Archive for May, 2013

Goodtime Banjo

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

I have played the Deering goodtime banjo and liked the sound. If you’re a beginner in clawhammer it would probably satisfy you for a long time. Not waiting and saving up for a better one would make sense if you think you might not stick with it.

Let me say some general things. Lower-priced openbacks (like the goodtime banjo) don’t have a metal tone ring and that’s fine for most clawhammer. Some players like the wood sound; I have both kinds and I like both for different kinds of playing. I think for fancy melodic Ken Perlman-type stuff a tone ring is better.

Some banjos that do have a tone ring sound better for clawhammer if you put a cloth in the back, sort of loosely between the head and whatever rods are there. Move it around till it sounds good to you. Some people do this even with wood-rim banjos; it depends on the banjo. But I have seen people pass up a perfectly good banjo because they didn’t know this. When I’m trying out banjos I always have a cloth in my pocket for this purpose.

Phillie Cigar

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

If you’re new to cigars, try to remember this when you’re faced with the dazzling display of cigars in your tobacconist’s humidor:

Jamaican cigars are pretty mild, Dominican cigars are mild to medium, and Honduran cigars are medium to strong.  The Mexican cigars are pretty full-bodied too. Try any cigar by phillie or phillies for a variety of flavor.  The joy is in the journey, not the destination!