• Bob Gernandt - Bob is a true artist and I'm so fortunate to have such a fine luthier living here in Bryson City. His guitars, mandolins, mountain dulcimers, Irish bouzoukis and citterns, are outshined in their aesthetic beauty only by their tone. His advice has been invaluable.
  • Old Fiddle Road - Noel Booth is another local luthier living only a half hour away in Balsam, NC. He creates boutique openback, tackhead and gourd banjos (honestly, the nicest banjos I've ever played). Noel has also been very giving of his wisdom and time.
  • Mike Quinlan - beautiful handcrafted Bodhrans. Mike is a great guy and he helped me with the internal tensioning system I put into a tackhead banjo.
  • Jay Moschella - custom ordered gourd and tackhead banjos. He really makes beautiful instruments.
  • David Hyatt - gourd banjo builder, instructor and historian. His site also includes a list of the best gourd banjo builders around, a pdf file on how to build a gourd banjo and downloadable mp3s. All free.
  • Daddy Mojo: Finely Crafted Cigar Box Guitars - Lenny P. Robert makes some of the best CBGs out there (next best thing to making your own). Not only does he make a living building CBGs, he has an actual staff. Three cheers for Lenny - my hero!
  • Brooks Banjos - Brooks Masten has been making some of the nicest, best sounding, openback banjos. He's also a genuinely nice person, who showed me his shop and answered so many questions. He is also one of the few banjo makers who makes his own hardware - and it's stunning!
  • Vance Banjos - Colin Vance worked for Wildwood for about a decade before going out on his own. His banjo are works of art! Check out his inlay work. Also his pegheads and heals are beyond unique. Plus, Colin was a super nice guy when I visited his shop in Arcata, CA. Every question I had, he didn't just answer, he showed me how he did it.


  • Stewart-MacDonald - if you're building a stringed instrument, you won't get far without a few tools from stew-mac. Beware, it's easy to drop alot of $$ very quickly (but always high quality).
  • Eldery Music - parts and accessories for stringed instruments. Also vintage and new instruments (easy to get lost looking at old Gibson, Martins and Nationals).
  • Banjo Seen - mounted and unmounted calf and goat skins.

Of Interest

  • Pincu Pottery - This is my wife's webpage - handmade, functional terracotta pottery for the artful table.
  • Old Groove - celebrates old-time southern music, tradition and culture through the people who create it, those who carry it on, and those who aren't afraid to add their two cents along the way.
  • Sugar in the Gourd - streamed old-time music around the clock.
  • Banjo Hangout - All things banjo including advice for and from builders.
  • Cigar Box Guitar Forum - if it weren't for this forum I don't think I would have ever gotten started as a builder. Great place to learn alot.
  • Postcards from the Smokies - a local webpage that highlights area attractions and events. They "take a more casual look at the small, hidden treasures that make the Smokies special."