares John Grey banjos on ebay from time to time over the last decade. Pamela's Music (www.pamelasmusic.co.uk) has had both tenors and five strings of this model from time to time if I remember correctly. But I've never seen one for sale here in the USA.

Why would calfskin and nylon (which is what I would do with it) sound better without resonator? Trying to work that one out.
Comment by Liz McElwain on August 18, 2010 at 22:26
Jody - I'm at Didmarton too, from Frid evening to Sun afternoon; the Backwell Rally is a side-trip during the day on Saturday. I certainly have every intention of being back at Didmarton for the evening. So don't worry about getting to Backwell - you have enough to think about! In answer to your question about the resonator - I dunno; at my level of playing (a rolling-forward beginner?), it just sounds better, but I'd really love to hear you play it - with and without resonator - at Didmarton if the opportunity presents itself. Will you be there on Friday evening too?
Comment by Jody Stecher on August 18, 2010 at 23:17
No Scotland on this tour I'm afraid. Originally we were going to be in seven European countries but it's ended up being 6 dates at 5 venues, all in England. Liverpool, Didmarton, Glastonbury, Bournemouth and London. It's a mighty band if I say so myself. Such great singers and players and writers, it's great to be in their company.
Comment by Jody Stecher on August 19, 2010 at 0:38
Yes we come down to the Didmarton festival site from Liverpool some time on Friday.

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