When it comes to getting yourself a new musical instrument, there are generally two paths you can take. You can pick up something factory-made (generic and reliable), or you can buy a handmade product with no true duplicate. The latter instrument won’t look or feel “standard,” not for a second. The difference is in the details — tiny quirks envisioned by the artist who made the piece, an artist who dared create sound where there once was none. It’ll be riddled with odd nuances, but it will have a story.
Tom Larsen has known stories (and music) his whole life. His family passed down songs the way other families hand down heirloom silver. He was also raised to love woodworking, which he learned from his grandfather.
“My first job was working for my grandpa,” Larsen recalls. “He taught me how to use tools and work the saws.”
This dual-heritage sparked a love for both music and craftsmanship in young Larsen. In his mind the equation was obvious: wood working + music = making instruments. He became a luthier and the banjo his instrument of choice.