Video Interview with Raymond McClain

Kentucky Historical Society


Transcript Index
Search This Index
Go X

0:37 - Early Life

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Homer Ledford; Knott County; Martin Guitar; Winchester, KY

5:25 - Homer Ledford / Frank Neat

22:04 - A Homer Ledford Mandolin

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: abalone; Bill Harold; Bill Monroe; Don Reno; McClain Family Band

27:55 - A Frank Neat Banjo

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: banjo; bluegrass; mahogany; maple; Ralph Stanley; Sonny Osbourne

31:41 - Other Instrument Builders

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Art Mize; Greg Cornett; J.B. Miller; Lexington, KY

36:40 - Generosity of Musicians / Future of Traditional Music

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Buddy Thomas; Ed Haley; J.P. Fraley; Kentucky Center for Traditional Music; Mark O'Connor; Paul David Smith

43:46 - Importance of Luthiery

50:22 - Playing the instruments


RM: I'm not fine with anything that's not mine.

JW: We are doing an interview with Raymond McLain for the Kentucky Craft History

and Education Association, July 31st, 2012. Raymond, could you tell us a little

bit about the work you do and the position you are in here at Morehead State University?

RM: Well, how much do you want me to tell? Do you want me to start when I was

born, when I was just a little baby?

JW: Yeah, 1:00yeah, we'll definitely get there.

RM: Ok, well, I grew up in Hindman, KY, in Knott County. I started playing with

my father early on for country dancing and for many others-- a lot of it in the

living room really just to enjoy music.

JW: How old were you when you first picked up an instrument?

RM: Well, I'll tell you about my earliest musical memories. Daddy had a Martin

guitar and he left it sitting out by the fireplace and he never said, "Don't

touch that." I knew it was important, and I knew I needed to be careful of it. I

don't know how old I was, I wasn't very old, but I remember going up to it and

just picking the B string like that and when I did, it was like 2:00this sort of

feeling went through me and through the air and I thought, that can happen.

Other early musical memories are sitting on his lap while he played the piano

for dancing and riding on his shoulders while he danced. I remember those very

early. He just always had musicians in our house. A lot of musicians and a lot

of music around all the time-- It was pretty natural just to want to be involved

in it. So, when I was 9, a friend left her upright bass at our house and daddy

saw me playing the strings of it, so he told me which strings to play and where

the different notes were and he got a chair so I could finger the notes. I

started playing with him and he would take me with him a lot of 3:00 times.

JW: So that was your first instrument?

RM: My first instrument was the upright bass, yeah. It was Ethel Capsis' bass

that she left at our house. So I started playing with my father. To make a long

story short, in time my sister started playing with us also and we started

playing for events further and further from home. Eventually we called ourselves

the McLain Family Band and we toured, well, quite a far distance away from home.

We started a weekly television series on the Hazard television station when they

first went on the air in the late '60s and we played there weekly on that

station until we moved away.

JW: You were living in Hindman at that time--

RM: Yes. Still in Hindman. Eventually, we moved to 4:00Berea when I was 17. My

father developed and taught what were the first college courses specifically

dealing with Bluegrass music and the first college course dealing with

Appalachian music at Berea in 1971. I thought it was '70, but I started doing

the math and I think it must have been '71. So, we started touring further and

further from home as I said and eventually played in '52 foreign countries

around the world. Our main focus here is on luthiery and luthiers. Now I

certainly am not anymore of a luthier than anything. The only repair here that

I've done is to set-up my own instrument and a lot of time oversee that with my

pocket 5:00knife and whatever happens to be available when anything happened. But it

was very nice to have good instruments. My first good instruments were made by

Homer Ledford, who lived at that time in Winchester, Kentucky, and was a very,

very dear family friend. That's where my first good instruments came from.

JW: Do you remember going to his shop? Do you have good memories--?

