I never seriously considered the tenor banjo until two winters ago. While visiting Madison, WI, a good friend of ours put the tenor banjo seed in our heads. We walked down to Spruce Tree Music to see and play one for ourselves, and we were immediately hooked! We could see many new possibilities!
I’ve used 5 string banjos before, and quite enjoy them. The tenor banjo, having just one less string, is a much different instrument. The fingering of scales is actually loosely comparable to the fingering of scales on the mandolin. The mandolin is like a violin, as a tenor banjo is like a viola. When Madeline picked the tenor banjo up for the first time, she played it as if she had played it for years! We had to have one, but how?
I had a sweet 1950 Gibson L-48 that I rarely used, so I thought a reasonable solution would be to find a new owner for that, so that we could then comfortably acquire a tenor banjo. This all happened just a few weeks before Madeline and I planned on moving south to Nashville; so with no luck, we attempted to sell our guitar privately. However, it was a blessing in disguise. We might have made a little extra money selling privately, but then we would have never met the wonderful people at Cotten Music Center and found the extraordinary tenor banjo we now use.
Within a week of moving to Nashville, I called all around town to find who had tenor banjos, and it was Cotton Music Center that, just over the phone, I felt good about doing business with. The voice on the other end said, “Wow! It’s rare to have folks call inquiring about tenor banjos in this town, but we do have two you might be interested in, and we’d love to have you come on over and check them out!” So we jumped in the car, with our Gibson guitar too, and headed on over. The banjo we fell in love with at Cotten was a Gibson too! They appreciated our Gibson guitar too and offered to help us out by selling it on consignment for us. So we wearily left the store with nothing in our hands, putting our trust in Cotten that our guitar would sell, and we’d be able to take that 1928 Gibson TB-2 home. Guess what, in a matter of weeks, that is what happened!
It’s good to now that some else is now playing and enjoying that sweet 1950 Gibson L-48. It’s better for it to be played and enjoyed than for it to be in its’ case in a closet for months.
We take our Gibson TB-2 all over with us now. We have also made great friends with the folks at Cotten Music Center, and have returned several times just to stop in and say hello! They’ve helped us out on other occasions as well, so you may hear more about them in more stories come.
Madeline Fendrick and Brian Peck
We're happy to share with you stories from our journey as artists. Stories from the road, and stories from our home base in Stoughton, WI.
Logo Art by:
Robert Peck (Brian's Dad)
Cover Photos by: