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Thread: This is incredible...

  1. #51
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Chris has done, and continues to do, it all. I just re-watched (and sent to Danny Roberts) a vid of CT jamming with John Reischman and David Grier in the Galt House hallway, IBMA - Louisville, 1999. He was ~ 17. His mandolin playing was marvy then, as it is now.

    I suppose it's inevitable that a Willie or a Billy or a Silly will take up some issue with it. It matters not a whit, to me. I still can't play 'Ah, Spring!' as I'd like to. But, I can still listen to the David Grisman Rounder Record, or Bobby Clark's One-Legged Gypsy, or Doyle's Tennessee Dream, or Skaggs' 'That's It!' Rebel Records or Frank's RR0007 and still be thrilled.

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  3. #52
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Nollman View Post
    He's been listening to Frank Zappa. Nice mandolin too.
    Please relate some of his mandolin work. I was a fan once but it was before my finding mandolin.

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  5. #53
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    The best shows I ever saw him in was when it was just him and his mandolin at the living room in New York...
    Ahhh who am I kidding I've loved it all...

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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Wait! That is the one he bought from Mando bros? I didn't even notice that...
    He bought the one in the video just a couple replyd up? Where's sitting on that couch??!

  7. #55

    Default Re: This is incredible...

    I've known great musicians who grew up in families embedded in various traditional musics. They've all noticed, as have I, that no one flogs others with genre rules like those who are converts to a genre.

    Fortunately, no one owns a genre's definition, so they can shout at the kids to stay offa their lawn all they want without the kids caring.

    Nice video!

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  9. #56
    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Zappa was as much a unique virtuouso as CT. Like Zappa, CT's prowess has transcended his roots, which is a musical idiom based on simple chords, simple time signatures, and repeatable arrangements. Like Zappa, CT treats musical genres as a raw material, willing and happy to morph his own traditional style into anything else there is or ever was or will be. To get to do that as a professional, he needs an audience which will appreciate him for constantly blurring the edge. That's the direction that's the most fun for him, and probably the best expression of both his heart and his art. As his new radio gig demonstrates, CT has done a terrific job of bringing the audience along, teaching them to appreciate his art by flashing all that mesmerizing technique in the lonely cause of bending genres. And when he starts to lose his audience, which is probably often, he brings them back in a flash by playing House Carpenter, or Bach.

    Or bluegrass. Simply calling it bluegrass also helps him to continue bending it out of shape.

    Like Zappa, CT gets the roots purists into a tizzy. Music is a part of everybody's personal history, and CT plays like a vandal stealing the handles, too content to sour the sweet musical score that we all hope will accompany our lives.
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  11. #57
    Bob Ayers Ranger Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    When you gets so good what else is there to do? You start your own style.
    BINGO! Nailed it.
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  13. #58
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bowsman View Post
    I openly worship at the altar of Chris Thile. Prior to April of this year, I though bluegrass was all elitists griping about anything with drums. After watching The Office and becoming an Ed Helms fan, I checked out The Lonesome Trio, and got the desire to try mandolin. My dad (lifelong bluegrasser and mandolin enthusiast) pushed me to check out Thile.

    I watched his Genre Hopping video on YouTube, then he and Edgar Meyer playing "Why Only Once?". Fast forward 4 months, and I've barely touched my Strat and spent all day listening to The Grascals and Boxcars. Chris proved my misconception to be just that, and I bet he's done the same for many others.

    Thanks for sharing the video.

    Lol - I love the transition from The Office to bluegrass! But guess what - Helms and Thile got me into bluegrass too!!!
    Went on my first Thile-youtube-stroll about a year ago and never came back....

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  15. #59
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    I don't think that any other musician since Nicolo Paganini has polarised opinion so much as Chris Thile. Ol' Pag.in his day,was a musical radical par excellence. Having seen & heard him,some folk thought that to play that well,he was in league with the Devil - maybe he was,it didn't make him a bad person !.
    IMHO - you either like CT's current musical offerings or you don't - i don't. However,like many other musicians before him ( & he won't be the last),he found the music he began with,Bluegrass,too constraining, & decided to cut his own path - good for him !.
    The fact that i don't care for the stuff he's doing amounts to zilch. I'm sure his musical admirers ( i hate the word 'fan' - too juvenile) will continue to appreciate his playing & to buy his recordings,& why ever not. I haven't seen any of those guys criticising my musical tastes !,
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  17. #60
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    I like it. He's confident, competent, efficient, musical, versatile, a genius. I don't see anything to dislike at all.

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  19. #61
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Oh, I think the stuff he does solo is fascinating in its own right. That said, I tend to enjoy the poetic part of it (i.e. lyrics) more so than the musical part, which tends to sound percussive more than anything.

    In Thile's defense, there's only so much one can do with a single mandolin. It can also be tough to play and sing at the same time, and the mandolin isn't quite the focus here, I think.
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  21. #62
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Nollman View Post
    ...CT plays like a vandal...
    waxin' chumps like a candle.

    Vanilla Ice in a CT thread. YES.
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  23. #63
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Why'd he only play four songs??? Honestly I could listen to this dude perform all day long... He chooses to collaborate with other musicians cause it feeds his musical pallet and plus he'd get bored otherwise. At the end of the day he doesn't "need" anybody, him and just his mandolin are enough to jaw drop just about anyone with wide open ears... Period!