RM: We often went to his shop and Homer would talk while he worked and a lot of

times his main tools, of course he had tables and saws and all kinds of carving

tools, a lot of them he made, a lot of times he would work with things like a

nail that he bent into a particular shape to do a particular thing that he

always had to do, or his 6:00pocket knife which he kept very sharp and was just such

a craftsman with that. I can show you a banjo that he built for me--

JW: Oh, absolutely. I think a lot of people have talked about Homer Ledford's

luthiery and the amount of influence that he has had on so many musicians and

luthiers. Musicians all the way around--

RM: Well he was a good musician himself too, and he loved instruments. He

understood what they were and why they were important. No one ever gets to see

the back of a banjo, and this is, of course, got quite a few scratches and

things because I've used it so much and I've taken it literally around the world

with me, but he did such a beautiful job carving 7:00such pretty patterns. He

thought that they ought to be, that they ought to be a pleasure to hold because

you spend a lot of time with an instrument, he thought it was important that

they sound good and that they play well and that they play in tune and they have

a nice tone, but he also thought that they ought to be beautiful. I think he did

make a very distinctive design.

JW: That's a beautiful instrument.

RM: But I had this and you can see there are quite a few repairs. You can see

where this binding has been broken at one time and a lot of times if you are

flying a lot you want to have them in the best cases that you can get and you

want to take as good of care of them as you can and that, but my father always

said that instruments are to be used. They are to be played, and if you play 8:00one, things are going to happen. The way to have nothing happen to it is to

leave it alone in the case. So we always used our instruments, but sometimes if

they had to be checked as baggage things would happen and they would be broken.

I can remember many times flying into the Lexington airport and on the way home

driving by the way of Winchester by Homer's shop and dropping the instruments

off and he took such good care of us and such good care of the instruments. He

was just such a craftsman. He gave a lot of good advice, not only about

instruments and about playing music, but also about life. He and his wife,

Calista, always made us feel welcome there, and we'd have a lot of conversations

while he was working on the instruments. Sometimes we'd drop them off there as

we went home, and pick them 9:00up in a day or two when we were going out to play

again. Daddy said, "Sometimes we probably couldn't have afforded to have played

music the way that we did if it had not been for Homer taking such good care of

our instruments and taking such an interest in what we did." I will always

appreciate him for that.

JW: Definitely a part of your success. You got to have nice instruments that

sound great and look great.

RM: The banjo that I was holding at the beginning was one that Frank Neat had

worked on extensively and built, and Frank, just last week I got back from

Alaska, I was playing at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival with Mike Stevens,

and somehow in the course of trip and the baggage, the neck actually was broken

on my banjo and I took it to Frank Neat just last night 10:00actually, and he is

going to have to put a new neck on it. He can use the fingerboard from the old

neck and some of the distinctive parts of it, but the part that is broken-- He

was very reassuring, he said, "I have a nice piece of old Maple that I can use."

It is reassuring when you have someone that you trust absolutely. Frank is, he

has a touch, and I don't know how to describe it in any other way. Even when he

does a set-up, he just has a touch, a sense about what that banjo needs. He'll

go around it and he will touch the head here and there and he'll look at

particular places, but he actually adjusts only the parts that need adjusting.

If I try to set-up a banjo I go through and I adjust all the brackets and I 11:00adjust the truss rods and I tighten this and that and I loosen this and that and

I end up touching every single part of it that can be adjusted. Frank doesn't.

He just goes through and does what needs to be done and no more.

JW: He has a great feel for setting up an instrument.

RM: I think that's what makes him a master at that.

JW: Part of that is experience, and part of that's probably just a natural

intuition that he has for the instruments.

RM: And he is such a good player himself. I think someone who was not a great

musician might not have the same sense for the instrument. I think a lot of our

luthiers are good musicians.

JW: Yeah, it seems like they are. Now can we see Homer's mandolin?

RM: Let me show you Homer's mandolin.

SA: Can I see the back of that?

