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Thread: Unusual listening suggestions please

  1. #1
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    Default Unusual listening suggestions please

    Hello!

    Happy new year to all!

    I'm looking for inspiration for my mando and banjo playing so I need your help please.
    I'm looking for artists to listen who play modern music using mandolin, mandola, banjo or anything tuned in 5th.
    By modern music I don't mean for exemple a jazz player who plays «Summertimes» with an electric mandolin.
    Nor a young artist playing bluegrass for exemple.
    (Even If I respect and appreciate those styles of music.)
    What I'm looking for is any artist who escapes from traditional or usual playing of those instruments.
    Could be hip-hop, pop, world music, ambiant, techno, rock, etc... anything that is not pure traditional music.
    Something new to listen for a new year, please.

    Thanks for suggestions.
    Last edited by PhilGox; Jan-03-2017 at 5:51am. Reason: grammar
    My english is not perfect.
    Nor my french anyway...

  2. #2
    Registered User Bigtuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Andrew Bird comes to mind. He plays the fiddle/violin. His new album is pretty modern. Check out his series on YouTube, Live from the Great Room.
    "They say the ocean, she is a woman, who waits for her man to come home." M.Houser

  3. #3
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Thile?
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Our MP3 page could keep you busy for several hours with the likes of Alex Gregory, but that'd just be a start. Being that you're in France I'd think you'd be listening to Yann Tiersen who plays several tuned in fifths instruments and is way outside anything mainstream.

    Let us know when you convert this to banjo.




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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    While not in fifths, this morning I watched this. Rhiannon Giddens is an amazing player (banjo and fiddle) with a angelic and authentic old time voice.



    Jamie

    PS: She was with the Carolina Chocolate Drops earlier and I recommend their recordings as well.
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Google "Big Blue Sky Project" and find some tracks to listen to, should be some there.
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  9. #7
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Thile?
    His duo albums with bass player Edgar Meyers are definitely out of the box playing by two superb musicians.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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  10. #8
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    I don't really understand what you are looking for. Are you wanting to hear mando player that avoids (clichéd) "mandolin" note sequences, and plays vocabulary derived from other unrelated instruments? Are you searching for mando that incorporates the sonic techniques from other instruments?

    Pitches are just pitches, regardless of what instrument played them. Note sequences are not limited to the "instrument of origin". Then there is the articulation and phrasing of the pitches - are you using the slurring, or vibrato, or muting etc. etc. which turns a black&white drawing into a color painting? A Monroe-style mando player can play a BB King solo note-for-note and it won't ever sound like anything except a Monroe guy attempting some BB King licks.

    I've spent decades working on making what comes out of my mandolin sound more like it was played on other instruments. I dislike that dry "every note with a separate pickstroke" articulation, the lack of LH vibrato, bending or microtonal tweaking of the pitch, and so on. If I learn a Santana, Hendrix, Garcia or SRV tune/solo, I want it to sound like one of those guys was playing a mando instead of an electric guitar. Just the pitch sequences alone doesn't cut it. Same thing if something comes from clawhammer banjo, or pipes, steel guitar, fiddle......

    Just go directly to the source, be it Clarence White, Richard Thompson, Dr John, Paul Desmond, Django, Chubby Wise, Leon McCaulife, Swarbrick... The sound is right there on the records. You can find transcriptions of what they played in guitar mags, on the web if you need help with the pitches they are playing. Why do you need a "mandolin intermediary", except as a possible demonstration that it can be achieved? Want something even more challenging? - try to get the nuance and phrasing of a vocalist on your mando. Etta James' "At Last" or something by Ralph Stanley, Billie Holiday or Sandy Denny. (or Gabriel Yacoub!)

    I always like listening to musicians who played other instruments primarily, and really didn't have any mandolin-tradition background simple because they just adapted what they were doing on their main ax. They'd always play the instrument in a non-mandolinney way. I'd have loved to have heard a tape of Hendrix doodling on a mando that someone had just handed him.

    Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Ry Cooder, Martin Carthy, Mike Doucet, Steve Earle..... their take on the instrument reflect the way and what they play on their primary instruments. Andy Irvine, may be a "mandolin/mandola/bouzouki" player, but his playing was highly influenced by various other instruments and the approach was NOT traditional at all when was playing with Planxty, though it may seem so now because other players have used him a model.

    Niles Hokkanen


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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Yeaaah!

    Thanks for suggestions

    @JEStanek: Rhiannon Giddens and Carolina Chocolates drop, I love this!
    Some funky rythms with old instruments and it really grooves!

    @mandocrucian: Thanks for interest. I agree with what you say but may be I've not explained very good what I'm looking for.
    I don't want to play BB King or Hendrix on my mandolin.
    Even if I love Hendrix and BB King, this is not new and has been played millions of times.
    What I would like to hear is modern music with traditional instruments.
    For exemple I might as well have asked: "Do you know artists who mix their own mandolin style with funky beats or hip-hop sound?."

    I've made this topic because everytime I take my mandolin or banjo for impro, the instrument seems to drive me to traditional things. No way to escape this.
    Somewhat the same as when I took a diatonic harp and say: "Can I play something else than blues with this?"

    I know it is possible to play nearly everything mandolin but I need inspiration.

    So any suggestion is welcome, thanks
    My english is not perfect.
    Nor my french anyway...

