Sierra View Acoustic Music dissolved on 12/31/2019. I've decided to keep this website up for informational purposes only as a resource for my previous customers and folks who have an interest in gourd and grain measure banjos. I still do a little bit of repair and warranty work and am interested in keeping in touch with any of you who have questions or want to share information.

Quite a few years ago, my interest in banjo history and my avocation as a maker of stringed instruments merged when I built my first gourd banjo. At about the same time there was a renewal of interest in early banjo music and a few players obtained gourd instruments. Gradually, a demand for this style instrument grew as musicians became intrigued with its unique sound and began to explore the instrument's possibilities.

My banjos have changed quite a bit over the years and will continue to evolve as I get feedback from players. My basic intent is to produce a completely handcrafted instrument that has the general sound, appearance and feel of a plantation or minstrel era banjo. At the same time, I've tried to meet the demands of modern players by making the banjo more dependable and easier to play than would be the case with a historical reproduction. For example, a head tightening system minimizes the effects of humidity on the skin head.

Bob Thornburg
Bishop, California