In today’s fast paced, disposable society there’s a lot getting left behind. The “old-fashioned ways of doing things” are being replaced with “get this done quickly”. Heritages, traditions, even cultures are being lost. Luckily, there are a few artisans in our area looking to keep the good ol’ days alive.
Joshua Grant is a seventh generation mountaineer of the Southern Appalachians. His art is preserving several cultures, from villages in west Africa to Appalachain mountaintops. Joshua is a builder of fine, fretless banjos. Each banjo made combines African, Celtic, and Native American cultures to “create an heirloom worthy of presentation or performance”.
I have had the good fortune to hang out and photograph Joshua during some of the building process. Each piece is made by hand and then carefully fitted together. His banjos create some of the warmest and richest tones I have ever heard in these Appalachian stringed instruments. (See more photos on Artisans of Western North Carolina‘s Facebook page)
To learn more about Grant Custom Banjos visit his website or find him on facebook. Joshua and his beautiful instruments can also be seen in person! Here is a list of art shows and music fests where Grant Custom Banjos will be in April:
April 12th, 2014 – Green Thumb Fest Whittier, NC
April 14th, 2014 – Watch for Joshua on news station WLOS. He will be making his second appearance on their segment, Crafter’s Corner.
April 24-27th, 2014 – Merle Fest Joshua was accepted into the juried Heritage Arts Tent at Merle fest this year! He’s really earned this and needs your help to get there! http://www.gofundme.com/grantcustombanjos
April 2014 article and photos by liz nance