  13. #10
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    @mandocrucian: Thanks for interest. I agree with what you say but may be I've not explained very good what I'm looking for.
    I don't want to play BB King or Hendrix on my mandolin.
    Even if I love Hendrix and BB King, this is not new and has been played millions of times.
    What I would like to hear is modern music with traditional instruments.
    For exemple I might as well have asked: "Do you know artists who mix their own mandolin style with funky beats or hip-hop sound?."
    Well if you know what kind of sounds you want....or the style. ..just start imitating stuff you hear in those forms, and do it. (BB and Hendrix were just examples...and the point was that you can't play with regular old trad. mando technique if you want it to sound right.)

    Besides...if someone is already doing it on mandolin...then it really isn't "new", is it? Start writing your own stuff.

    Even though the following came out way back in 1980, if you aren't familiar with the album, you may find it "inspiring".(Or you can go back to Trout Mask)


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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    "Caleb Klauder and the Foghorn String Band". Just found these folks about 3 months ago. Lots of fun tunes and Caleb's mandolin style is fun to listen to. I'm playing several of their tunes and am really enjoying them.
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  16. #12
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    I'm game for a try: Dana Leong, cello



    Love his stuff, great guy, great player and teacher.

    Or:


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  18. #13
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hird View Post
    "Caleb Klauder and the Foghorn String Band". Just found these folks about 3 months ago. Lots of fun tunes and Caleb's mandolin style is fun to listen to. I'm playing several of their tunes and am really enjoying them.
    I just did the recording on Foghorn's new one, and it came out great...
    Stay tuned...

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilGox View Post
    What I'm looking for is any artist who escapes from traditional or usual playing of those instruments.
    Could be hip-hop, pop, world music, ambiant, techno, rock, etc... anything that is not pure traditional music.
    Something new to listen for a new year, please.

    Thanks for suggestions.
    I've kinda been known to float outside the box...
    You can download my mandolin recordings at the links below...
    ...and the price is right...

  19. #14

    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Quote Originally Posted by JEStanek View Post
    While not in fifths, this morning I watched this. Rhiannon Giddens is an amazing player (banjo and fiddle) with a angelic and authentic old time voice.
    I love Rhiannon (and Don, and banjos ... especially gut/nylon-strung and minstrel style, etc), but I hear this as very traditional musical approach. ..?

    Wrt the OP's interest/pursuit...an interesting dilemma. Personally, the attraction I find in the (acoustic) mandolin - and fretless/minstrel banjo a la Ms Giddens, et al - is in rendering traditional and trad-based music. For funky or prog this or that, I go to other instruments.

    How about an electric mandolin, then? An awful lot can be done with electronics ..

    *oh, you're seeking listening material - I see now (d'oh). It's funk you want? - how bout a double bari/double bone section? - https://youtu.be/sPRG7W8R7iM
    Or, something a little more subdued. .
    https://youtu.be/Q9lP44andaA
    Last edited by catmandu2; Jan-03-2017 at 6:35pm.

  20. #15
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Tin Toy Cars


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  22. #16

    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    "Strength in Numbers" is one of the best non-bluegrass albums by any of the "new-grassers". It is Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, MarK O'Conner, and Edgar Meyer playing all original tunes.

  23. #17
    Wood and Wire Perry Babasin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. I've been following them for years. Astounding musical mash-up!
    ===================================
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  24. #18

    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Here's another I'll throw at you for 'inspiration' - Gismonti's 'Sanfona' https://youtu.be/JrSE2J1EQiI (or any other Gismonti side). Transcribe something, emulate, synthesize, hallucinate, dream... Listen to 'Cavaquinho' - compose such a piece for another stringed instrument ..

    I like brazilian music - for 'funk'

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  26. #19
    Registered User bigbendhiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    Here's a couple of songs from an artist I really enjoy, Willie Tea Taylor. He plays a tenor guitar. It may or may not be what you're looking for, but give him a listen. There's much more on YouTube and SoundCloud.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmgQOvkV5HA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7gEcU1KR-g
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    Mandolin Pickin Fool dawgmike94's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    What about Chris Henry? He does ultra-traditional stuff for sure, but I've also heard weird stuff from him, one album I know of is "Making My Way to You." It's on Spotify if you do that. I would consider it pretty inventive. Tracks like "Time" or "Spirit Traveler" or "Robot World" may not be exactly what you're asking for but sure I wouldn't consider them run-of-the-mill or anything.
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please



    I've always wanted to do a mando equivalent of this one.

  29. #22
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    I get a kick out of these guys. Steve and the seagulls

    Kala tenor ukulele, Mandobird, Godin A8, Dobro Mandolin, Gold Tone mandola, Gold Tone OM, S'oarsey mandocello, Gold Tone Irish tenor banjo, Gold Tone M bass, Taylor 214 CE Koa, La Patrie Concert CW, Fender Strat powered by Roland, Yamaha TRBX174 bass, Epiphone ES-339 with GK1

  30. #23

    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    So does this mean you've already listened to Hamilton Ironworks, and The Pizza Tapes?

  31. #24
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

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    He tune in in a different tuning. Cant quiet recall but he lowers different strings by a step as he goes thru each of his tunes.
    He was at mandolin Symposium the first year and thought he was the best of instructors.

  32. #25

    Default Re: Unusual listening suggestions please

    I listen to Baka Beyond, a Afro/celt band, that encompasses mandolin & other crossover elements. There's a lot of inspiration to be gathered from world beat music. It gets you out of all those easy cliches, that are played in the main stream of music.

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