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    by Published on Nov-19-2017 5:45pm  Views: 22674 
    Emory Lester

    Emory Lester has been a notable fixture in the acoustic mandolin world for the past four decades, and is an innovator of mandolin technique and renowned creative artist, multi-instrumentalist, and instructor. His large body of recorded work has placed him among the elite mandolinists of our time. He has inspired and influenced many of our current generation's mandolin players, and pointed the way with his clean, clear, fast and efficient mandolin technique.

    Emory has performed across the U.S., Canada, Europe, U.K. and Czech Republic, with Clawgrass banjoist Mark Johnson, Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa, his own Emory Lester Set, his Emory Lester & Jill Jones Band, as well as a roster of famous notables such as Del McCoury, Tony Rice, Steve Martin (on the David Letterman Show), Babik Reinhardt (son of Django), and recently Jim Hurst, to name a few.

    He has produced a long and impressive body of recorded works of his own music and with many others, with two new releases, Mark Johnson & Emory Lester - Acoustic Milestones 20 Years, and Emory Lester with Special Guest Jill Jones - On Christmas Night, as well as his recently released At Dusk solo recording, all showcasing Emory's musical creativity, and skill as a mandolinist/multi-instrumentalist.

    A sought-after instructor of mandolin, banjo and guitar, Emory has a world-wide roster of online students subscribed to his one-on-one Skype lesson program.

    Teaching since 1978, his unique and thorough approach to training his students has yielded countless success stories, ...
    by Published on Aug-02-2017 2:00pm  Views: 24768 
    Ted Heinonen and Jethro Burns

    Author Ted Heinonen with Jethro Burns

    NOTE: this interview was recorded in the studios of KUMD-FM of Duluth, Minnesota, July 1, 1988 for the Saturday Folk Migrations show, and later published in print in the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time​ Music Association (MBOTMA) magazine after Jethro passed. It is reprinted here with the authors' permission.

    Jethro Burns was in Duluth performing for the 1988 Lake Superior Fiddle Contest. That same Friday evening Jethro conducted a Mandolin Workshop I had arranged. It was an entertaining and instructive evening for the thirteen students, one that will be long remembered by all those who were there.

    It's not often that one gets the chance to learn and jam with a performer so open and warm. My last class session with my mandolin students, whom I teach through community schools, was the Monday following Jethro's passing, one student remarked, "We should all be wearing black." I said that I didn't think Jethro
    by Published on Jun-18-2017 4:30pm  Views: 21496 
    Jenni Lyn Gardner

    Nashville-based Jenni Lyn Gardner is best known as the mandolinist for Boston bluegrass queens Della Mae. But she's been playing since childhood and went pro in her teens. At age nine, precocious and pretty, she played a tune backstage with Bill Monroe, who pronounced, "Little girl, one day you are going to be a star."

    She joined Della Mae in 2009, relocating from South Carolina to Massachusetts. Her deeply rhythmic playing anchored an early e.p. and three full albums, but recently the band went on hiatus (while still performing the occasional show), leaving time for other pursuits. While Gardner—who, along with other band members, headed to Tennessee after too many Northeast winters—is still considering some type of future release with her Palmetto Bluegrass Band side project, she used this opportunity to craft a solo debut disc, Burn Another Candle, under the moniker Jenni Lyn.
    by Published on Jun-04-2017 2:45pm  Views: 20302 
    Bill Monroe Interview in Denver

    February 19, 1986, Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys had traveled to Denver, Colorado for a performance. For two lifelong fans — radio personality Dave Higgs and videojournalist Scott Wright — it would be their first opportunity to interview the man whose music they'd listened to most of their lives.

    Learning that Monroe was about to be reunited with his famed mandolin that had been badly damaged in an act of vandalism, the two made plans to travel to Nashville the following week to video Monroe being reunited at the Gibson factory with his July 9, 1923 Lloyd Loar mandolin. In the process ...
    by Published on May-17-2017 1:00pm  Views: 32168 
    Charlie Derrington Interview

    February 25, 1986 shortly after Bill Monroe was reunited with his July 9, 1923 Lloyd Loar signed Gibson F-5 mandolin (serial #73987) post-repair, photojournalist Scott Wright and Dave Higgs captured the following Charlie Derrington interview at the Gibson factory where the work on the mandolin was performed.

    As with other videos from the Scott Wright collection, this is the first public viewing and due to the important historical nature of the video it has been left ...
    by Published on May-14-2017 3:30pm  Views: 19729 
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    Though Tim Connell didn't come from a musical family, his interest in music was quite voracious, even from an early age. Connell began classical piano lessons at seven, which included music theory. He taught himself guitar in middle school and by the time he made it to high school, he played piano in the jazz band, bass in the musical theater orchestra, and guitar in a garage band.

    He went on to earn his Masters Degree in Music Education from the New England Conservatory of Music. Music has been his life.

    I first saw Tim Connell in a YouTube video, which was him playing solo jazz on his mandolin. I looked up his website and saw that he lived in Portland, Oregon, which is where I live. My first chance to hear him live was during a happy hour set of choro music he was playing with Mike Burdette on guitar in a downtown Portland hotel. From the beginning, it was obvious that Connell is talented, energetic, and somewhat humble.
    by Published on May-07-2017 5:30pm  Views: 23072 
    Bill Monroe Farm Interview - February 25, 1986

    This is the second and third in a series of videos from the Scott Wright collection surrounding the events of Bill Monroe receiving his mandolin post-repair from Gibson, February 25, 1986.

    Because of the historical importance of the content, the videos have been left intact as filmed. This includes the opening seconds of video 1 which has a bit of static but clears up as Monroe is walking towards his barn.

    The two videos here consist of Monroe being interviewed at his farm by Dave Higgs with Scott Wright behind the camera. The footage opens with Monroe walking about the farm, calling his cows, petting one of his cats and chatting with Higgs.

    This is followed by the interview which is split between the two videos due to the filming technology of the time, ...
    by Published on Apr-30-2017 5:15pm  Views: 46021 
    Scott Wright tape #7 - Bill Monroe receives his mandolin from Gibson, February 25, 1986

    On February 25, 1986 Bill Monroe traveled to the Gibson factory to reclaim his cherished mandolin more than three months after a vandal smashed it to pieces with a fireplace poker.

    The story is well known and has been documented so many times it would be impossible to calculate.

    Black and white photos were published by The Tennessean last year.

    31 years later, it's time we see the video.

    For this we can thank bluegrass fan and musician Scott Wright who was working for a Denver television station in 1986. ...
    by Published on Mar-14-2017 10:15am  Views: 32467 
    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: 32727 
    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 quickly 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: 16611 
    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: 10872 
    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-11-2016 8:00pm  Views: 15476 
    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: 12946 
    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: 12460 
    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: 15639 
    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: 14888 
    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: 13978 
    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: 15597 
    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: 12313 
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    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: 24081 
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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: 19023 
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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-24-2015 6:30pm  Views: 23631 
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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: 17796 
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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-19-2015 6:00pm  Views: 7186 
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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.


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