Banjo Bass Takes Blythe by Surprise

Blythe, Bluegrass and Banjos and in this case banjo BASSes too. 

The first Bluegrass Festival of the season for the Southwest produced some excitement for crowds at one stage of the Blythe, CA Festival this past weekend.

Mark Anderson of Monroe Crossing surprised the audience on the band’s third number when he exited the stage very prematurely in the set but quickly returned with something that looked like a banjo on steroids.

What it was that Mark went to fetch backstage was a Banjo Bass created by Arizonan Gord Acri out of a old marching bass drum he spotted in a junk store. 

Acri said this particular drum was made extra narrow and  it’s size was just perfectly for a banjo bass.  He also said he knew immediately upon seeing it that it was begging to be built into a banjo.

Acri brought the Banjo Bass to the festival and had been seen playing it around the jam camps during the day and evening on Friday which caused quite a buzz around the festival.

Anderson, who is already a supercharged showman on stage, saw the opportunity to give the crowd just a little bit more bang for their buck and convinced Acri to let him use it on stage during one of their performances. 

Afterwards Mark said, “it’s always fun to pull something unexpected on the crowd” and he said that, “more banjos in more places can’t be a bad thing.” 

The banjo bass that Mark was playing was built by  Gord Acri who is already quite well known for his innovative banjo picks and his “Headless Banjo.”   His Facebook page is loaded with pictures of him making the banjo bass. Click Here

When festival Emcee Bill Breen heard about the special banjo surprise for the fans he said, “that Gord is the epitome of ‘thinking outside of the box’.”

Backstage in Blythe, members of other bands appearing at the festival were anxious to sign the back of the banjo bass which just happened to be a recycled highway sign.

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Gord Acri playing his Banjo Bass!


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Monroe Crossing’s David Robinson


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Lorraine Jordan Signs



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