The Parratone Banjo Company

  While the name Roger Parramore is well known in the world of artistic glassblowing, few know of my parallel passion for the banjo. Though by most any standard I’m not an accomplished player, my love for the instrument can be traced back nearly as far as my love of glass. In the early 1970’s the folk and bluegrass scene was as alive in Gainesville, Florida as anywhere. Acoustic music and jam sessions were a natural part of life. Growing up in the presence of the likes of Clay Jones, Bob Higginbotham (Hig), Chubby Anthony, Dorn Oster, Red and Murphy Henry, The Bucksnort Barndance Band, and The Mildew Brothers, gave me a real exposure to the music which would later become folk and bluegrass classics. Though my playing never evolved to anything beyond personal enjoyment, the instrument itself never ceased to fascinate me. Aesthetically the banjo spoke to something very deep inside me. I’ll never forget the beauty of Hig’s curly maple Gibson, or Clay’s old archtop made from Virginia cherry, or the tone from Murphy’s mahagony Vega. All came together to capture my musical imagination.

   The world of glass artists and glass making affords wonderful opportunities for collaborative work, but equally satisfying are my collaborations with musicians. Founded in January of 2004, the ParraTone Banjo Company builds custom, one-of-a-kind banjos. Working one-on-one with a musician is a very different experience than creating an artwork in glass. Tone, color, feel, choosing and shaping the wood to someone’s ear and hand is a very personal yet shared experience. Like knowing my glass art will be seen by countless viewers I will never meet, I know my instruments will be heard and enjoyed by countless audiences wherever the musicians travel.

  Who is The ParraTone Banjo Company? Simply put, one man with two hands committed to producing fine individual instruments from the finest materials. I go out to the local sawmills and personally select only Appalachian hardwoods: maple, walnut, and cherry. Each instrument is made by the same set of hands. Mass production will never be a concern for ParraTone, only quality and distinction. In this day of mass produced, CNC cut instruments, ParraTone banjos offer a breath of fresh air straight from the mountains of western North Carolina.