Artist Endorsed Bluegrass Instruments

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Sometimes even bluegrass artists get famous enough that a musical instrument maker will whip up an “artist-endorsed” model and offer it to the public. Usually the artist gets paid a royalty of X number of dollars per instrument sold (or something like that) and perhaps one or more free examples of the instrument, to own, sell, or give away. Of course the instrument maker gets to sell instruments to a very targeted audience – picker fans of that artist.

JANUARY 19, 2024 TRIVIA QUESTION

Which of the following artist endorsed instruments is fictional?

A. Earl Scruggs banjos (Vega and Gibson)

B. Alison Krauss fiddle by Jon Cooper Violins

C. Alan Bibey F5 mandolin by Gibson

D. Jerry Douglas resonator guitar by Beard

E. Lester Flatt D-28 guitar by Martin

F. Del McCoury D-18 guitar by Martin

G. Sonny Osborne banjo by Vega

H. Sam Bush mandolin by Gibson

I. Ralph Stanley banjo by F. Neat

J. JD Crowe banjo by Gibson

K. Ricky Skaggs guitar by Bourgeois

ANSWER is “B”

Additional Bowden Comments

The fictional artist-endorsed bluegrass instrument was B. There has not been ANY artist-endorsed fiddle that I’m aware of. Alison Krauss of all people would be an obvious choice. And Jon Cooper violins/fiddles are certainly considered top level instruments currently made in the USA. But, it just hasn’t happened (yet). Historically too, in bluegrass there has never been a dominant brand of fiddle. You often here “oh this is just an old German fiddle” as Germany was a big “factory fiddle” country in two major cities (Mittenwald and Markneukirchen). There are probably just too many different brands of fiddles for any single one to dominate the bluegrass market.

I guess this trivia question was so easy nobody would lower themselves even to guessing…

Dick Bowden

Dick Bowden recently retired after a 45 year career in the paper industry, and moved from Connecticut to Big Indian NY (Ulster County) where he ekes out a precarious existence as a groundskeeper. Dick has been performing bluegrass music on banjo and guitar since 1966 in his home state of Maine, throughout New England, and internationally with The Case Brothers - Martin & Gibson. He has performed for HVBA with the Old Time Bluegrass Singers, and also sent in a squadron of Dick Bowden's Flying Circus. Most recently Dick has played Dobro (tm) with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Dick has written many articles for Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass magazine) and HVBA.

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