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Bones Fest XXI
Aug 24 to 27, 2017
San Antonio, Texas
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Bot Bones Aluminum, short
Handcrafted from same alloy as Pioneer spacecraft greeting plaque.
Same metal alloy as Pioneer spacecraft greeting plaque.
Genuine die-stamped Bot Bones.
No two are exactly alike.
Metal bones leave a residue on your hands that washes off w/soap & water.
Get cool Bot Bones paraphernalia at
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The Inside Story...
Aluminum Bot Bones
deliver a strong thick chunky tone.
Short Aluminum Bot Bones
are 1" wide and 6" in length. They are handcrafted from the same alloy and are the same size and shape as Parker Waite's legendary aluminum bones. These are the lightest weight bones in the Bot Bones line. They are perfect for players with small or medium hands who want responsive bones.
Short Aluminum Bot Bones demo video. Musical segment features
Meet Me in the Bottom
Blues 'N Bones
. The demo video is followed by a performance featuring Rich Egan (piano) and Scott Miller (bones) playing "Brun Campbell Express," a train-theme song written by Tom Shea in 1964. Recorded at Ragtime Rendezvous at Dressel's Pub, St. Louis, April 3, 2011.
Figures below are approximate (but pretty darn close)
Specific Gravity: 2.67 (Strongest Tone)
Density: 169 pcf (Strongest Tone)
Hardness: 5000+ Janka (Sharpest Tone)
Figures are approximate (but pretty darn close)--
Composition: 6061 T6 Aluminum alloy bar
Camber (arc): Flat Planks
Weight: 3.4 oz
Specific Gravity: 2.7 (Strongest Tone)
Density: 169 pcf (Strongest Tone)
Hardness: 5000+ (Sharpest Tone) estimated Janka
What are Bot Bones?
The name is short for Robot Bones. The idea for the name came about in the summer of 2009 when I saw David Holt and Doc Watson perform live at the Sheldon Auditorium here in Saint Louis.
David Holt is a four-time Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist who comes from five generations of bone players. In fact, David started his musical career as a bone player. (David is also a gifted teacher whose popular
dvd shows you how to play 5 folk instruments: Spoons, Hambone, Washboard, Bones and the Paper Bag.) Fortunately, I arrived at the Sheldon early enough to stop backstage and visit David before the show. I brought along a pair of experimental aluminum bones for David to try and as luck would have it, he played them on stage during his performance with Doc. He called them "Robot Bones," which I thought was a good descriptive name. This evolved into Bot Bones.
The Unusual Story Behind Bot Bones
Bot Bones are dedicated to the ingenuity and vision of Rhythm Bones Society member Parker Waite. Parker first introduced me to metal bones in 2003 at Bones Fest VII which was held that year at the historic Kentucky Theatre (now gone) in downtown Louisville.
The Bot Bones design is modeled after Parker's legendary aluminum bones. His aluminum bones helped me win the National Traditional Country Music Association (NTCMA) bones contest in 2004. The metallic sound was absolutely perfect for the Cajun tune "Jambalaya," which was one of three tunes in my set.
The next time I saw Parker was during the summer of 2006 at Bones Fest X in New Bedford, Massachusetts. I asked if he was interested in producing his aluminum bones for my future online bones store. Parker replied that he was no longer making them for health reasons.
Parker produced just 18 sets of aluminum bones. In January 2008, Parker's aluminum bones became a topic of the Rhythm Bones online forum. So Parker explained what inspired him to create them.
"They were developed accidentally in June 1993 while I was chopping tone bars for a sculpture by Patrick Zentz, at the entrance to the Snake River Correctional Facility amidst the irrigated alfalfa fields that sweep down to the river north of Ontario, Oregon. A couple of short pieces fell off the table & rattled together mid-air on their way to the floor. The sounds were melodious so I snatched them up & started to play. Ultimately 6 inches seemed like the right length so I made 18 sets."
Parker went on to list every set he made including the name of each person he sent them to, adding, "I hope Scott starts manufacturing these aluminum bones for others if the demand is there for them." Two years later I finally went into production. Time will tell if a demand exists or not.
Parker Waite at Bones Fest III
Parker is pictured on the back deck of the home of Russ and Wilma Myers of Brightwood, VA in September 25, 1999. The Rhythm Bones Society was founded at Bones Fest III on that very same deck.