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Mandolin Cafe 2012 In Review

Rating: 2 votes, 3.00 average.
January - No surprise here as industry sales analysts announced that digital sales topped physical sales of music for the first time in history.

inline imageMatt Flinner Trio released Winter Harvest on Compass Records. Matt is someone always working but not always on the press radar. One of the really important jobs he performed in 2012 we'd like to highlight was his work as a proof-reader for Don Julin's blockbuster Mandolin For Dummiess.

One of the very best books we've read in years was released shortly after the death of the author: Satan Is Real by Charlie Louvin.

Graham McDonald's The Bouzouki Book: A Workshop Guide to Building Irish Bouzoukis and Citterns was published.

inline imageFebruary - Without question, the biggest name in the mandolin world in 2012 was Chris Thile, and we started off the month with this feature interview with Chris on tour in London.

Thile and Punch Brothers release their newest collection, Who's Feeling Young Now? The collection represents a new more mature direction for the group with a busy year touring with too many interviews to count and many late night television appearances.

March - The Mandolin Cafe forum launched its mobile style access.

The Boxcars, the bluegrass band led by Adam Steffey released a smoking hot new project entitled All In. Steffey also topped off his year by winning his 9th Bluegrass Mandolin Player of the Year at the annual IBMA Awards Show in Nashville.

inline imageApril - What's April on the Cafe without a good April Fool's prank? An All-Star Mandolin Tribute to Lady Gaga was just the ticket.

Rest in peace, Earl Scruggs. The bluegrass world loses one of the all-time greatest musicians to ever grace the genre.

Rest in peace, John McGann, a highly respect member of the Mandolin Cafe community and many other musicians around the world.

Rest in peace, Levon Helm of The Band fame.

inline imageCaterina Lichtenberg's Basic Techniques of Classical Mandolin released by Homespun.

One of the more popular educational releases of the year was found in Mandolin Method Complete, released by Alfred Publishing.

May - We upgraded Mandolin Cafe On Demand to an all web-based format, negating the need for a stand-alone software installation in order to purchase and use the many digital lessons available to musicians.

Rest in peace, Everett Lilly, one of the early bluegrass pioneers and International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame member.

Rest in peace, Doc Watson, a true legend of acoustic guitar.

inline imageIBMA World of Bluegrass annual convention announces they're leaving Nashville and heading to Raleigh, North Carolina for the years 2013-2015 after many years of operating the event in the red ink.

Bluegrass legend Bobby Osborne and The Rocky Top X-Press return with a terrific recording entitled New Bluegrass & Old Heartaches.

Carlo Aonzo & René Izquierdo release a spectacular recording entitled Paganini.

inline imageJune - Avi Avital releases a real blockbuster of a recording entitled Bach on Deutsche Grammophon.

Acoustic Oasis continues their amazing high quality releases with Del and Dawg.

Freelance writer and friend of the Cafe Bill Graham returns with an important interview with a bluegrass legend, Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing.

Andy Statman is named a recipient of a 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellowship.

inline imageJuly - Congratulations to our friends at Elderly Instruments. They celebrated 40 years in business during July!

Swannanoa Gathering, one of the most popular and long running music camps in the U.S. held their first (and very successful) Mando & Banjo Week.

Rest in peace, Seth Rosen, a marvelous musician and friend to this site.

Bay Area celtic musician Marla Fibish releases Irish Mandolin Basics - Tunes and Techniques on DVD.

inline imageAugust - In honor of Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday, David Grisman and Acoustic Oasis unveiled an alternate version of Garcia/Grisman plus the original CD in High Definition and a Hi-Def Folk album.

We shared our experiences in New York City in An Evening with The Andy Statman Trio.

Sad, but a silver lining: our story of discovering a lost John McGann lesson uploaded to this site some years ago.

inline imageSeptember - We started off the month with a feature interview by Ted Eschliman with Don Julin about the publication of his upcoming book Mandolin For Dummies.

The Modern Mandolin Quartet returned with a spectacular new recording, one of the best of year in our opinion in Americana.

October - Ricky Skaggs released a brand new bluegrass collection and no surprises here, it's a great project: Music To My Ears on Skaggs Family Records, Inc.

inline imageNewly created Pava Mandolins, built in the Ellis Mandolins shop by Pava Knezevic, a long-time employee of both the Collings and Ellis Mandolin shops, made a splash at IBMA in Nashville.

Arguably the top mandolin community story of the year, Chris Thile is named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow. Winners are nominated anonymously and receive a $500,000 award consisting of a single yearly $100,000 payment per year over five years with no strings attached. In typical Thile fashion he's quoted as stating this is a challenge for him to "step up his game."

Registration for our only giveaway of the year, The Loar LM-700-VS Mandolin commenced.

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Our vote for finest jazz mandolin recording of the year went to First Time Together! - David Grisman, Martin Taylor & Frank Vignola with Don Julin's Vibe a very close second.

November - Not exactly a mandolin recording, but an important one, nevertheless: Byron Berline - Thanks Bill Monroe

Folk and bluegrass music legend Jody Stecher released Wonders and Signs, a project of all original material.

inline imageWalter and Christie Carter depart Gruhn Guitar to strike out on their own as a dealer of vintage and new acoustic instruments.

Peter Ostroushko's The Mando Chronicles, a three-CD collection, released by Red House Records.

Ryan M. from southern California was the winner of The Loar LM-700-VS Mandolin giveaway.

December - Mandolins appear in another novel, this the self-published The Sweetest Gift by Pamela Warren.

inline imageAcoustic Oasis continues to be one of the leading labels releasing high quality acoustic music with their latest, Hi-Def Bluegrass Collection.

The Modern Mandolin Quartet scored a well deserved Grammy nomination in the category for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their recording Americana.

Chris Thile earns another honor as part of The Goat Rodeo Sessions in the category of Best Folk Album

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Updated Dec-12-2012 at 7:16am by Scott Tichenor

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  1. Billgrass's Avatar
    One word: Doc.
  2. j-hill's Avatar
    Great retrospective. I'm struck by how many people were lost and how quickly the year passed.