RM: Certainly.

SA: I want to get a couple of close-ups.

RM: Now I'm afraid 12:00that I over time you see some scratches and repairs and some

places where obviously it's had wear, it's been used-- Always with love.

JW: I always think that's a part of the beauty of the old instruments.

SA: Can you turn it so I can see that carving where the neck is?

RM: Certainly.

JW: And did he copy any certain carving when he did that, or did he just--?

RM: I think that this is his design. He always was partial to Dogwood blossoms,

and he's got several of them on this instrument. Some of his carving tools I

believe he made, and some of them are fine carving tools.

JW: It's nice to see one fully carved because a lot of the old Vegas and

factory-made instruments were pressed. Those heel carvings were 13:00not fully carved.

RM: I didn't know that.

JW: You can actually see the little pinholes from the steam press that they used

on the Maple.

RM: Really? You can see, another thing that is interesting is that these

instruments are as beautiful inside as they are outside. The parts that you

never see are beautiful.

JW: When was the banjo made?

RM: Well it would have been in the late '60s. It's when I still lived in Hindman.

JW: Homer is mostly known as a dulcimer maker, but he made some great guitars, banjos--

RM: But you see how pretty it is even in here.

JW: Did he make the tone ring?

RM: He made the 14:00 rim.

JW: The rim.

RM: The tone ring, I think, this metal piece here is the tone ring, I believe,

but this he made.

JW: That's an unusual tone ring.

RM: Well it's interesting. He set it on fret wire.

JW: That's--

RM: He said that he wanted the effect, he liked the bright resonance of the ball

bearing tone rings, and he said that he thought if he set the tone ring on fret

wire that it might have the same effect of giving the benefits of the rim but at

the same time giving a little separation there so that the tone ring could

vibrate. I've never heard of anybody else doing that.

JW: No, that's very unique.

RM: The labeling, ok, I'll tell you exactly when he made it, he made it in 15:00 1969.

JW: 1969.

RM: And it says, "Handmade by Homer C. Ledford. Winchester, Kentucky. Special

made for Raymond McLain III." And this says number: [Can you see if this says

number 9 or number 4?]

JW: It says 4.

RM: I believe it says 4. I think this is the fourth big banjo he made. He also

made small banjos with a smaller head and fretless, but this was, I think that's

right, I think it is about the fourth one he made.

RM continues: And it says, "Guaranteed." And he told me it was guaranteed for life.

JW: 16:00Wow. It's beautiful and it sounds great too. Can you play a tune? A little

bit. Play a little snippet for us.

RM: What do you think I ought to play?

JW: It's so good to look at these instruments. Is it in tune? I guess you'd have

to tune it.

RM: It's just in C right now. I don't know if I'm anywhere near standard.

JW: That's ok. 17:00 [demonstration]

RM: I don't know, I'm a little out of practice. What should I play? 18:00 [demonstration] 19:00RM: Mistakes and all.

JW: I didn't hear any. What do you think about? Do you think about Homer when

you play that banjo?

RM: Do I ever-- I think of Homer frequently, because you know Homer and Calista

did something for us.

RM: You know, Homer did something for us that was 20:00more even than taking care of

the instruments because we felt like he believed in us and we could go to him

and Calista for validation. If we wanted to try something, if we wanted to do

something, they would say, you could tell them your ideas, and they would say,

"I believe you can do it. I think you can," and that meant a whole lot from

someone who was working on your instrument. It's much more personal. It's nice

to go to a music store and buy a nice instrument, that's a nice thing too, and

there's a lot to that, and that instrument becomes a part of you if you spend a

lot of time with it and love it. But it's even more special when you know the

person that sanded it, and person that roughed it 21:00out and took pains to smooth

those edges and make that neck feel good in your hand. There's something to that

too, especially when they say, "Play a little bit for me and let me hear you

play. Let me hear the way you play," and they make it for you in such a way that

it suits you. So yeah, I think of Homer every time I play that banjo, or every

time I play that mandolin I think of him.

