Backstage with Béla and The Missing Link Exclusive


Backstsge with Béla Fleck

This is a behind the scenes peak into a backstage session between Béla Fleck, Paul Roberts and Carla Roberts. The introduction was set up by Wayne Rogers of Gold Tone, who had collaborated with Béla in the design of the Missing Link over many months. It was the first time the Missing Link was physically present, as we had only seen pictures and it had just recently been made available to purchase. Béla actually had two Missing Link baritones - set up with different heads and because of that very different tonal qualities.  - Carla Roberts   



“Thanks to Béla for graciously introducing me to a banjo that is booked with destiny

Paul Roberts of

The Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn concert I just attended was a real knockout – certainly one of the very best musical performances I have ever attended. My recommendation: Don’t miss it! The depth and beauty of what these two artists offer is life-transforming.


Thanks to Wayne Rogers of Gold Tone a backstage meeting was arranged between Béla Fleck, myself and Carla Roberts, to discuss Béla's new signature model baritone banjo, the Missing Link, the first production model baritone in banjo history. What a marvelous opportunity to be introduced to this exciting new instrument and to the creative genius who sparked it off, Béla Fleck!


It was a 2-hour Missing Link Immersion. After a 45-minute session with Béla, Carla and I were left with his two ML’s, while he and Abigail did their sound check, after which we had another chance to talk.


Carla Roberts with the Missing Link Baritone Banjo

The Missing Link has a gorgeous solid tone which I was able to appreciate up close and when Béla played it later during the concert. Hearing one of the greatest musicians in the world playing this new baritone banjo was a mountainous treat. Thanks to Béla for graciously introducing me to a banjo that is booked with destiny.Thanks to Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn for their world-class banjo expedition.Thanks to Wayne Rogers of Gold Tone for always being at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of what a banjo can be. - Paul Roberts



Playing the Missing Links  - Carla Roberts

This was an interesting dilemna trying to figure out which Missing Link I preferred. Béla performing instrument (shown in photo at left) which I immediately loved because it was "alive" having been played a lot and of course sounded divine up close when Béla rattled off his lightening licks to show it's capabilities up the neck as well as in the lower ranges...or the Dark one, a Missing Link not yet played much but set up with a Remo black swead head for a more clawhammer friendly tone and a little less ring. I loved both, but since I am a clawhammer player, I took to the Remo black swead, which also sounded good with the my soft picking style.



Carla Roberts with the Missing Link Baritone BanjoThe black swead head looks very distinctive as you can see in the photo to the left.




















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Paul Roberts with Bela Fleck's Missing Link Baritone Banjos Paul Roberts Backstage with the
Missing Link

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Carla Roberts of

Carla Roberts

Carla Roberts is a world music multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, dancer and square dance caller who performs and teaches in the Four Corners of the Southwest. She is the webmaster for














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Review of "Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn " CD Béla's recent album on  
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