Did anyone see it?
Yes, I was there along with a big crowd. Didn't recognize anyone in the crowd, but I'm sure there were lots of the Mandolin Cafe crowd there. I thought Ronnie McCoury's Loar sounded particularly good. Missed Compton, as NBB had a set at the Walker Center during Mando Mania. Best line was from a young man from California on the far rigth of the stage. Didn't catch his name or band he was with, but he said he felt like the Sanjaya of Mando Mania, wasn't sure he was worthy of sitting on stage with such great pickers. He held his own though. Lot of applause for Sierra Hull. Also great to see and hear Pete Rowan playing some backup guitar. Great to hear Wayne Benson mention Dewey Farmer. Would be great to get Dewey up on that stage sometime.
Old Wave F5
One of the highlights was when Peter Rowan and Dan Tyminski sang In the Pines. Not Fade Away was pretty funky, in a good way!
Was Tony Rice up and about?
On Saturday Tony and Union Station played a set.
It was a religous experience for me. #What an amazing event. #If that was the only thing at Merlefest it would have been worth it to me. #The only problem was they needed to play atleast another hour - !!!. #Particularly enjoyed "Jerusalem Ridge" and the jam with the Bo Diddley Beat, started by James Nash of the Waybacks. #I have them both on video here. #I thought Tony Williamson's Loar sounded amazing, although it is so hard to tell what's the mando and what's the man. #Of course Sam Bush always has the most fun and is a great performer and it was good to see Hoss out of the shop, when he was in Asheville here last month Hoss wasn't with him. #As far as Patrick Sauber feeling like he didn't belong up there he was sadly mistaken, he sounded great. #Sierra Hull is an amazing musician for a 15 year old sitting up there between Tony and Sam. #She can trade licks with them for sure, but her tone/volume didn't project like the legends. #Could have been a mic issue though. #Darin Aldridge and Wayne Benson were great too and certainly Ronnie Mccoury was as well. #Dan Tyminski sounded good too, but he and Ronnie were blocked from my view so I couldn't really see them. #I was really impressed by James Nash since I really hadn't heard him before. #He had his own style and bluesy presence. #I will try and get some video up this week.
Yeah it was the usual great show. I had my son with me this year and he enjoyed it as well. I didn't see any cafe crowd there either however I knew there was a presence.
Bud I agree Ronnie's mandolin was spectacular. IMO it was by far the best of the lot.
James Nash is always entertaining. I really like his mandolin picking too. Just one look at that guy when he is preforming and you know he is enjoying his self.
Sierra Hull was definitely holding her own ---- and I agree there were a few minor mic issues.
Three years ago there were maybe twenty mandolin pickers on stage ----- I'd love to see one like that again.
It would be alot of fun to get a bunch of the cafe crowd --- regardless of ability, to meet at a designated spot, such as the fountain and have our own mandolin mania.
Already looking forward to next year. Lp
It's interesting that you guys felt Ronnie's sound was the best, becuase I couldn't really see Ronnie from where I was sitting so I didn't feel the same about Ronnie as I did Tony. Ronnie was directly out of view behind Sierra and I was blown away by Tony's mando. I wonder if the visual aspect that I couldn't see Ronnie changed my perspective of his sound, which was great but I wasn't mesmerized by his sound like I was by Tony.
I have seen Del and the boys 3 or 4 times in the past 2 years and this was the first time Ronnie's Loar knocked my socks off. He has certainly has it dialed in.
I was also very impressed with the sound of Dan Timinski's Daley. Interesting story about it being Sim's shop mando because of a cosmetic flaw. Dan said he borrowed it and hasn't returned it.
On the Daley site Mr.T looks to be a very happy owner. Yeah I was a little surprised at the quality of his picking too. Lp
This is one Merle Fest that will stand out. Alison and Union Station along with Tony Rice was intense as was seeing Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, John Cowan, and Pat Flynn play a couple of the old New Grass tunes. I went to the mando work shop and was most impessed with Rebecca Lovell. This 16 year old girl can start a fire with her playing. It will take me a week or two to digest what I saw there as it usually does after Merl Fest. If you have not been to Merle Fest you should make sure to be there next year, and bring your mando because there is lots of opportunity to jam.
Yeah, lots of great mando performances all weekend at Merlefest as usual. Mandomania is always stellar. Two other performances that stood out for me: Tony Williamson and Jack Lawrence trading lightening fast licks on Friday at the Austin Stage and Mike Compton with NBB during their Doc Watson Gospel set Sunday morning at Creekside. Just very tasteful picking.
One negative. Very slim pickings for mandos in the Instrument/Vendor tent. LOTS of Eastmans, a couple Collings, and some Gibsons. No independent builders like in years' past. And the First Quality booth only had a couple of Michael Kellys...
i was on the front row it was my first mania it was great besides i had to piss so bad i got there 15 minutes early for the flexigrass workshop but was worth the pain for the front row seat & i agree Ronnie is the man so much he made me put a set of exp75's on my Eastman & by the way i love them, i dont think Sierra was having mic problems i stood right beside her when her band was warming up still could barley hear her even though her licks where still good i noticed she was using all nickel strings
I agree about the vendor tent. It felt very corporate this year with Fender and Taylor having large displays. With the exception of Eastman,there were very few mandolins compared to previous years. I would love to see more Luthiers have space at this venue, maybe separate from the corporate vendor tent.
I liked Mandomania but it wasn't the same without the Mikes! Compton and Marshall. But It still was a good one. I caught all of the NBB set at the Walker so I got my Compton fix for a little while. But I did miss Mr Marshall all weekend...
The player I was surprised the most by was Sharon Gilchrist playing with Peter and Tony, Her tone is superior and her playing is awesome. I liked Billy Bright, but she holds her own and really added a lot to thier sound. I was really impressed, because I'd never seen her before, I've seen her name around on recordings or whatever but I'd never seen her in person.
Some Gibsons? There was a really super DMM at the Gibson dealer booth on sale for $22K. One thing for sure, I know there is no shortage of Eastmans! As far as Ronnie and XX mandolin sounding super it should with that $500,000 sound system beaming it out. I suspect if Ronnie was playing an old Kay through that sound system it would be pretty darn nice.
"On the Daley site Mr.T looks to be a very happy owner. Yeah I was a little surprised at the quality of his picking too"
The Daley that Dan is pictured with is actually the one that I own. It had been finished and ready to ship to Richie K, the previous owner. Richie told me that Sim called him to make sure he still wanted it as Dan wanted it. I'm glad Richie wanted it. (Thanks Richie!).
I guess if Dan was smitten with it, it makes sense that he ended up with one.
Cabin Fever String Band, National Pike Pickers
Yeah, that was a nice DMM, but they wouldn't let me touch/hold/play it, so I didn't get a feel for it. Also saw one of the new Chinese Flatirons in that same booth, right next to a nice Nashville-made Flatiron...
I was in the vendo Expo tent for most of the festival, and didn't hear nearly enough music, though what I heard was great. As for it being corporate...well, that's what we sponsors pay for...position there in that tent, and with us paying for it, your ticket prices are lower than they would be if we weren't there. From my point of view, it's a great thing.
Must have been the shirt you had on. I had on my LoarFest West Tshirt and they handed it right to me! I have yet to pick up a bad DMM and I've picked up at least a dozen of them. Very impressive and most responsive. Sometimes they get carried away with the "D" and it's not so natural looking.
Rick it is a good thing ----- maybe we need a much larger tent!!!! LpOriginally Posted by (Rick Turner @ April 30 2007, 18:34)
Where are the pictures?
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