JW: So he shaped your musicianship through his art.

RM: The musician needs the luthier.

JW: Can we see the mandolin?

RM: Yeah, let me show you this 22:00mandolin. I think this mandolin is beautiful. He

named it, "The Gem." When he made this he had not made very many mandolins, very

many big mandolins. You know how he made his first mandolin? And he still had it

and played it for years. He made it by looking at a picture of Bill Monroe.

JW: Wow.

RM: A picture of Bill Monroe holding the mandolin back in the day when they wore

their riding britches and so forth and it has the WMS microphony. He showed me

the picture. He had it on his wall in his shop. He made his first mandolin from

looking at that picture of Bill Monroe. When he started they didn't have the

internet of course, or really as many ways to 23:00travel or see people unless they

came touring through your town or close to it, and so, he made that first

mandolin from looking at a picture of Bill. Really it's remarkably good. It's

only slightly larger than most mandolins, which is something you couldn't tell,

but he got the scale, and it played well in tune. It was a beautifully sounding instrument.

JW: That's amazing.

RM: On this one, the labeling on this one says, "Handmade by Homer C. Ledford.

Winchester, Kentucky."

JW: The Gem.

RM: I played this with Don Reno and Red Smiley and Bill Harold, and I played

this with my family, with the McLain Family Band. My sister Alice played 24:00 this

mandolin. She played it all over the world. She did.

JW: Some very unique inlays on the fingerboard. I love the fact that Homer was

willing to make beautiful designs of his own. And of course sometimes he'd start

with something he particularly liked from a Vega or Gibson or some Martin or

some other inlay that he really admired. He loved the old banjos because they

had so many distinctive inlays. And then he'd change them and he, he was an

admirer of craftsmanship as well as being a craftsman himself. I just think he

did such beautiful-- See how they all fit together. Each one by itself is 25:00beautiful, but taken all together they are just beautiful. 26:00 [demonstration]

JW: Such a unique voice.

RM: It really speaks.

JW: It does.

RM: It really speaks, and Homer played it so sweetly. He played such beautiful

melodies. He loved melody you know, and I think that's why this mandolin sounds

that way, because Homer himself loved those sweet melodies. He did a lot of

inlay all the way around with the abalone.

JW: And the pearls--

RM: All the way to emphasize that distinctive F-model, that distinctive Gibson

F-model shape, but 27:00then to put the, and he told me that wasn't easy--

JW: I imagine not. Pretty tight space around the scroll holes.

RM: Yeah, he said this part was particularly hard when he got in to these close

corners and the curls and the curves and so forth.

JW: It's beautiful. Maybe we could talk a little bit about Frank Neat.

RM: Yes. You want me to hold Frank's, or the one that says, "Neat" on it.

JW: 28:00 Yeah.

RM: Why don't we do that?

JW: That would be great.

RM: I mean, this one says "Frank Neat" too.

JW: Dr. Andrews has his Neat banjo too. A whole shop of Neat's--

RM: Yeah.

RM: With a banjo, you want that fluid tone, especially for a Bluegrass banjo,

that fluid-- You hear that? When you get that fluid sound up there, that's hard.

This right here--

RM: That's not an easy thing. Every banjo doesn't have that. You know what I'm

talking about? That little magic kind of bell like liquid tone. Hear that? And

it doesn't drop 29:00away. That's what Frank's banjos have, and the old Gibson's did,

and some of the new instruments that people are making also have that but it's

not an easy thing evidently to, every banjo you buy doesn't have that.

JW: True--

RM: That quality. But that's the first thing that I listen for in a really good banjo.

JW: Old Vanderpool shows you that on the Chief that he plays that Frank Neat built.

