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Dear Jasper!
This is Jasper Monroe speaken to anyone that wants to hear or read. Been doing allot of thanken about how we can get the young'uns to start playing. Martha said, it would be a shame if people stopped buying because this durn economy. I said well maybe we could start a lay-a-way thing like Airway's use to have. People could pay when they get some money and after they pay it off we will just ship it to them. So that's it by gummy !! Just email us or call to get started. Thanks ya'all for listen to this old fart.

Dear Jasper, Who are you and why you think your all that? TOP

All what?  I'm not positive I understand but I think yer askin if I'm qualified to answer yer questions.  If that be the case then ...

I'm Jasper Monroe!  The Indiana Guitarman... he trusts me to answer all yer questions here....fact is he says he feels right lucky to have me here answerin b'cuz his respects my opinions ya see.

Now I don't wanta spin no long yarn but basically I started out my musical career sum 60 years ago deep in them Hazzard forests of Kentucky! Now I was the youngest member of all my kin ya see and I use ta listen to my older brothers sing and pic so it wasn't long b'fore I was showin a very high interest in the music my ownself!

I guess it all begun with my grandads tenor banjo... well and that cord book Aunt Eunice gave me ya see. I think everybody was purty surprised how fast I master'd all that and moved right along to really all things musicial!  Purty soon I was leading my brother's band at the annual bluegrass & hog festival!  Course, that's just what started it all you see?  It was that brief appearance on the local WCLW radio show that sparked all them cross country tours for us "Hazzard Holler Boys"! We was a purty hot item back in them days ya see!

Now while we was out thar on tour JD...that was our manager ... he contract'd hisself sum rare blood disorder and so since I had become the leader of the band by this time...it was only right that I begun managin us too!  I don't mind tellin ya that it was cuz of me we got them smash hits "Persimmon Moonlight Serenade" and "Darlin, I'm Home"!  Course  ya can't get them records anymore b'cuz that record label is defunct now ya see.

I'm retired now don't ya know down in Florida but ever once in a while I reunite with all my bluegrass kin at the festivals and special events. So ya see, Im plenty qualified to answer all yer questions here and b'fore ya go askin, yes I DO answer all them myself. So keep them questions comin and ya'll come back now!

Dear Jasper, what can you tell me about these new Indiana guitars with the red, white and blue finishes? I saw them recently in a music store but never got a chance to play them because we were late for my mother in law's birthday party- Jason Tyler, Merr TOP

The instruments you saw were the American Series from the Indiana Guitar Company. They make an acoustic model as well as two electrics that all have the "stars and stripes" custom finishes.

Too bad you had to waste an evening with your mother-in-law because if you would have had the time to check them out there at the store I think you would have been impressed with the tone and feel of all three of them.

The people over at Indiana Guitar Company sent me the first three ever made and I will tell you that once you pick one up and play it, everybody will notice you! Even my mother-in-law shouted her approval from the kitchen window when she saw me getting them out of the truck. Later after she left and I was able to go inside the house, she called and asked where she could get one for herself! She must have really liked them because that's the most she has ever said to me in forty years!

Dear Jasper, I'm a 13 year old girl and I've been looking around for a new guitar but it seems that all the acoustics I try are a little too big for me. Any advise?- Jennifer Carlstrom, Columbus OH TOP
You should check out the Bean Blossom Bennington model! Its a scaled down solid top version that sounds great and for some people, doesn't feel as "bulky" as a regular acoustic. I got one for my wife and even with just her two fingers, she swears its easier to play.

Dear Jasper, My father swears you had a brief solo career in San Francisco during the late 1960's. From what I have read about you I have never once heard you mention it. Dad and I have a small bet riding on this so will you please set the record straight TOP

They say if you can remember the 60's then you weren't there! Your Daddy however is right about my short lived attempt at a solo career.

After an argument with my brother Vernon on our way back from a bluegrass festival in Carson City Nevada, I (in the heat of the moment) quit the Hazzard Holler Boys and announced that I would try my hand at going solo. Vernon bought out my share in the group and with the money I constructed a "one man band" out of an old drum set, accordion, kazoo, finger cymbals and my banjo.

For the next 6 months I wandered the southwest and finally ended up in San Francisco opening for Santana at the Fillmore on a Monday night. After a less than enthusiastic response and my back aching from carrying a drum set around all day, I decided to rejoin the group and put my solo days behind me. That is, until you brought it up Tommy! Thanks a lot.

Dear Jasper, I'm thinking of learning to play the banjo but even at my age I don't want to spend a bunch of money. My stay at home son says you can't get anything good without spending a bunch of money. Any advise?- Rick Wallace, Green River AL TOP
Hogwash! First off tell your son its time to move out of the basement and let you enjoy whatever time you have left. Second, you CAN get a great instrument for little money despite whatever he says. The Bean Blossom BB-100 is a great banjo to start off with and I only wish I had something this good when I first started out! I actually own two of them and they both play great and sound even better. Your son just needs a girlfriend and a life, or both!

Dear Jasper, Are you ever going to release any of your old recordings on CD and do you think you will record any more with the surviving members?- Amy Chandler, Summerton IA TOP
Thanks for the question Amy! Since nobody back in those days were smart enough to save the original master tapes its highly doubtful you'll ever see them appear on a cd. You might check swap meets and flea markets but beyond that its pretty unlikely. If you find any let me know, I would love to hear them myself! As far as any new recordings, the only members still alive are me, my brother Zeke (who played the washboard) and my brother Curtis who played the bass. We've talked about it but until Zeke's legs heal for good we'll just have to wait and see!

Dear Jasper, I've heard a lot about these new Bean Blossom guitars. Have you ever played any?- Jack Albright, Strawtown IN TOP
As a matter of fact I have not only heard about them but the good folks over at Bean Blossom have sent me a few for my very own. I would say my favorite right now is their Martinsville model. Something special about that one because for some reason it reminds me of home!

Dear Jasper, My wife says that I have enough guitars and she says she wont let me buy any more. I know you own a bunch of them too and I was wondering how do you keep getting new ones without her finding out about it? -Steven W Marchetti, St Joseph WI TOP
This is a battle I've been fighting for a long time. Although this might not work for everyone, here is what I do. Keep buying them as often as you like then hide them in the garage until she goes to bed. Sneak them in and set the new one in with all your old ones. Before long she wont know which one is new and which one you've had for years! That and apologize everyday, even if you haven't done anything yet! Oh and bringing her flowers helps too!

Dear Jasper, Did you ever play resonator with the Hazzard Holler Boys? Do you own any now?- Perry Getty, Lakeland FL TOP
My grandfather had an old metal bodied one that he used to let me play on from time to time. After months of begging he finally let me have it and I used it on the first two trips we made to Arizona to play with local legend Tex O'Brien. Unfortunately on the way back home from one of these trips we lost the transmission in our truck and I traded the repair guy the resonator for the work he did. Wish I still had it! The good news is Bean Blossom has some resonators that are excellent! Now my grandson wont leave me alone about playing it! What comes around goes around huh?

Dear Jasper, Is their any secret to having such a long career like you've had?- Debbie Nelson, Wellsburg PA TOP
Don't quit and don't die!

Dear Jasper, I want to buy another mandolin but they all look the same. Anything out there that's cool but different?- Steven Hardy, Mt Auburn TN TOP
Funny thing Steven! Bean Blossom just gave me a BM200-NT to try out and even though I'm not the worlds greatest mandolin player ( that would have been my older brother Carl, may he rest in peace) it has one of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard! Its a blonde finish maple one that even makes my wife smile. Let me tell ya, that's no easy thing to do!

 

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