Yesterday I drove up to Hendersonville, Tenn., to pick up my new Casey Henry Signature Model banjo from Robin Smith at Heartland Banjos. This is the third Casey Henry model. I played the first one for about seven months and then sold it to one of my students. The second one went to a gal in New England. And now here we are at number three.
Even though they are all supposed to be exactly alike, there are some differences. I asked Robin to give me a fifth sting peg that didn't have the little sticky-outy part to wind the string around (that's another one of those technical terms), rather, the string winds around the inner shaft of the peg. My old banjo has that kind and I prefer it. I also asked him to give me two railroad spikes for the fifth string (again, like my old banjo) instead of four. I actually got three, but he's getting closer.
The main difference is that the brown color of this banjo is darker than the previous ones. I prefer the lighter color, but it is fall, after all, and I'm sure it will match my autumn and winter wardrobe better. 😉 Here are a couple shots of the new model (click for bigger versions):
For the sake of comparison, here are a couple shots of the other two. First is my friend Dick Bowden picking #1, second is Michelle Canning picking #2:
I found out that it is particularly hard to photograph shiny new banjos because the flash reflects back all over the place. So please forgive the slight out-of-focusness.
I'll have the new axe at the Thomas Point Beach festival next week, so if you're there and want to pick on it, or want a banjo lesson, come find me (I'll be camped near the workshop tent).