• David Benedict Mandolin Mondays #200 Video and Interview

    David Benedict - Mandolin Mondays

    The Golden Angle transcription Kickstarter projectAround the time of Mandolin Mondays Episode #150 we asked host David Benedict if he'd be the musical subject of Episode #200 to be paired with a feature interview to update us on his career.

    And here we are!

    Our thanks to David for creating and caring for this series that exposes us to so many talented mandolin players we all enjoy, and allowing us the honor of hosting and helping promote the wide variety of musicians from all over the planet that have appeared as guests.

    Want to join us in extending a thanks to David for his efforts? There's a great way and it benefits you as well, but you'll need to hurry! When we publish this there will be two days left on his Kickstarter project where he's raising funds to support a transcription book for his marvelous solo recording The Golden Angle. Lots of affordable options for showing your support, some of which will get you PDF or print copies of the book and more.

    Won't you join us in supporting David's project?

    We last interviewed you May 1, 2016. You've gone from fresh new face to a household name in acoustic music. Fill us in on the changes since the last interview.

    Thanks for having me back! Just went back and reread that first interview. Pretty weird stepping into my 23-year-old shoes again. I guess a lot has happened — it feels like that was a lifetime ago!

    One of the big changes for me since then has been my move up to Boston to join the bluegrass band Mile Twelve. In fact, shortly after we did our last interview, Mile Twelve offered me a spot in the group. At first, I was a little hesitant to leave Nashville, which had been my home of 3-years, and to leave my gig with Missy Raines & The New Hip. While I was still wrestling with the decision, I remember calling my past mandolin mentor Matt Flinner late one night to ask his advice on the matter. He was kind enough to shoot straight with me. He told me that I would regret not taking this offer, and he was right. I had always dreamed of being a part of an equal member band of like-minded, young acoustic musicians like this, and it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. So i joined.

    Mile Twelve Bluegrass

    I think that decision marked the beginning of the most busy and exciting period of my life so far. I moved to Boston in February 2017, and since then I've toured with Mile Twelve across the States, Canada, England, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Never thought that I'd see so much of the world! In October 2017, we released our first full-length album entitled Onwards. Around that time, we were honored to receive a Band Momentum Award from the IBMA — an award that recognizes up-and-coming musicians in the bluegrass scene. The following year, I received one of these Momentum Awards as an instrumentalist as well. Additionally, Mile Twelve just recently recorded and released a sophomore project called City on a Hill. The album was produced by one of our bluegrass heroes, Bryan Sutton, and it was nominated for Album of the Year at IBMA this past fall. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had all these experiences, but even more fortunate to be a part of this group of talented, hard-working friends who challenge me to keep progressing musically and personally.

    Another big development was the release of my new solo album, The Golden Angle, back in October of 2018. When I first moved to Boston, I was pretty inspired by the new musical environment. There's a great young bluegrass scene here in New England with the Berklee College of Music bringing in fresh blood all the time. Just being around all of this new music inspired me to start writing some new tunes of my own. For a while, I'd been itching to make a follow up record to my Into the True Country album I made back in 2014 — it felt like I'd grown a lot as a composer and player since then. Also, I was excited to collaborate with some new and familiar folks alike. So I started scheming.

    The album was made over the course of two sessions down at the Rec Room Studio in Nashville, Tenn. Flinner kindly stepped in as producer again and Missy played bass throughout the project — was excited to have another opportunity to work with both of these amazing musicians again! Throughout both the sessions, we were joined by the likes of Ross Martin on guitar, Wes Corbett on banjo, Mike Barnett on fiddle, David Grier on guitar, and Stuart Duncan on fiddle. Honestly, I was pretty nervous working with these musicians — I've looked up to many of them since I first started playing. But any anxiety quickly disappeared as I started to hear my tunes come to life in the hands of all these monster players. And I was humbled by how invested everyone was in the project — they were all great to work with. Looking back, I think the record has a more mature and complex sound than my previous works. Really proud of how it all came together, and it feels good to have this out there in the world!