  24. #64
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Thile is not even in the same ballpark as Paganini! Paganini created his own techniques, to the point where few people could comprehend them and rumors abound. He drew larger crowds in his day than the beatles did in their day, and Paganini got paid the highest purses for a performance in all of Europe,,and he didn't even sing...

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  26. #65
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    (just to add: What's with the white pick? I thought I was a fan-boy in good standing after going back from the CT55 to the gray Wegen. What's he using now, the white Wegen?)

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  28. #66
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Ahhh but did Paganini win the Macarther genius grant??? No of course he didn't... Why? Cause it is irrelevant to that time... Times have changed, pagnini didn't have Rhianna to contend with for crowds. If you took Thile with the level of talent he has right now and shoved him into a time machine, sent him back to the late 1700, early 1800 then he'd be pulling the highest purses in all of England too...

    P.S. Of course he's not in the same ballpark, he's in a different century lol...

  29. #67
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrius View Post
    Ahhh but did Paganini win the Macarther genius grant??? No of course he didn't... Why? Cause it is irrelevant to that time... Times have changed, pagnini didn't have Rhianna to contend with for crowds. If you took Thile with the level of talent he has right now and shoved him into a time machine, sent him back to the late 1700, early 1800 then he'd be pulling the highest purses in all of England too...

    P.S. Of course he's not in the same ballpark, he's in a different century lol...
    I doubt that very much..he doesn't even come close to that now. Paganini invented most of his techniques, and besides, Paganini also played the mandolin, and probably better also...

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  31. #68
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    I doubt that very much..he doesn't even come close to that now. Paganini invented most of his techniques, and besides, Paganini also played the mandolin, and probably better also...
    One of the silliest debates to have, and I've been guilty of it myself many times, is arguing about who is better: a current musical virtuoso or a historical virtuoso from 200 years ago whom none of us have even heard play.

    It's a silly and pointless debate. And I'm an engineer who enjoys debate for the sake of debate. "Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling a pig, sooner or later you realize the pig likes it."

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  33. #69
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    I don't have a dog in this fight. I like Thile but understand why people don't. My reaction to him, having been around since before he was around, is the near single-handed movement of the solo mandolinist he, to me, has spearheaded. Ok, sure, others have done it including Jethro, Sam Bush, and others that I don't even know about, but no one before him made me feel like a mandolinist could do a two hour show all alone. Yeah, lots of people can play a solo tune here and there or jam by themselves in the woods or even on stage, but really leading a show (and selling it out!) with no backing instrumentation is pretty naked. You can't just strum three chords and sing, it just doesn't sound right. You have to be creative about the rhythm in a way that makes timing, accentuation, and timber a big deal. I have been trying to develop an hour long set of just me and the mandolin with a mix of vocals and instrumentals and it's very challenging. I find that being dynamic and varied about the vocal backing is tough - especially to not be boring or 'strumming', and soloing in between harder with out rhythm back up. And I play in a trio already, which is pretty hard compared to being part of a 5+ piece bluegrass or jazz band. I never felt that, or knew how to, get enough 'backing' or from the mandolin to support a 'whole show'. Maybe it's because I came from guitar, which has a well-established capacity to provide enough 'oomph' to back a vocalist or whatever in a one-person show. Doing the solo mando thing seems more to me like doing a solo show with a trumpet and voice. Who does that? But thile did (does) things that demonstrated to me how a person could have this little instrument with a fairly high and narrow range to support a real show and be a real one-person act across a myriad of genres/styles/whatever you wanna call them. If anything he provides an example that few before him had done. And somehow it's appealing to people.

    So all that technical stuff aside, I am impressed to see someone really figure out how to perform/entertain/play with just a person and a mandolin in a way that, if anything, gives the audience too much. I get mentally exhausted watching thile sometimes and have heard others comment that you should leave your audience wanting more whereas he gives us so much we're overloaded.

    So in the next few years we'll probably see kids on American idol singing solo with a mandolin instead of a guitar or ukulele.

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  35. #70
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Set number of posts to time travel argument to about 60

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  37. #71
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    lol Brian

  38. #72
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    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrius View Post
    Wait! That is the one he bought from Mando bros? I didn't even notice that...
    He bought the one in the video just a couple replyd up? Where's sitting on that couch??!
    Yep, he checked two out and ended up buying the non-Virzi Loar, # 75318. It apparently received an overhaul from Steve Gilchrist and has a smaller sunburst area and the original tuners compared to his earlier purchase, #75316.

  39. #73

    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Thanks for posting this Demetrius! I was at the fair that day. We happened to be at the MPR booth for the very end of Chris' performance, so it was great to be able to see the whole thing.

  40. #74

    Default Re: This is incredible...

    Quote Originally Posted by mandopaul View Post
    Is that announcer Larry King's lost brother from England?
    I was thinking the same thing. Forget CT, what's this English guy doing in Minnesota, for Pete's sakes?

  41. #75

    Default Re: This is incredible...

    I wonder what I would play if my musical knowledge and technical skills were as unfettered as Chris's.

    The only other player I hear who may be beyond Chris in total mandolin mastery is Andy Statman. And he doesn't exactly play it all straight either.
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