Tom Nechville, banjo builder and the man behind the innovative Nechville Musical Products company, is the latest subject to sit for banjo archivist Bud Bennett and his Appalachian Music and Culture blog.
Bud has to date posted lengthy, in-depth interviews with several notable banjo celebrities, including Jens Kruger, Sammy Shelor, and Butch Robins. All are required viewing for anyone interested in the role of the five string banjo in contemporary music, and should be of more than passing interest for anyone who enjoys banjo and bluegrass music in general.
With much of the banjo world these days looking back to the hey day of the Mastertone style banjo in the 1930s, Nechville is ever looking forward to new ideas in banjo construction. Fans of the old time way may be horrified by Tom’s deviations from the Gibson pot designs, but many others are drawn to his inventions and modifications.
In addition to building a solid body electric banjo, Nechville has pioneered what he calls his Heli-Mount pot assembly, a radical new concept that replaces the tension hoop, flange, and brackets common in banjos with a single, cast aluminum shell that holds all the other components in place.
He discusses how he came up with this system in Bud’s video, which runs close to an hour in length. Bennett had Tom in to his studio at Radford University in Virginia on May 3 of this year, and this video production is the result.
Be sure to schedule an hour to watch the video, and make a point to watch Bud’s earlier ones as well. They are all a good investment of your time.
Bennett tells us that his next will be an interview with classical banjoist John Bullard.
Watch the Tom Nechville video here.