RM: Yes, yes he does. Frank builds all the Chiefs for Sonny Osborne, all the

Stanley Tones for Ralph Stanley, and really quite a few more banjos than you

realize have some of Frank's workmanship. Again, the neck is so important in a

banjo and if you have one like this that fits your hand all the way down-- Some

banjos are good 30:00here, but not all the way down. Some banjos are good here, but

this doesn't feel right. That shape is so important, and also is selecting the

right piece of wood. Now this is Mahogany here. The one he made for me here is

Maple and it has a slightly different tone and a slightly different feel. I

think they are both beautiful, but he told me that this was a particularly old

piece of Maple that he found.

JW: The finish is just--

RM: Oh it's just right, isn't it?

JW: Yeah, the color-- His attention to detail is 31:00 unmatched.

RM: I love it that he put his name right here, Frank Neat. I asked him to do

that, to put Frank Neat in the block there in pearl.

JW: You want to talk about some violins builders you've worked with?

RM: We're talking about Kentucky craftsmen aren't we?

JW: Yeah. Are there any?

RM: Well, yes. Of course, you know I have a lot of respect for Art Mize and I've

worked with, recently, Greg Cornett in Louisville, and there are a number of

people. Of course, the person really 32:00that I started with was Mr. Miller.

JW: J.B. Miller.

RM: Yes, J.B. Miller in Lexington, KY. He, I mean, my fiddle was not a great

violin. It was a fiddle. And I loved it, and he could set that fiddle up and get

more tone out of a fiddle that wasn't really a lot to work with in the first

place, and he, again, he's another craftsman that was willing to take time with

musicians, listen to them play, set the instrument up for you, because that's

kind of a personal thing. A set-up. I borrowed Tim O'Brien's fiddle 33:00in Hugo,

Oklahoma one time, we were on a show together and something had happened to my

fiddle and I wasn't able to play it and I asked him if I could borrow his fiddle

and he loaned it to me and he gets such beautiful tone out of his instrument and

it is a good instrument. When I got ready to play it, I realized about the first

note I played I was going to have to play that a lot more gently than I played

mine because I tend to dig in and saw away at the fiddle a little bit and Tim's

action was so low that if I played the way I normally do the string came right

down to the fingerboard and made a squawk. And I thought, uh oh. I'm going to

have to ease up and I did and I tried to play you know, with his touch as much

as I could. But there's a lot of a person's 34:00personal playing style in a set-up.

Oh J.B. Miller. I bought my first good bow from him. He had a drawer of bows and

he said, "Why don't you just pick you one out of that drawer," and I went

through and I played with all the bows and finally I found this one that I just

loved. I said, "I really love this bow," and he said, "Ok. Then I'll sell it to

you, but that is the best bow in there." And I said, "Well how much is it?" And

he said, "How much do you have to spend?" Well, I said, "Mr. Miller, I've got

about $250.00." He said, "That's exactly how much that bow is, $250.00 dollars."

And I thought, well I knew he wouldn't cheat me, and I knew I thought that's a

funny way to price a bow, how much do you have and that's how much it is. Of

course, I found out many years later that it was 35:00a very expensive bow and I

could have never have afforded it if he'd told me what it was really worth and I

know he was just trying to help me and I am so grateful to Mr. Miller and to all

those people that helped me and so many other people in our music community here

in Kentucky. I think that might be another reason there is such a strong music

community here in Kentucky, because it's not a matter of someone just playing

it's a matter of the whole family and the whole community really embracing that

part of our culture and thinking it's important.

JW: You've got a lot of generosity from those folks who have helped you and many others.

