For release Wednesday, Jan 14th 2004

J.D. Crowe looks to prewar banjos for Gibson "Black Jack"

Gibson's Original Acoustic Instruments division and J.D. Crowe, the newest inductee to the IBMA Hall of Honor, debut the J.D. Crowe "Black Jack" banjo. Crowe, one of the influential fathers of the "new grass" movement, wanted his banjo to embody the best qualities of the Gibson banjos he's played and mastered for the last 30 years, with such features as a V-shaped neck, custom Style 3 inlay pattern and satin gold hardware.

Crowe described the tone as reminiscent of a prewar Gibson banjo. "With this type of hardware, the way it's done, it has a little different sound," he said. "It's a little bit drier sound, maybe a little more mellow, and a little more ringing effect to it, without having a lot of overtones."

Crowe wanted the custom 1930s-era Style 3 inlay because it's seldom used today. "This will be the first Gibson to come out with the inlay in this time period," he explained. "It's very intricate, everything is separate."

Other unique "look" features include single antique "double-ring" binding, signature truss rod cover and antique walnut brown finish. The J.D. Crowe "Black Jack" banjo comes with a hardshell case. MSRP: $4,949.

As one of the pioneering fathers of the "new grass" movement in the 1970s, J.D. Crowe has inspired generations of contemporary bluegrass musicians with his eclectic style. His band, J.D. Crowe and the New South, has at various times been home to such virtuoso instrumentalists as fellow Gibson signature artists Jerry Douglas and Phil Leadbetter, along with Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Bobby Sloan and Keith Whitley. Crowe took the name for his new signature model from his critically-acclaimed 1987 recording of "Blackjack" with bluegrass gospel great Doyle Lawson on vocals.

Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. Gibson's digital guitar, introduced in 2002, represents the biggest advance in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, MI, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Trace Elliot, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton, Chickering and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson's website at

J.D. Crowe "Black Jack" Banjo   Images
"Black Jack" Model photo  Tiff  27.5mb  Jpg  1.8mb  
J. D. Crowe - Artist Portrait  Tiff   xx.xmbJpg   1.96mb

Ordering Info: Gibson, 800-4GIBSON;

Walter Carter, Gibson Guitar Corp., 615 871 4500,
Michelle Nikolai, Gibson Guitar Corp., 615 871 4500, ext. 2267,