Bernie Leadon, founding member of the Eagles, has been announced as the newest endorsing artist with Huber Banjos. He is currently out with them again as part of the History of the Eagles world tour, which began earlier this month.
Though he really broke out with The Eagles in 1972, Leadon had been at the forefront of the developing country rock scene in California for several years. He worked with Dillard & Clark in the late ’60s, with his friend Doug Dillard and Gene Clark, followed by a stint with Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman in the Flying Burrito Brothers.
Bernie was featured prominently of the first two Eagles albums (Eagles and Desperado), on both banjo and guitar. Eagles was popular on the radio at the same time that Duelin’ Banjos was a huge hit, and his banjo on Take It Easy, the band’s first charting song, was as bluegrass as it could be. He left after the band’s third album as their musical direction moved from country rock to radio rock, and the celebrated guitar icon Joe Walsh stepped into the group.
Since that time Bernie has kept it close to bluegrass, playing with the popular spoof band Run C&W who recorded Motown his in a bluegrass style, and working briefly with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He lives now in Nashville where he does session work and production.
Though proficient on several stringed instruments, Leadon maintained a special fascination with the banjo, and has become a student and collector of the prewar Mastertones that helped define the genre. He developed a friendship with Steve Huber, and is now endorsing his banjos, playing a custom VRB-75 model Huber on tour with the Eagles.
That’s a pretty big stage for the ol’ 5 string!
You can find more details about Huber Banjos online.