Just walked out of 5th String in Oakland with a 90+ year old instrument – a 1920s banjolele, with a wonderful nasally jazz sound. Thinking of the rooms it has played, the vibrations that have moved through this wood! Built like a tank, too. Maker unknown – lost to history. My first antique instrument.
A couple people asked for sound samples, so here you go – the first compares the banjolele to a modern Kamaka soprano, the other is just a few Velvet Underground riffs.