In an article earlier this month, we mentioned that Nechville and the BanjoHangout would be working together on a raffle to benefit long time grasser Jack Hatfield, who lost nearly everything he owned in the wildfires that ravaged Pigeon Forge and Gatlingburg, TN last month. Both his home and his business, Hatfield Music, were destroyed by the fires which swept in on him so quickly that he had less than 15 minutes to evacuate when the police notified him that he would have to leave.
Initially, Jack had resisted any sort of help, responding that people of a charitable mind should find someone that needed help more than he did, but as the weeks have passed, he has learned that his insurance will not make him whole and that a good many hardships are facing him as we head into 2017.
Nechville has donated one of their Flex-Tone banjos, and raffle tickets are being offered until January 9 at BanjoHangout.org for $5 each. The totality of funds raised in the raffle will be given to the Jack Hatfield Wildire Benefit Fund. The banjo has a retail value of $2690 and will be delivered to the winner with a hard shell case following a drawing on January 10.
The Flex-Tone has proved to be very popular among fans of more traditional banjo design, with its standard hooks-and-nuts pot assembly. Nechville prepared this video to demonstrate the instrument, with Tom Nechville playing a snappy version of Shenandoah Breakdown.
In addition to the banjo, Nechville is donating $100 for every banjo sold in December, and all of the proceeds from sales of their new Jeruslem Bridge, made from a olive branch that Tom brought back from his visit to the Holy Land this spring.
Hatfield has many friends in the bluegrass and banjo world through his years of creating instructional materials for students of the instrument. He wrote the popular Scruggs Corner column for Banjo NewsLetter for many years, and has hosted the banjo workshop at the annual SPBGMA convention for some time. Now his long running Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy, held annually at his home in Pigeon Forge, is in jeopardy following the destruction of his business property.
Even if you don’t play banjo, you can make a donation online and have a chance of winning this professional quality instrument.