February 23, 2005
with a Banjo-lin on my knee
Sunday I went down to the Brookdale Guitar show where my old housemate and friend Jon Francis was giving a seminar on homemade instruments.
Accompanied by drummer Tom Bendel he demonstrated several instruments that he had created or modified using some common and some uncommon parts. His creations were received enthusiastically by the crowd, and he introduced and explained each with humor and insight. And even a little history of homemade musical instruments for good measure.
Among the instruments presented were modified banjos, a stringed box, a string cookie tin, a washtub bass, an approximation of a chinese stringed instrument fashioned from a cigar box, and a tension hoop strung with rubber bands.
Jon and Tom went into a couple of instrumentals to showcase each of the instruments. crazy loopy riffs, layered one on top of the other with the aid of a small amplifier and a digital delay.
I didn't really know what to expect coming down to see it all on Sunday, but I trust Jon to be entertaining and informative in each and every endeavor. And so, as usual, I was really impressed with everything I saw. Good stuff. Good stuff.
Jon plays and records with the band Like Moving Insects all along the east coast.
Pictured here are the Banjo-lin (above) and a washtub bass.