Jaroslav Prucha has introduced a new artist signature model to his line of professional grade bluegrass instruments, made in the Czech Republic.
This one is for banjo player Jason Burleson of Blue Highway, and has his signature engraved in an inlay block at the 19th fret. It’s based on a classic design, with mahogany neck and resonator, but includes a number of features that Jason says he likes very much.
“I always wanted a top tension banjo and I love having the ability to adjust the head tension without removing the resonator. It also has a radiused fingerboard, which I love, and the fretboard extension which gives you a couple extra frets.”
Like the top tension banjos made by Gibson in the 1930s, the Burleson model also has a solid wood, carved back resonator, with simulated tortoise shell binding. The tortoise look extends to the tuner buttons as well.
Jason said that he discovered Prucha banjos completely by accident.
“Blue Highway had played a show in upstate New York with the Darrell Webb Band. I went off and forgot my banjo, and by the time I got to the airport it was too late to go back home and get it. Anyway, I ended up borrowing Brandon Greene’s (an incredible player and DWebb’s banjo player at the time) Prucha up there. I played it and LOVED it.
Brandon was kind enough to to tell Mr Prucha about it, and he contacted me about doing a signature model.
I got it at MerleFest this year and I have played it exclusively since then. Everyone that plays it likes it so far. I haven’t recorded with it yet, but I’m looking forward to getting it in the studio.”
Prucha has produced this video of noted Czech banjoist Pavel Zícha playing a Burleson banjo.
The Jason Burleson model Prucha banjo sells for €3430, which converts at today’s rates to $3915. More details, including additional photos and ordering information, can be found online.