Made from hide and wood, the mountain banjo changes with the barometer, and because the ingredients were once alive it is always in some stage of degeneration, rotting in the picker's arms. There is a shuffle and ache in the sound worthy of the weak and vulnerable and broken... Unlike a store-bought banjo, the homegrown version has a life of its own and is perpetually dying.
- Steven Harvey, Bound for Shady Grove
In an earlier post I wrote about my homemade mountain banjo. It just wouldn't be right if I didn't at least mention Frank Proffitt. So, here is my version of one of his songs. I played it on my mountain banjo*, which is similar to the banjos he made and played. The song is called "Rove Riley." I first heard it played by Frank Lindamood one day after work when I used to be at the FSU Coastal and Marine Lab. Frank Lindamood was a carpenter there, and if I was lucky I could catch him playing the banjo in the wood shop before he left. The aroma of pine and wood shavings on the floor really contributed to the overall experience. Both Franks have influenced my playing. In fact, Lindamood first introduced me to old time music and also referred me to some of the early Frank Proffitt recordings.