For most of his life, woodworking has been a passion for CMB founder Lo Gordon. In 1993 Lo and his wife Mary sold their wooden garage door business and moved to Brevard, NC to pursue their dream of opening a music store and starting a banjo making business. At the time of the move, Lo had been playing banjo for a number of years and had made several banjos for himself.
Having moved to North Carolina, Lo and Mary opened their music store, Celestial Mountain Music, in downtown Brevard and started Cedar Mountain Banjos in 1996. In the midst of this transition, they continued to perform in their family band with sons Tim and Matt Gardner. Over time, the music store became a central hub for the local music scene. In addition to merchandise, Celestial Mountain Music offers top-notch instruction and instrument repairs.
While Tim and Matt ventured off to seek their own musical paths, Lo and Mary continue to remain active in traditional old time music. They often perform in various musical lineups for local dances and events, as well as teach lessons, and attend festivals. The Tuesday Night Old Time Jam, hosted by Lo & Mary at Celestial Mountain Music, has spawned a vibrant local old-time music scene and is an "institution" in the region. In 2005, FOTMC awarded Lo and Mary both the Edward Lee Fleming, Jr. Award and the Cousin Thelma Bolton Award for their musicianship, spirit, and service to the old time music community.
Cedar Mountain Banjos has also enjoyed success, as banjo players around the country began to take notice of the fine artisanship and design of Lo's banjos. Today notable players such as Sheila Kay Adams, David Holt, Mary Z. Cox, Hilary Dirlam, Darin Gentry, Diane Jones, Ernie Williams, Al Petteway and Linda Williams endorse his banjos.
In 2005 Lo's son Tim Gardner started working with Cedar Mountain Banjos and after being the principal builder for over eight years, he continues to manage the company and focus on new concepts. Tim is an in-demand acoustic musician, producer, teacher and recording artist around the Asheville-Brevard area. For more information about Tim's musical projects please visit coyoteridgeaudio.com.