    In hand with this album, I've been working on a transcription book of all the tunes and solos I played on the record. I grew up learning a lot from tab books, but I was often disappointed by the lack of detail and organization that some books had. So making my own transcription book has been pretty cathartic for me. As an ongoing mandolin student myself, I've tried to make this book be everything I would want it to be as a reader. It features thorough transcriptions in mandolin tablature and standard notation for all the tunes and solos I play on the album. Also, I've written a bunch of behind-the-scenes info about the composing and recording process, as well as tips and directions on how I play each tune. The book is set to release at the end of October, but you can preorder a PDF or physical copy of the book now on Kickstarter or on my website.

    But definitely the biggest thing that's happened recently is I got hitched! This past May Tabitha Agnew and I got married in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Tabitha is originally from Northern Ireland, but she somehow heard Alison Krauss & Union Station at a young age and got hooked on the 5-string bluegrass banjo. She plays in two great bluegrass bands in the UK: Cup O'Joe and Midnight Skyracer. The two of us first met in Raleigh, N.C., a couple years ago while we were both showcasing at the IBMA conference, and the rest is history. The wedding was such a party — featured some international musical appearances by Mile Twelve and all of Tabitha's bands. Now we're still waiting for Tabitha's green card to come in, but the plan is to live in the States once that happens. In the meantime, we've gotten really good at doing those transatlantic flights…

    Throughout all of this busyness, Mandolin Mondays has remained a fixture in my life. I'm honestly surprised that the series has continued to thrive as it has, but every week I keep discovering new amazing players to feature. I'm incredibly thankful to all of the musicians who have contributed, and to all the viewers who have expressed such interest in the videos. I feel lucky to have had a hand in starting this nearly 4 years ago, but I think it's grown to be something beyond what I can take credit for. And things are still going strong! I've got some plans for Mandolin Mondays that will start to take shape in the new year. Stay tuned!

