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    by Published on Mar-14-2017 10:15am  Views: 4142 
    Mike Compton

    Mike Compton has been a force in the world of bluegrass mandolin since the 1980s when he co-founded the influential Nashville Bluegrass Band.

    In the years since, he's played on the soundtrack to the Coen Brother's movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou, and traveled the world performing with notable musical partners, including John Hartford.

    A leading proponent of Monroe-style mandolin, his keen interest in bluegrass music's past and future makes him an indispensable part of the eight-string community.

    Visiting New York last year, he teamed up with guitarist, Michael Daves for a gig at Rockwood Music Hall.

    Writer and video-producer, Bradley Klein was moved by that performance to investigate the history of one tune that has become closely identified with Compton — "Evening Prayer Blues."

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    by Published on Feb-27-2017 6:45pm  Views: 11007 
    Elisa Meyer Ferreira


    About the author: Dan Beimborn is the host of the Mandolin Archive, and Chief Linux mommy for the Mandolin Cafe's dedicated web server. He also plays Irish and American music on all sorts of vintage Gibson mandolins, a modern F5, a resonator tenor guitar, and a Sobell bouzouki. Sometimes known to stay on a canal barge close to London, he also calls a village near Norwich, England home. He shares a house with his wife, son, dog Henry, and cat George. Weekdays see him working on highly technical Linux solutions for a multi-national hedge fund.

    I first met Elisa Meyer in 2011, near Montpellier, France at the Mandolines de Lunel festival. I was teaching Irish mandolin that year, and Elisa was performing with her family band Choro das 3. Elisa and her father appeared in the back of the classroom one day, and they stayed after to ask questions and compare mandolins. I was quite surprised at how q uickly she could pick up the techniques, until I heard the full band perform later! All of the musicians in the audience were stunned at the complex arrangements and her incredibly fast, accurate playing. During jam sessions, we swapped mandolins for a time. I was taken at how similar her Brazilian bandolim was to the sound of a "celtic" instrument, a lot of emphasis on sustain and a big round note.

    Choro das 3 has been very busy as a band, touring widely in the USA in recent years. Facebook friends began to link their videos, and I realized it was the same family I had met in Lunel. These ...
    by Published on Jan-29-2017 6:30pm  Views: 4478 
    Bobby Osborne in studio

    L-R: Bob Osborne (bass), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Trey Hensley (guitar), Alison Brown (banjo/producer), Arthur Hancock (songwriter), Bobby Osborne, Sierra Hull (mandolin, vocals), Gordon Hammond (engineer), Todd Phillips (bass). Photo credit: Stacie Huckaba

    About the author: Roots scholar and multi-instrumentalist Michael Eck is a respected songwriter; a nationally exhibited painter; and an award-winning cultural critic and freelance writer. He is also a member of Ramblin Jug Stompers, Lost Radio Rounders, Berkshire Ramblers and the Frank Jaklitsch Trio.

    Even prior to his groundbreaking role alongside younger brother Sonny in The Osborne Brothers, Bobby Osborne was bending the rules. A singer first and a picker second, Osborne called country music (with an Ernest Tubb obsession and work in combos like Lonesome Pine Fiddlers) home before bluegrass, and later helped bring rock elements in to the sounds of both genres.

    Today, at 85, ...
    by Published on Nov-30-2016 6:30pm  Views: 3450 
    Mandolins Heal The World

    There's a new online educational resource for mandolin players, and one you should know more about. Mandolins Heal the World is a start-up from Don Julin that takes a fresh approach to learning.

    Author of the best-selling Mandolin For Dummies and Mandolin Exercises for Dummies for Wiley Publishing, Julin left the road as part of a popular touring act last year and informed us he was in the process of creating a new online educational resource designed for mandolin players, one for which he felt there was a strong need. ...
    by Published on Oct-13-2016 8:00pm  Views: 5667 
    John Reischman - Music From Up In The Woods Transcriptions




    The original Up In The Woods album cover
    One of the unmistakable highlights of 1999 in acoustic music was John Reischman's Up In The Woods.

    An alumni of San Francisco's popular The Good 'Ol Persons and later The Tony Rice Unit, John was already recognized as one of the finest mandolin players of his generation. Up In The Woods was yet another display of his remarkable playing and composition skills.

    Up In The Woods remains an important classic in traditional music and inspires mandolinists to this ...
    by Published on Sep-18-2016 5:30pm  Views: 6137 
    Ethan Setiawan


    Berklee College of Music student Ethan Setiawan is a rising young star honing his already considerable musical skills within the rich Berklee College of Music scene.

    Ethan just announced the release of Checkpoint, a collection of solo mandolin and mandocello tunes out September 30 to complement previous recordings with Julian Pinelli and Theory Expats.

    We'd been hearing good things about his music for several years, and the release of Checkpoint seemed the perfect time to shine the light on his accomplishments and diverse musical tastes.

    Originally from Goshen, Indiana, Ethan won the Walnut Valley National Mandolin Championship in 2014 and has now entered his second year at ...
    by Published on Sep-11-2016 12:35pm  Views: 6399 
    Joe K. Walsh - Borderland


    Portland, Maine — Joe K. Walsh has announced the release of his newest solo project entitled Borderland, a collection of bluegrass flavored original compositions featuring Joe's singing and mandolin/mandola playing.

    Always a favorite at the Mandolin Cafe, we caught up with Joe with a few questions about the new project and what he's up to musically now that the summer touring season has ended. As a bonus, he shared a marvelous track from the album featuring his mandola playing.

    The new album is an interesting twist: original compositions, traditional bluegrass influence, but mandola sprinkled throughout which adds a rich luster to the songs.

