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Welcome to Bad River

Authentic banjos of character & distinction, crafted by hand in the old-time tradition.

Singular Focus

Every Bad River Banjo is built one-at-a-time at a deliberate pace. It’s a process that’s slower than most, with exacting standards and a dedication to craftsmanship and playability.

Enduring Design

A timeless aesthetic is applied to each Bad River Banjo — in the spirit of handmade instruments of the past — with a shared appreciation for line, contour and character.

Traditional Methods

Bad River Banjos are slow crafted in the old-time tradition, using historical methods and hand tools from the late 19th and early 20th century.

What Owners Say

"From beginning to end, Paul made the whole experience a professional, personal and pleasurable journey."

Paul Mumby

What Owners Say

"I love the sound, playability, and aesthetics of the banjo. It's flat-out beautiful."

David Swanson

What Owners Say

"Aside from being crafted masterfully, this banjo sings the exact way I imagined. Paul was an absolute joy to work with, and knocked this custom build out of the park."

Gerald Trotman
About the Maker

Paul Corrigan

Artist, Designer, Storyteller & Banjoneer

My passion for banjos began the moment I plucked my first string.

I had the privilege of learning to play authentic old time music by ear from a fiddle player who specialized in regional styles from the Carolinas and Kentucky.

At the beginning of each lesson, he would play a tune on his fiddle and ask me to create a complementary arrangement on the banjo. It was challenging at first. But it taught me to think and play like he did — and like so many before him.

I apply this respect for tradition and historic nuance to every banjo I make. No two banjos are alike. They each have their own character and story. But they all share a common affinity for craftsmanship, playability and attention to detail.

My goal in life is to create things that endure. That goes for the music I play, the banjos I make and the relationships I build.


Sustainable Hardwoods

All new Bad River Banjos are made with responsibly harvested North American hardwoods (walnut, maple and cherry). Nothing exotic, and nothing imported. Fingerboards and trim materials are shaped from Richlite, a sustainable man-made alternative to ebony. Richlite is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As a material, it is harder and more stable than ebony, and is increasingly used by world-class guitar makers.