    Mandolin Mondays guests to date

    • Episode #1 - David Benedict
    • Episodes #2-9 - David Benedict
    • Episode #10 - David Benedict and Matt Flinner (mandocello)
    • Episode #11-23 - David Benedict
    • Episode #24 - David Benedict Band, Christian Sedelmyer, Jake Stargel and Erik Alvar
    • Episode #25-31 - David Benedict
    • Episode #32 - David Benedict and Don Stiernberg
    • Episode #33 - David Benedict and Matt Flinner
    • Episode #34 - David Benedict and John Reischman
    • Episode #35 - David Benedict and Michael Moore
    • Episode #36-47 - David Benedict
    • Episode #48 - Mile Twelve Bluegrass Band
    • Episode #48-50 - David Benedict
    • Episode #51 - David Benedict and Missy Raines
    • Episode #52 - David Benedict
    • Episode #53 - Joe Walsh
    • Episode #54 - Nate Lee
    • Episode #55 - David Benedict
    • Episode #56 - Adam Tanner
    • Episode #57 - Jason Bailey
    • Episode #58 - Matt Flinner
    • Episode #59 - Matt Witler
    • Episode #60 - Jarrod Walker
    • Episode #61 - Ethan Setiawan
    • Episode #62 - Giri Peters
    • Episode #63 - Joe Brent
    • Episode #64 - David Benedict
    • Episode #65 - Emory Lester
    • Episode #66 - Alan Epstein
    • Episode #67 - Marla Fibish
    • Episode #68 - David Benedict
    • Episode #69 - Tristan Scroggins
    • Episode #70 - Alex Heflin
    • Episode #71 - Casey Campbell
    • Episode #72 - Don Julin
    • Episode #73 - Rory Hoffman
    • Episode #74 - David Benedict
    • Episode #75 - Steve Smith
    • Episode #76 - John Reischman
    • Episode #77 - Sterling Abernathy
    • Episode #78 - David Benedict
    • Episode #79 - Frank Solivan
    • Episode #80 - Alan Bibey
    • Episode #81 - Aaron Weinstein
    • Episode #82 - Brian Oberlin
    • Episode #83 - David Benedict
    • Episode #84 - Adam Roszkiewicz
    • Episode #85 - Don Stiernberg
    • Episode #86 - Tim Connell
    • Episode #87 - David Benedict
    • Episode #88 - Wayne Benson
    • Episode #89 - Andrew Collins
    • Episode #90 - Bella Betts
    • Episode #91 - Cory Piatt
    • Episode #92 - Jason Anick
    • Episode #93 - David Benedict
    • Episode #94 - Tommy Norris
    • Episode #95 - Jake Howard
    • Episode #96 - Adam Steffey
    • Episode #97 - David Tiller
    • Episode #98 - Jake Workman
    • Episode #99 - Evan Marshall
    • Episode #100 - David Benedict
    • Episode #101 - Thomas Cassell
    • Episode #102 - Isaac Eicher
    • Episode #103 - Scott Napier
    • Episode #104 - David Benedict
    • Episode #105 - Josh Rilko
    • Episode #106 - Nick Dumas
    • Episode #107 - Marilynn Mair
    • Episode #108 - Ted Eschliman
    • Episode #109 - David Benedict
    • Episode #110 - Mike Compton
    • Episode #111 - Kym Warner
    • Episode #112 - Lauren Price
    • Episode #113 - Dominick Leslie
    • Episode #114 - Bryan McDowell
    • Episode #115 - Korey Brodsky
    • Episode #116 - Jordan Ramsey
    • Episode #117 - Marc MacGlashan
    • Episode #118 - Forrest O'Connor
    • Episode #119 - Ryan Paisley
    • Episode #120 - Elisa Meyer Ferreira
    • Episode #121 - Tim O'Brien
    • Episode #122 - Banjo Ben Clark
    • Episode #123 - Ashley Broder
    • Episode #124 - Michael Cleveland
    • Episode #125 - Liam Purcell
    • Episode #126 - Simon Dunson
    • Episode #127 - Dan Bui
    • Episode #128 - David Surette
    • Episode #129 - Billy Bright
    • Episode #130 - Joe Tozer
    • Episode #131 - Hayes Griffin
    • Episode #132 - Jacob Means
    • Episode #133 - Paddy Montgomery
    • Episode #134 - Dan Beimborn
    • Episode #135 - Eli Wildman
    • Episode #136 - Charlotte Carrivick
    • Episode #137 - Magnus Zetterlund
    • Episode #138 - Daniel Portalès
    • Episode #139 - Aaron Ramsey
    • Episode #140 - Akira Otsuka
    • Episode #141 - David Benedict
    • Episode #142 - Teo Quale
    • Episode #143 - Nathan Livers
    • Episode #144 - Caleb Klauder
    • Episode #145 - Jake Jolliff
    • Episode #146 - Bernard Minari
    • Episode #147 - Dave Goldenberg
    • Episode #148 - Kyle Ledson
    • Episode #149 - Rainy Miatke
    • Episode #150 - Johnny Staats
    • Episode #151 - Mike Giverin
    • Episode #152 - Andrew Marlin
    • Episode #153 - Roland White
    • Episode #154 - Luke Plumb
    • Episode #155 - Roberto Cubero
    • Episode #156 - CJ Lewandowski
    • Episode #157 - Olga Egorova
    • Episode #158 - Massimo Gatti
    • Episode #159 - David Benedict
    • Episode #160 - Chris Henry
    • Episode #161 - Martino Coppo
    • Episode #162 - Jesse Brock
    • Episode #163 - Ray Legere
    • Episode #164 - Troy Boone
    • Episode #165 - Eli Slocumb
    • Episode #166 - Eva Holbrook
    • Episode #167 - Jimmy Gaudreau
    • Episode #168 - Jefferson Louvat
    • Episode #169 - Erik Igelström
    • Episode #170 - Paul McCartney
    • Episode #171 - David Harvey
    • Episode #172 - Jack Pearson
    • Episode #173 - Ondra Kozák
    • Episode #174 - Mike Guggino
    • Episode #175 - Yura Lytkin
    • Episode #176 - Simon Mayor
    • Episode #177 - Robin Bullock
    • Episode #178 - Roger Tallroth
    • Episode #179 - Alon Sariel
    • Episode #180 - Jesse Cobb
    • Episode #181 - Jack Dunlap
    • Episode #182 - David Benedict
    • Episode #183 - Carter Shilts
    • Episode #184 - Luke Morris
    • Episode #185 - Andrew Buckner
    • Episode #186 - Danny Roberts
    • Episode #187 - Mike Mullins
    • Episode #188 - Pepita Emmerichs
    • Episode #189 - Guthrie Trapp
    • Episode #190 - Mark Stoffel
    • Episode #191 - Carlo Aonzo
    • Episode #192 - Andy Thacker
    • Episode #193 - Rich DelGrosso
    • Episode #194 - Jack Dwyer
    • Episode #195 - Penny Lea Clark
    • Episode #196 - Paul Van Vlodrop
    • Episode #197 - Abigail Hartley
    • Episode #198 - Chris Acquavella
    • Episode #199 - Solly Burton
    • Episode #200 - David Benedict