    Mandola! yeah, it's got a connection to a different ...
    by Published on Aug-18-2016 10:00am  Views: 7421 
    John Reischman, Scott Nygaard, and Sharon Gilchrist - The Harmonic Tone Revealers


    Three musicians widely known for their artistry and teaching skills, Scott Nygaard, John Reischman and Sharon Gilchrist, have announced the release of The Harmonic Tone Revealers, a recording of traditional styled music that is sure to find a place in the favorites of listeners.

    We were treated to an advance copy of the project and caught up with John Reischman for a few questions about the new recording.

    What series of events led up to The Harmonic Tone Revealers?

    Scott Nygaard and I worked together in California in the late 80s early 90s and were on each others Rounder recordings. He was featured on my CD Up in the Woods from 1999.

    Once I moved to Canada our playing together pretty much stopped. A few years ago we were both hired to teach at NimbleFingers Music Camp in British Columbia and realized how much we enjoyed playing together. We decided ...
    by Published on Jun-23-2016 11:00am  Views: 7101 
    Sarah Jarosz and Michael Daves

    Michael Daves singing duets with Sarah Jarosz.

    Michael Daves has made a name for himself over the past 15 years on bluegrass guitar and mandolin, and as a powerful singer. And now, he's the latest addition to the ArtistWorks online music school roster, where he will be teaching bluegrass vocals. With a strongly individual style, he's played and recorded with Tony Trischka and as a duo with Chris Thile. And recently he released his own double album on Nonesuch records, Orchids & Violence with an all-star bluegrass band that includes Sarah Jarosz on mandolin, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Brittany Haas on fiddle, and Michael Bub on bass.
    ...
    by Published on May-01-2016 5:30pm  Views: 7298 
    Mandolin Mondays - An Interview with David Benedict


    David Benedict could have chosen a variety of sites to host his ongoing video series featuring his music entitled "Mandolin Mondays." It's not like it's difficult to find a blogging host. His own web site has those capabilities. But January 4 of this year, post #1 appeared on the Mandolin Cafe with David playing a blazing version of "Huckleberry Hornpipe," and the hashtag #mandolinmondays.
    ...
    by Published on Mar-09-2016 4:00pm  Views: 8626 
    Marla Fibish, from the feature interview The Rise of Marla Fibish

    Five years ago, already a seasoned professional with multiple recordings and regular appearances at the very best music camps offering Irish music education, Marla Fibish made the move many a musician dreams of but so few realize: she left the corporate world to be a full-time musician.

    To say she hasn't looked back would be an understatement.

    A chance to share her talent with renowned guitarist Bruce Victor soon after resulted in a strong musical bond. New music was co-authored, performed and recorded, and ultimately the two wed.
    ...
    by Published on Feb-28-2016 6:30pm  Views: 7089 
    Article Preview

    Author Bill Graham is a freelance outdoor writer, photographer, bluegrass musician and singer-songwriter who has authored more than 50 feature articles for the Mandolin Cafe, most of which are stored in our archived News section.

    A non-musician might view the pale-blue building at 211 Lambert Ave. as a routine business serving local folks in Palo Alto, Calif. The street is fairly quiet. A Gryphon Stringed Instruments sign on the outside wall is modest. Words on the blue canvas awning over the front door calmly ...
    by Published on Jan-21-2016 5:15pm  Views: 13317 
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    About the author: Roots scholar and multi-instrumentalist Michael Eck is a respected songwriter; a nationally exhibited painter; and an award-winning cultural critic and freelance writer. He is also a member of Ramblin Jug Stompers, Lost Radio Rounders, Berkshire Ramblers and the Frank Jaklitsch Trio.

    Weighted Mind is more than just a bold step forward. It is an artist's statement, made by a woman on a precipice.

    ...
    by Published on Nov-15-2015 6:30pm  Views: 9859 
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    Sarah Jarosz has been on our radar since at least the Spring of 2008 when the then-16-year-old signed with Sugar Hill Records. She'd already played with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and appeared in a cameo with Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs as part of the 2005 Country Music Association Festival.

    Well... in the blink of an eye, that talented girl has turned into a young woman with plenty of musical accomplishments behind her and big plans for the future.
    ...
    by Published on Oct-25-2015 6:30pm  Views: 11509 
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    Aaron Weinstein's Chord Melody System isn't so much a method book as it is a concise "strategy." It's a peak behind the curtain of what every mandolinist assumed from watching his YouTube videos was some kind of magical wizard operating byzantine levers and adroit pulleys, far beyond the comprehension of mortals and us common folk musicians.

    What is perceived from the outside as mystery and complexity is merely a handful of concise tricks and tools.

    In this book, Weinstein avoids the charade of soul-eating, complex music theory and exposes the dirty secret of what master mandolinists have known all along — the instrument's 5th tuning was wired for chord mobility and comprehensible transposition, pun intended. Through ...
    by Published on Oct-15-2015 6:00pm  Views: 13306 
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    A year after vintage instrument pioneer Stan Jay lost his battle with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a difficult decision and uncertainty face the owners of Mandolin Brothers of Staten Island, N.Y.

    In the past month a notice on the store web site requests visits by appointment. Acquisition of new inventory has stopped and the family is now actively seeking a new owner.

    Stan's extended illness leading up to his passing and the challenges facing ...
    by Published on Jun-20-2015 6:00pm  Views: 1500 
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    For the past 15 years, Foghorn Stringband has defined a peculiar, hard-driving Pacific Northwest ensemble style, anchored in the mantras of old-time, but unafraid to bend the rules. Mandolinist Caleb Klauder — from the same Orcas Island digs as longtime Cafe member and tonewood dealer Bruce Harvie — bounced around in a handful of bands before teaming with fiddler Stephen "Sammy" Lind in an early version of Foghorn.

    ...