Murrumbidgee Banjos

The banjo first appeared in Australia during the Goldrush era in Victoria in the 1850s, when prospectors from all over the world brought with them the musical instruments of their cultures. With this influx came the Americans with their banjos. Also from the US came travelling minstrel shows, including banjo players. From Victoria the instrument spread north along the Murray, Darling and up the Murrumbidgee. The first Australian home-made banjos were kerosene tins with kangaroo tendon strings. The fifth string in American style banjos was added or removed depending on the musical style of the generation. The LJ O'Shea Murrumbidgee banjo is a modern version of these styles of instrument - 5th string, fretless 5-string and 4-string tenors, with 11 inch rim, open back with dowel stick joined necks and antique finish.