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There's no question that the banjo and ukulele are two of the most recognizable and well-loved folk instruments in the world. But have you ever thought about combining them? The result is something really unique, and you'll find a few great examples of that in the selection of banjoleles. The roots of this instrument go back to the ukulele craze of the 1920s and '30s, when performers wanted a way to combine the warmth and charm of a classic uke with the crisp, defined voice of a banjo. The banjolele was the answer. It's easy enough to spot a banjolele in a lineup: you're looking for a miniature, four-string banjo. The Recording King U25 Banjolele is a good example of that look, with a handsome frosted head and satin finish that gives it an authentic antique appearance. It's made with maple for bright tone and good projection, which definitely helps it sound every bit as good as it looks. There's a solid chance that most of your audiences will be seeing the banjolele for the first time, and the Recording King U25 is a perfect "first glimpse" for you to show them.
A few other instrument builders are also here, including Gibson and Gold Tone. Some of the highlights of the selection are the Lanikai models: the LB6-S Openback Soprano Banjolele and the LBU-C Concert Size Banjolele. Like their names suggest, the LB6-S is a great match to the character of a soprano uke, while the LBU-C feels more like a concert uke. They're both built to capture that same distinctive roaring-20s look and sound, and the LBU-C even includes a custom-fitted gig bag for protection as you carry it from one gig to the next. One thing is for sure: if it's a unique instrument that you're looking for, you've found the right candidates here. Banjoleles have a style and tone completely different from the instruments that combined to create them, and with almost a century of history, they've shown that their one-of-a-kind character is here to stay.
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