RM: A lot of generosity from many folks who have helped 36:00 me--

RM: I think I was going to say something like a lot of generosity for me and for

everyone else. Oh, I know exactly what I was going to say. People have been very

generous to me and to all my friends that play. Not only in terms of luthiery

and instrument repairs and 37:00instrument set-up and that sort of thing, but also

from older musicians who are willing to share their knowledge and their music

they love, the tunes they love, and the music that has become part of us. In a

way, it sort of defines who we are. That's one reason why I love everything

that's going on at Morehead State University's Kentucky Center for Traditional

Music. The Kentucky Center for Traditional Music is carrying on something now at

this university setting that has happened, and will continue to happen

informally, well it's been going on for generations of course from the sources

of music up to the present day, and sometimes people think that if 38:00you study

something by studying it you change the nature of it, and that can happen. But I

think that as long as we have the involvement of professional musicians and

recreational musicians, and basically the same people that do it informally, the

same people that love this and do it because it's just a huge part of their

life, I think that it's going to continue in the same vein. You know, it will

probably help in terms of preservation because people can come to the archives

and hear and see. For example, Kentucky fiddlers who are no longer with us,

people like Ed Haley, or J.P. Fraley, or Buddy Thomas, any number of our 39:00important fiddlers. We probably have one of the best collections in the world of

Kentucky fiddlers and information about Kentucky fiddlers; their music, in some

cases videos, Hiram Stamper, Arch Stamper, so many that have been really

important. So in that sense, and down to the present day because, of course, we

have current recordings there on the part of our students and on the part of

people that are making exciting new music in Kentucky that's part of the same tradition.

Performance development of our musical styles because while we are studying and

want to know exactly what has been going on in the past we are also part of a

living tradition. This tradition should never be frozen as if we were putting

the whole tradition in a glass 40:00case somewhere and it stops because my father has

always said, "The most important and the most consistent element of tradition is

change and evolution." And I believe that's true, and that's happening today and

as long as we embrace that I believe it's going to be an important part and it

will never stop this music growing. People ask me sometime, "What's going to

happen to traditional music?" Whether they are talking about Bluegrass, Old

Time, Country, whatever style within traditional music they are talking about.

They say, "What's going to happen to this? Are we going to lose the old ways?

Are we going to stop developing?" And I think it's going to change in every

direction. I think we will continue to go back and study and love and appreciate

all the older styles and we have more resources now than we've 41:00ever had to study

the older styles because up to a certain point of course people thought that

with the advent of sound recordings, when they developed records, phonograph

records and tape recording, they thought the folk process would stop because

people could go back and tell exactly how it was and that would be one source

and one definitive right way to do it and another way would be wrong. But it

didn't happen that way. In fact, it's even encouraged more growth because people

can go back and study that, and be inspired by it, and then play it that way and

play another way too.

When they were doing that wonderful tribute to the fiddler from Pike County,

Paul David Smith, that just passed recently, and they did the beautiful tribute

to him out at the old Morehead Pine Music Festival, one of the things I loved

was 42:00the conversation about how many ways he could play a tune. And he'd go back

and play it the way he learned it, and then he'd play it twenty-seven other ways

before he stopped and each one would kind of grow out of the original and the

development that he just played, and they say he played twenty-seven different

ways before he was done. He knew how the tune went, and he knew also how to put

his own stamp on it.

JW: Exactly. They said he never played it the same way once.

RM: I heard that.

JW: I liked that.

RM: He never played it the same way once.

JW: He loved to improvise. That's something a lot of true traditionalists don't

reach for I don't think.

RM: Well, when Paul David Smith came the night Mark O'Connor was down at the

Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, I loved it that 43:00Mark just stood and

listened to him play for about five minutes. He was completely mesmerized by

this old Kentucky gentleman playing the fiddle and you know, Mark could play, I

think they were playing "Pile Them Cabbage Down" and you know, Mark has played

that tune probably a hundred thousand times in his lifetime and can play it

brilliantly in any style, in any way that he wants to, and he obviously had a

sincere love for what Paul David Smith was bringing to the that same tune and

the ways that he was playing it had obviously a lot of mutual respect there and

I think that speaks so well for both of them.

JW: Absolutely. Since we are talking about the Center here at MSU maybe you

could mention the importance of the art of luthiery to our students and to the

younger 44:00 generations.

