OBAMA plays a 1983Gibson RB-4 Pre-War Reproduction 20 Hole Flathead, burled walnut, Crowe spacing. He plays straight up Scruggs/Reno. He a beginner but is progressing nicely.
BIDEN plays a Huber Roanoak. Interestingly, Joe ordered it with the classic Gibson Hearts and Flowers fingerboard and peghead inlay pattern. His resonator and neck are fashioned from figured maple and finished in the classic Amber Brown color and a tone-sensitive lacquer overcoat. Biden is a very good player.
McCAIN plays a Janish Picker. The obvious question is, “McCain’s arms and hands are all gombed up. They shot his ass out of the sky and caged him and beat the crap out of him. How can he play banjo?” Answer: John is a frailer, and a pretty good one. He tunes to D and frets bar chords with his right hand. [Most people don’t know this, but Obama and McCain are leftys. 8 of the last 10 Presidents used the wrong hand.]
PALIN plays an Ome Monarch, an older version of the exact model I use when I perform. Her banjo is a dandy, a beautifully-made instrument, simple, and yet elegant. And powerful. Sarah plays with noticeable attack, displayed rather arrogantly in her 2-5 slide in the 14th measure of Dixie Breakdown. Remember, she is heavy thumbing that lick down the neck. She strings her ‘jo with medium gauge GHS strings which, you know, is extremely rare for a woman.
CHUCK BALDWIN (Constitution Party) doesn't even play the banjo but does play the guitar, a Taylor NS42CE mahogany nylon, pure fingerstyle but through an Ibanez amp which gives him volume but completely flattens the low end.
And that’s what you need to know about that.