Gold Tone’s reintroduction of the cello banjo was a musical revelation for me. I began playing Gold Tone’s 4 and 5-string Cello Banjos, CEB-4 and CEB-5, in ’08. The cello banjo’s resuscitation after a century of near-extinction is allowing me to synthesize my musical wonderings on a voice so new, yet so old. For me the sound of the cello banjo is connected, in my imagination, to ancient roots of plucked-string instruments.
A few days ago the heavens opened up and a stork flew to my home with a missing part of myself; something I didn’t even have any idea I was missing. Wayne Rogers president of Gold Tone called me to say they had a prototype of a new octave mandolin banjo and asked if I’d be interested in doing the rollout. As someone who has had a keen lifelong interest in banjo and mandolin family instruments I jumped enthusiastically at the opportunity to try out and demo this new creation. Ten days ago my Octajo arrived. I’m in love.
Mandolin-banjos have been around for a long time but I have been unable to find a precedent for octave mandolin banjo, which is tuned an octave lower. The mandolin family has had its octave mandolin for quite awhile. Now, finally, the banjo family gets an octave mandolin banjo. And its a dream. I’m so glad I was in the right place at the right time when that stork fly by my house.
Here’s the Octajo on my website: