John Elwood, a maker of fine musical instruments and a 2001 graduate of Washington State University, crafts banjos from WSU cheese cans (like the iconic Cougar Gold).
Watch John play his “canjo” below and read more about his work in the spring 2011 issue.
Cougar fight song played on the canjo.
“Shortnin’ bread” played on the canjo (listen for the lyrical twist).
In addition to canjos, John plays folk music and creates whimsical and beautiful instruments like the goblin dulcimer … » More …
You’ve enjoyed the cheese, but what do you do with a Cougar Gold can?
John Elwood ’01 builds fine stringed instruments—dulcimers, mandolins, banjos, harpsichords— so using the iconic tin Cougar Gold can to craft a banjo seemed a logical choice. The Palouse-area resident created a canjo, a fretless, tunable instrument for all ages.
“These are three-string, robust instruments, have the scale dimensions of a violin, and are inexplicably pleasant to the ear,” says Elwood. “I blame it on the excellence of the cheese.”
His affection for WSU’s signature cheddar developed early as he helped his father, Lewis Elwood ’65, clean Troy Hall, the former … » More …