On the family farm

Kathryn Ray

It’s a strange thing, the banjo. Some skin and strings. It looks as if its maker couldn’t decide between percussion and chordophone, and just threw the two together. And then there’s this string that doesn’t even reach the full length of the neck. Read more


I never expected to buy a banjo, and certainly not for myself. And yet I recently found myself ogling an Irish tenor on the showroom wall of Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, North Carolina. This was not my first visit. Read more


In the early days

Courtesy of Louise Best

Music is like a memory—each performance a moment preserved, notes recalled but replayed never quite exactly the same way. And like a memory, music survives long after its makers. Read more