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Mandolin Mondays #412 w/ Special Guest Mason Via

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This week on Mandolin Mondays we're joined by Old Crow Medicine Show guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Mason Via, playing an old time fiddle tune called "Whiteface" on a Bernabe 3-point mandolin.

You might know Mason Via as a member of Old Crow Medicine show (who he made his Grand Ole Opry debut with.) You also may have seen him on a past season of American Idol, in which he made it into the Top 40 finalists. Mason also had songs hit the Bluegrass and Grassicana charts with his last album on Mountain Fever Records. On top of all of that, legendary and highly acclaimed artists such as, Del McCoury, Molly Tuttle, and more have recently recorded Mason's original songs on their latest albums.

Mason Via (Nashville, TN) grew up in Danbury, NC going to fiddler’s conventions and music festivals around NC and VA, where he was steeped in the rich Appalachian culture that surrounds that area. Picking and singing from an early age, Mason combines soulful high lonesome singing with virtuosic instrumental prowess. Mason's lyrics are also considered by many to be the driving force behind his music, and he recently co-wrote over half the songs on the recent (GRAMMY NOMINATED) OCMS album “Jubilee.” Catch Mason Via performing with Old Crow Medicine Show or with his own solo project.

Here's a word from Mason about this video, "I’m playing on a Bernabe mandolin, its a 3 point or as I call it: devil horned! I’m playing with a custom pick by Toneslab picks. The tune is called 'Whiteface' written by old time fiddler Joe Thrift of Elkin, NC. I first learned this tune from my father David Via who used to play it on mandolin at his shows. After joining OCMS I learned that they also used to play this tune at their live shows. I recorded 'Whiteface' on guitar on my last solo album “New Horizons.” On that recording, Thomas Cassell is playing mandolin."

Be sure to connect with Mason at the links below for more info about his music:

And as always, tune in next week for more Mandolin Mondays! Until then...

Happy Picking!

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  1. cayuga red's Avatar
    Good playing on a great mandolin. Bernabe is one of the best American luthiers.
  2. Alfons's Avatar
    Thanks Mason, nice tune and well played.
  3. darylcrisp's Avatar
    this was one of my favorites that has been on Mandolin Mondays.
    love the sound of the tune and that mandolin, excellent player brought it all together.

  4. TX2AK's Avatar
    Love the playing, and would love to hear some of that bad mandolin playing with Old Crow! I’ve seen them a few times; but the most memorable was when we went down to Whitewater on the Guadalupe River outside of Austin, with 7 other couples, maybe in 2014/2015 (fairly recently back to Texas). Old Crow opened for the Avett Brothers at that show. Sarah and I knew OCMS very well, but the other couples were more attracted to the Avett Bros - (and no knock on the Avett Bros, they were great) - but to a person, every single one of them came to me at some point and said something along the lines of “Holy Sh!+, these guys kicked @$$!” or “these guys are F***ing awesome!” OCMS can bring the old time, modern feel like nobody else!!! It would be so cool to hear a mandolin in there. “I Hear Them All” should be (if it’s not known to be) among the greatest songs of our generation! There’s a lot of room for a mandolin in that one, particularly. No criticism of the recorded version, just saying - there’s room. I’ve been playing with it; but my band isn’t ready to go there just yet.