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Best of Both Worlds

Jim Lyon of Silvis is a talented craftsman and also quite a music maker.

Jim plays and also makes banjos.

He has been playing the banjo for fifty five years. He started making banjos in 1984.

In the cozy confines of his garage, he shapes and designs banjo pieces. He has done some beautiful work.

He made the Hummingbird in 1991. It is gold plated with an intricate design. The pattern on the banjo is hand cut. It is Mother of Pearl.

He calls one five stringed banjo the Tree of Life. Jim designed that pattern. He has made dozens of banjos from maple, walnut and mahogany.

The grain of the wood is what gives each banjo its unique sound.

Jim often writes the words for many of the songs he plays.

He says the banjo makes a happy sound. It's lively music and that is exactly what he likes.