Ladies and gentlemen, from Dixon California,

Matt & George and their Pleasant Valley Boys

Traditional bluegrass from Northern CA, since 2006.


What Matt & George and their Pleasant Valley Boys pick on.

A Gibson banjo leaning against a silky blue background

George’s 1929 Gibson TB3 “Fatboy”.


Instrument: 1929 Gibson TB3 “Fatboy” OPF double conversion from batch 9489. Huber conversion neck with leaves and bows inlay pattern, Gotah tuners with Keith D tuners on the 2nd and 3rd strings, Huber head and bridge, rim cut for a Huber HR-30 tone ring. Rim, resonator, all other metal components original to the banjo. Tailpiece punched by Jerry Keys.

Strings: Huber medium light

Picks: Showcase 41 fingerpicks and medium Golden Gate “clown barf” thumb pick

Tuner: TC Electronic Unitune clip-on

Case: Calton Cases of Canada double thickness 5-string banjo case

Other: Huber leather strap, gold McKinney 5-string banjo capo

Quote: “This is my final banjo. Tone is everything I would expect out of a pre war Gibson.”

Hutto F-5 custom mandolin

Matt’s 1997 Hutto F-5 custom mandolin.


Instrument: 1997 Hutto F-5 custom mandolin with fitted Cumberland Acoustic Tall Boy bridge and Stewart MacDonald customized clear pick guard.

Strings: D’Addario EJ74 medium phosphor bronze

Pick: Dunlop Primetone 1.3mm semi round

Tuner: Planet Waves Micro Headstock

Case: Calton Cases of Canada F mandolin shaped case

Other: Homemade rolled bootlaces leather strap.

Quote: “It’s the only mandolin I’ve ever owned.”

1951 Martin D-28 guitar

Jenny Lynn’s 1951 Martin D-28 guitar.

Jenny Lynn

Instrument: 1951 Martin D-28 guitar with Graph Tech Tusq PP-2122-00 black with white inlay man made (faux) ivory bridge pins.

Strings: D’Addario EJ17 medium phosphor bronze

Picks: John Pearse Hi-Rider fingerpick and Dunlop “clown barf” thumb pick

Tuner: Planet Waves Micro Headstock

Case: Calton Cases of Canada Martin dreadnought guitar shaped case

Other: Unbranded black leather mandolin strap with Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Quick-Release System (guitar has no strap button), and Elliott guitar capo.

Cousin Rainwater’s 1961 King Mortone bass.

Cousin Rainwater

Instrument: 1961 King Mortone ~7/8 scale upright bass

Strings: G–A Lenzner Supersolo gut strings, E Eurosonic medium guage

Pickup & Preamp: Vics Pickups Model C slap and bridge pickup, K&K Bass Master RB preamp

Tuner: Peterson StroboStomp HD

Case: Protec 3/4 Gold Series gig bag

Other: Custom 1-inch monther of toilet seat endpin cap, strings conditioned exclusively with Cobram Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Quote: “Actually, no. It’s a pleasure to bring with me everywhere I go. Same with my wife, and she’s just as tall.”

Replica RCA-77DX ribbon microphone

Our Audix SCX25A disguised as an RCA-77DX ribbon microphone, shh…

Our Microphone

Like our heroes Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass boys in the 1940’s, our live performances (and our “It’s Opry Time” recording) are played into a single, center-stage microphone; the “sixth member” of the band.

Our mic has been through several iterations, but has landed on the following details:

The outer shell is a replica of an RCA-77DX ribbon microphone, custom made for us by Darrin Warner of Big “D” Broadcast Exchange in Indiana.

The “flag” and side-brackets were (obviously) custom made by Bloss Incorporated in Glendale, CA.

In 2017 the whole thing got scorched in a house fire, although miraculously it was still functional. Subsequently, Del Williams generously offered to clean, paint and polish it. He did a phenomenal job (as he does with everything he does)!

Although it shipped from Big “D” with an Oktava MK219, that mic failed, so inside George has custom fit an Audix SCX25A large diaphragm condenser microphone (that’s working perfectly). We sit the mic shell on a beautiful Atlas Sound MS-12C chrome mic stand, and plug in a Canare cable custom made by George.

Jim’s Arnold Voight fiddle.

Fiddlin’ Jim

Instrument: (unknown date) Arnold Voight fiddle

Strings: Thomastik-Infeld Super Flexible Rope Core Aluminum and Chrome Wound 4/4 violin

Bow: Chadwick London violin bow

Tuner: A440 tuning fork

Case: Ifshin Violins violin case, with Colorado Case Company violin case cover.

Quote: “A friend found it in a thrift shop in San Francisco and it plays beautifully. Really a lucky find!”