I’ve owned banjos from just about every American builder over the years. Reiter, Ramsey, Enoch, Jason Burns, Chuck Lee. Maybe I missed one or two. I’ve also had banjos by Gold Tone and Deering. I’ve known about Zach’s banjos from seeing his ads on the Banjo Hangout but never took the leap. I saw how low his prices were and wondered about that. Well, I decided to give it a try anyway about a month or two ago and bought his 11″ openback just to finally satisfy my curiosity about these banjos. Right away I was impressed with the quality of workmanship he puts into his banjos – the attention to detail and of course the sound. What could be more important than that? There was something lively and upbeat about the sound coming from the 11″ pot. Well I became a believer and decided to have him build me a 12″ openback that would hang on my wall next to the other one. This one I had Zach build to order: mahogany pot and neck, Gotoh Tuners, brass hardware throughout, no tone ring, that S scoop I’ve always favored. So that banjo arrived last week and it took no time to hear that it had the sound I was looking for – different than what the 11″ banjo offers. This one sounds mellow, sweet, round, woody – not sure what other adjectives I would use but you get the idea. I happen to only play folk tunes that I can sing to. Now I pick the banjo off the wall that offers the best sound for any particular song. Fun!

Phil Levine, philip@1worldarttravel.com