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2008 in Review

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It's easy to forget what can happen in the short span of a year. Here are some of more memorable events of 2008 for the mandolin community (my opinion, make your own! ):

January - Marilynn Mair releases the first major U.S. mandolin Method Book in decades, The Complete Mandolinist.

February - the emergence of Sierra Hull as a major force in the bluegrass world. The release of Punch, by the Thile-led Punch brothers was the source of much conversation, pro and con. Anything that steps outside of the bounds of bluegrass while using bluegrass instruments is always a sure way to fire up the traditionalists. Ricky Skaggs' Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass should make up for Thile's ventures outside the medium.

March - Sam Bush honored by the Kentucky legislature. A well deserved honor.

May - Gibson's Victorian Edition released, panned by many of the Cafe's message board. Gibson easily sells all models, and not a one has appeared for sale that we've seen.

July - Collings shows off their new oval hole mandolins at the Summer NAMM show.

August - Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile release a self-titled album. The release of the new Jacob do Bandolim books makes one realize choro is reasonably main-stream in the U.S. for mandolin these days.

September - Ted Eschliman's Getting Into Jazz Mandolin released on Mel Bay, a first true method book for jazz mandolin.

November - Eastman announces the Dawg Collection, an interesting marketing strategy we'll enjoying watching.


Butch, Sinclair and Blake Baldassari, for their brave fight against Butch's brain cancer. Butch still managed to release A Victorian Christmas and author a new column for Mandolin Magazine in spite of his challenges.

David Grisman, a new DGQ band re-ignited with Frank Vignola, and a slew of new recordings and on the cusp of releasing a new web site with an unlimited amount of previously never-before-heard content we look forward to hearing. The Dawg remains a major force in the mandolin community, make no mistake.

Carlo Aonzo, for his continued leadership in the classical community through the annual international mandolin academy and concerts and recordings that continue to flow with regularity.

Dailey and Vincent, redefining the best of the best of traditional duet singing. Best since Rice and Skaggs?

Bill Graham - call us biased, but his 25 web-based articles about mandolins and music and some top-notch interviews with the likes of Sam Bush, David Grisman, Sierra Hull, Sharon Gilchrist, Ray Jackson and others provided a lot of enjoyable entertainment that a year ago didn't exist.

We're sure there's more. If you didn't see what you expected, time to blog your own!

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Updated Dec-14-2008 at 8:24pm by Scott Tichenor

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