Jim Mills – photo by Richie Dotson
While an awful lot of bluegrass folks are here in Raleigh, NC this week for World of Bluegrass, one bluegrass hero who lives here year round is banjo maestro Jim Mills, who makes his home in the adjacent city of Durham.
Jim worked for many years as the banjo picker with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and since coming off the road he earns his living buying and selling banjos. He maintains a showroom and invites banjo enthusiasts – especially Earl Scruggs and prewar Gibson fans – to visit while in Raleigh for the convention. There are always a number of prize vintage banjos on display, many of them for sale, as well as tenors professionally converted into 5 strings.
Local television station WRAL met with Jim in his banjo museum to talk a bit about what he does. The piece ran yesterday evening, and can also be viewed online.
Jim tells us that anyone in town for IBMA week is welcome to come see him and his remarkable display of instruments, but does ask that you call ahead to make sure he will be available. Mills can be reached by phone (919-608-0355) or email.