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  1. I'm tired.

    We recently made the decision to discontinue selling TI strings on the JazzMando site. Not because they are bad strings, frankly, I consider them the best string on the market (even slightly superior to my own proprietary JM Flatwounds), but I don't use them myself because of the high price. We were happy selling them for nearly five years, but with the growth of the accessory offerings we feature, (mandolin, e-mando, dola, soon 5-string, cloths, picks, books), I was spending more time being a mail ...
  2. A Nice Pair

    While my wrist recovers from some mild RSI...
    2002 Fender FM-988 (mandocaster)
    2007 Fender Eric Johnson Signature Model Stratocastster

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  3. Recording with Dale Crider

    I spent a great Memorial Day weekend performing with my band at the Florida Folk Festival, one of the greatest places to pick I know of. But on Sunday evening, the adventure wasn't over yet. Four of us (my son Chris, Barbara Johnson, Jenn Leigh, and myself) drove down to master songer-songwriter Dale Crider's house for a recording session the next day.

    Well, it was an experience we'd all looked forward to, but you have to understand some things about Recording with Dale. We've recorded ...
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  4. Mandocaster love 2

    Last time I detailed the issues with the latter day Fender mandocasters (SB-4, SB-8/FM-984, FM-988) and claimed to love my Fender FM-988. Here’s the first reason why.

    I play in a band called Señor Circus. My job in this band is to provide interesting support to the main thrust of the songs, which is acoustic guitar. Sometimes it includes bluesy chopping, sometimes it includes serving in the place of lead guitar, and sometimes it includes a hail of bright strummy notes. I do all ...
  5. Death, Smoking Hot Vintage Mandolins, and Ladies

    What brings visitors to a mandolin site in droves? In order of sheer numbers:

    Death, smoking hot vintage mandolins and, you guessed it, the ladies.

    Suspect what I've written is going to offend some. I've thought about this interesting phenomenon for a long time and think it's time to spill the beans, because, after all, mandolin players are no different from the rest of the general population. Some just like to think we are.

    What single event brought ...

    Updated Jul-01-2009 at 1:33pm by Scott Tichenor

    Mandolin Cafe Site Information
  6. Mandocaster love

    I am in love. And this is no fly-by-night/easy-come-easy-go kind of love. I know there are many folks out there who profess to love and then find something new in short order. But you will not see this beauty in the Mandolin Café classifieds unless my hands cease to function and my heart is turned against stringed instruments.

    The object of my affection is an improved Fender FM-988, a sonic blue 8 string “mandocaster.”

    In the early part of this decade, Fender ...

    Updated Jul-01-2009 at 6:30pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Electric Explorations
  7. Where's The Crop of New Young Hotshots?

    Sierra Hull just graduated from high school. Sarah Jarosz too. Both will be touring this summer as part of a fresh crop of new musical blood in what I term the first internet/post-Chris Thile influenced generation of mandolin players who are moving from the bedroom in mom and dad's house out into the real world.

    There's no denying it. Thile had a huge influence on young players at the height of Nickel Creek, and you can hear his influence in their playing. His influence hasn't diminished. ...

    Updated Jun-22-2009 at 2:28pm by Scott Tichenor

    General Mandolin Comments
  8. The Story Behind "A Place In The Heart"

    inline imageThe new Butch Baldassari tribute CD is now out and available from SoundArt Recordings. I was honored to be asked to contribute a cut and there's an interesting story behind the the piece I recorded.

    I played a composition you may have heard on Butch's 1998 recording, New Classics for Bluegrass Mandolin. Has it been that long since he recorded it? Doesn't seem possible.

    The story behind the music: first, this is a ...
  9. House Concert Report: Catherine Feeny

    I've been to a lot of house concerts. They're quite popular among the acoustic music appreciators in Modesto, CA and surrounding communities, so I thought I knew how the evening would go. Since our band leader, Señor Tim, was the host, I figured we, Señor Circus, would get up and do 4 or 5 songs before the main attraction, Catherine Feeny, would take over. But my expectations were wildly inaccurate, and pleasantly so.

    After the potluck dinner (yummy vegetarian foods, mostly) We ...
  10. Mando(la)bird and Bluebird

    Gig last weekend in Sonora CA...
    Two sets with Señor Circus, a band for which I play mandolin and guitar. So my gig rig is fairly heavy. I use both an eight string electric mandolin and a four string electric mandolin, so an amp and a set of effects pedals are part of the package too. The regular mandolin and the guitar round out the gig stable, and they just go through the PA.

    I've altered the four string electric mandolin a little. It is an Epiphone Mandobird, and it was ...

    Updated Jun-08-2009 at 2:50pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Electric Explorations
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