“Hi Grant, Dan Belgue here – we spoke briefly over email a couple years ago I believe. I play one of your older banjos I bought used from someone in Victoria years ago now. I just wanted to send you a quick message letting you know what your instrument has been up to, as I thought you may be interested to know!
Here’s a recent banjo action shot, from the main stage at Vancouver Island Music Fest this past summer:
So, mainly these days I record and tour in a folk duo called The Blackwood Two. You can check out our website if you’d like, www.theblackwoodtwo.com.
We just released a new album and your banjo is on a bunch of the tracks. You can hear some those tracks on the “Music” section of our website. I’ve also been doing a bit of session work and the banjo is played on a handful of other recordings from singer songwriters, etc.
The banjo has faithfully been with me on tour from coast to coast twice now, and has played some great festivals and gigs. The only changes I’ve made to her (besides semi-regular adjustments to the neck and skin) is installed a new bridge which sounds pretty good, and installed a Schatten Design pickup for the bigger stages and noisy bars. I would recommend their products if you’re looking for good acoustic pickups. My banjo one sounds great – it maintains the tone really nicely (www.schattendesign.com).
Here are a couple links to some videos I just made so you can have a listen to one of your instruments that you haven’t seen in a while!
Soldiers Joy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU1JABPxyA8
An original tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f2Gth0FS9k
The banjo currently resides with me in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ll be sure to let you know next time we’re out west, it would be great to come out to Salt Spring and check out the workshop.
Anyway, just thought I’d let ya know. Hope the building is going great.”