Deering Banjo Company is truly excited to welcome multi award winning bluegrass banjo icon, Kristin Scott Benson to the Deering family of endorsing artists. Benson now plays a very special custom banjo that came about after trying a number of different Deering banjos and is an amalgamation of all the different models in Deering's Golden Series; The Golden Wreath, Golden Era, and Rustic Wreath.
“Kristin had not really played too many Deering models, so to start we arranged to send some to Jens Kruger and we set up a date that Kristin could go out and spend the day with Jens, trying all kinds of banjos in different set ups” recalls Deering COO, Jamie Latty.
Among the collection was a Rustic Wreath model, which Benson loved the pot assembly from and which provided the tonal foundation for Kristin’s banjo. Deering stripped the Rustic Wreath down to just the pot, before building a higher-grade resonator of flame maple to match.
One area of the banjo that Benson and Deering spoke about at great lengths was the neck. Her previous banjo featured a beautiful speed finish, which is something that she wanted to retain on her new Deering, which now features a glossy/stain peghead and heel, with a natural unfinished mid-section, giving Benson free reign over her left hand as she moves up and down the neck. Deering also refined the shape to suit Bensons preferences, based on her feedback on the Rustic Wreath neck.
And while the specifications of the banjo were gradually dialed in, Benson’s thirst for tone was the single most important thing in her mind, and it started at the Rustic Wreath pot. Especially important was how the banjo performed in a band setting, particularly a thoroughbred band such as The Grascals, whom Benson has held down banjo duties since 2008.
“It's like a canon and it does exactly what I need it to do - it punctuates and cuts through a bluegrass band. It isn't mushy and it doesn't get lost. That's my main issue with new banjos. It's like the sound just gets absorbed. They sound great by themselves, but if you need to function within a full-band context, you've got to have clarity and this one has it!” explains Benson.
“As I'm saying this, I can't even believe it...But to have just been put together a month or so ago, it might be the best new banjo I've ever played. And I ended up with it! How blessed am I?”
Latty states “Kristin is just one of those delightful humans that we just knew that we wanted to work with more. Her passion for the instrument, and how meticulous she is with not only her playing and technique but the setup of the banjo, we knew it would be a really great fit.”
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