[The Béla Fleck Missing Link baritone banjo by Gold Tone is now available at BanjoCrazy.com. 970-731-3117
Béla Fleck introduces the Missing Link to his son Juno
Béla Fleck has been playing his new “Missing Link” baritone banjo on tour with his wife Abigail Washburn. The instrument, which Béla designed in collaboration with Gold Tone, is sure to become part of his stable of instruments for many of his shows worldwide. Béla showed the Missing Link to Steve Martin, who was so intrigued with its sonic possibilities that he immediately ordered one for himself.
“Béla Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn were about to begin a concert tour, and since they would be performing many banjo duets, he wanted a deeper-voiced instrument to compliment and blend with Abigail’s singing and her standard-tuned banjo. We decided to voice this new banjo in the baritone range, halfway between the standard G-tuned banjo and our octave-lower cello banjo. Thus, the ML-1 is tuned to cGCEG, a fifth below open G.”
“We immediately decided on a twelve inch pot because the larger the pot, the more low-end output. Then we built Béla a number of prototypes with varied neck profiles and different types of heads and tone rings. Last July, my wife and partner Robyn and I and our daughter Mandy visited Béla and Abigail at their Nashville home – and settled on all the final specs. Within a month Béla had recorded with the Missing Link on five tracks on his and Abigail Washburne’s latest duet album, which debuted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Bluegrass Chart.”
Wayne Rogers has confirmed that Gold Tone will be receiving the first shipment of Missing Links Monday or Tuesday, Dec. 22 or 23. The world is making way for a new (baritone) banjo experience. For many players and listeners this is good news.
The new Béla Fleck “Missing Link” baritone banjo has a radiused maple neck; three-ply Canadian maple twelve inch rim; sand-cast bronze tone ring; mahogany resonator; Zero Glide nut; 15/16″ compensated maple and ebony bridge; all nickel-wound strings (gauged .018w,.022w, .028w, .038w, .018w; and a medium crown black Renaissance head by Remo.
Gold Tone musical instruments are available through Paul Roberts at BanjoCrazy.com. 970-731-3117