    David Benedict Links

    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      We could not be prouder of David and the time and effort that has gone into making Mandolin Mondays a phrase that is recognized all across the music community. Job well done, David, and here's to the next 200 episodes we hope. Oh, and that's one heck of a version of Russian Rag!
    1. dang's Avatar
      dang -
      Nice beard! I had to double check it was David....

      Then he played the lead and accompaniment during the “B” and “C” parts and I had to double check for someone else playing along with him...

      Nope. Just David playing both parts!!!
    1. mandohat's Avatar
      mandohat -
      Congratulations, David! I cannot imagine the work that has gone into consistently keeping this up and running for 200 weeks straight!

      God Bless,
    1. tkdboyd's Avatar
      tkdboyd -
      Absolutely spectacular.
    1. Jim Taylor's Avatar
      Jim Taylor -
      David, MM's are a wonderful start to the week. Thanks! And great picking (as usual)! All the best!
    1. ccravens's Avatar
      ccravens -
      Mandolin Mondays are a jewel, and I want to say thank you for the work that you have done in order to bring it to the cafe.

      Thank you so much for the MM and the great interview.
    1. darylcrisp's Avatar
      darylcrisp -
      MM is something I start looking forward to on sunday evening. Its always exciting to see who is playing. Definitely a very positive week start.

      thank you David for all your time and efforts to bring this to us.

    1. Don Grieser's Avatar
      Don Grieser -
      Brilliant playing, David. Thanks for all the Mandolin Mondays and looking forward to seeing the Golden Angle book sell like hotcakes!
    1. Alfons's Avatar
      Alfons -
      David, Great job on the Russian Rag! Mandolin Mondays are an amazing gift to all of us. Humble thanks to you and all those who help you to make it so.
    1. Dagger Gordon's Avatar
      Dagger Gordon -
      Well done David - on several levels: Your own playing on Russian Rag, your recent marriage, your travels with your band, your recordings and your book, and for creating Mandolin Mondays which, like many others, I look forward to every week.

      I really enjoy the simple format. No accompaniment, and the fact that it usually seems to take place in what looks like the mandolinist's own home. You have certainly managed to coax some great performances from some of the very best players. Well done indeed.
    1. Aaron Smith's Avatar
      Aaron Smith -
      MM's are such a great resource - and just plain enjoyable to listen to. It's great to see such diverse music & musicians, to see technique and artistry on display right close up is a real treat.
    1. Luna Pick's Avatar
      Luna Pick -
      Echoing what others have said, thanks David for Mandolin Mondays and sharing your music and creativity, all with class and humility.

      Congratulations too on your marriage. And another thanks for mentioning Tabitha's bands. I watched some of Cup O'Joe, and what a great band! Full and textured sound from a 3 person band. Amazing vocals and dynamics, and all around musicianship. And Tabitha's banjo playing is stunningly good, and may be one of my new favorite banjo players. Not to hijack the MM thread, but since it was about Cup O'Joe I figured it was A O'K,
    1. John Soper's Avatar
      John Soper -
      Keep up the good work, David! MM is a treasure!
    1. Mando Mort's Avatar
      Mando Mort -
      I really enjoyed that and congratulations as well!
    1. William Smith's Avatar
      William Smith -
      Always great stuff from David!
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      Published one year ago today. Mandolin Mondays continues to roll along. Long may it live!
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      Noting the anniversary of this feature interview.