RM: I really believe that the art of luthiery is developing the same way that

music is developing. Because as we are building on our cultural traditions and

developing new versions of old tunes, writing new music in the same style,

people are doing the same things with instruments and with even peg head design

or inlay patterns with new techniques for ways to make instruments sound better

and better and better. Of course, the old instruments always have something that

can't be replaced in a new instrument, but at the same time, people have always

wanted to develop new, I mean even back in 45:00the turn from the eighteenth to the

nineteenth century, to the eighteen hundreds to the nineteen hundreds, they were

developing new ways to make banjos or guitars louder, to project more, in days

before a good PA systems were available you had to do that all acoustically.

People are still doing that today and coming up with new ways to improve the

sound of instruments to make them easier to play, and I think that young people,

well of course young musicians always want to figure out how to set their

instrument up better. We are in the process at Morehead State right now of

developing a class in instrument set-up and maintenance. That's something that

most of us of my generation just had to learn by trial and error and you know,

we had the 46:00benefit of older luthiers to help us with that, but I think that when

we have a class that is set-up that way it gives students resources and an

opportunity to try these things in a very serious dedicated setting in an

environment where they are going to be able to experiment and to--

JW: It's nice to have that sense of having a mentor and an expert who can

eliminate a lot of that trial and error, that whole process.

RM: Help direct you toward that. E.C. Miller told me when I started teaching in

the university, he said-- 47:00Now, E.C. Miller was an old country gentleman that

played the banjo. Bought his banjo from Earl Scruggs back in the early '60s, and

in his lifetime taught more than two thousand people to play the five stringed

banjo. And he said, "I'll tell you something, Raymond. When these kids come in,

you want to help them and show them everything you can, but let me give you a

little piece of advice. When you see that somebody is at the point that they are

going to figure it out on their own, you stop. Don't show them that. Let them

discover that, because if you show them they'll learn that, but they won't know

how to go on and take it the next step." He said, "If you stop and let them

discover that part on their own, then they'll be able to do that all their

lives." And I thought that was some very good 48:00 advice.

JW: Absolutely.

RM: And it's funny, he does so little. You know, he only does what needs doing.

And, you know, he touched this, took it apart, looked at it, and put a wrench on

this, moved the wrench on it, and I felt like saying, "You didn't do anything."

But when he's done, it has that 49:00 sparkle.

RM: Has the sparkle, doesn't it?

JM: Mhm. It's got it.

RM: Is there anything else you'd like?

SA: Room tone.

RM: Room tone.

SA: That's good. 50:00 [demonstration]

RM: You know, Sean, do you have any footage of Jesse actually playing?

JW: Yeah.

JW: I've never heard a banjo that just played like that--

JW: I've played them before. I've played Dr. Andrews banjos. Feels that way--

RM: Everyone of Frank's just feel that way--

JW: Frank's just--

RM: They have it, don't 51:00 they?

RM: I mean, I don't have my picks on right now, but-- 52:00 [demonstration]

RM: 53:00Listen to that ring. Hear how the sound doesn't drop? You know, some banjos

will go and there will be a little (indicates wave with hand)--

JW: Scoop.

RM: A little scoop in it. Yeah.

JW: Completely calm.

RM: Hear that ring?

JW: Leave all those notes on there. 54:00 [demonstration] 55:00 [demonstration] 56:00 [demonstration] 57:00 [demonstration]

RM: If you decide you don't want that let me know [referring to banjo]. Oh, I

never did tell you what he charged me to set that up? Did I tell you what he

charged me? He said, "Why Raymond, I built it. Why would I charge anybody to set

it up?"

JW: Wow.

RM: If we did that very much, we never would get very much done, would we?

RM: I love that mandolin. If he had not made that mandolin for me, I don't know

that the same things would have happened in my life that 58:00 did. 59:00 [demonstration] 60:00 [demonstration]