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Thread: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Until I got on this forum I had never even heard of Ellis mandolins and I also had never seen Ricky Skaggs playing anything different then a Gibson(I grew up listening to Ricky Skaggs, but never watched videos much, only seen pictures from albums)... so I guess I need to get out more often, I've been out of the loop with bluegrass for ages, maybe I just never got in the loop. But I thought this was interesting seeing Ricky with an Ellis. It sounds pretty good!
    Does anybody have any preference for the tone he gets out of this Ellis versus his Gibsons?
    Did he perform with many other mandolins besides his Gibsons, other than this Ellis?

    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jun-01-2017 at 11:25am. Reason: fixing insert coding
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Several years ago I was at Greg Boyd's House of Fine Instruments, in Missoula and he had Ricky's first Ellis mandolin.
    I was well worn and sounded great, but I didn't have the cash for it. My loss.

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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    I'm a huge Ricky Skaggs fan. Pig in a Pen was my inspiration to buy my first mandolin.
    The real question is what was he playing at 6 yrs old?



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhvDvMV4_FY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh0Py4fNRqc
    Last edited by PiginaPen; Jun-01-2017 at 12:32pm.

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    Registered User Givson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    I think, like Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs had a second instrument (the Ellis) that he kept in "Get Up John" tuning. Think he uses his Loar for all the tunes in standard tuning. I remember when Ricky acquired the Loar. Mandolin brothers had a dozen or so or Ricky's former instruments for sale that Ricky used to finance the Loar.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Seeing the photos.of the first Ellis mandolin that Tom Ellis built for RS,in the old ''Frets'' magazine,was what pushed my ''Ellis appreciation button'' way back. I hadn't heard of Tom Ellis at the time,but the photos showed an instrument of such amazing quality & craftsmanship that i was hooked. That was close to 30 + years ago maybe ?. I'd never even held a mandolin at that time.

    I'm sure i read somewhere,that RS gave the Ellis to his father in law,Buck White at one point ?. It's still one of the most beautiful mandolins i've ever seen,
    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ricky Skaggs's Ellis Front & Back.jpg 
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    I seem to recall a forum member now owns it.

    Amazing back on that thing.
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    I seem to recall a forum member now owns it.

    Amazing back on that thing.
    Yes I remember when it was for sale-pry at Boyds but someone contacted me and had it and offered to swap it to me for something I had at the time, I declined and don't remember who it was? Sure looks nice that baby has some back!

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    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Seeing the photos.of the first Ellis mandolin that Tom Ellis built for RS,in the old ''Frets'' magazine,was what pushed my ''Ellis appreciation button'' way back. I hadn't heard of Tom Ellis at the time,but the photos showed an instrument of such amazing quality & craftsmanship that i was hooked. That was close to 30 + years ago maybe ?. I'd never even held a mandolin at that time.

    I'm sure i read somewhere,that RS gave the Ellis to his father in law,Buck White at one point ?. It's still one of the most beautiful mandolins i've ever seen,
    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ricky Skaggs's Ellis Front & Back.jpg 
Views:	287 
Size:	82.9 KB 
ID:	157731
    That is one beautiful mandolin!!!!
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    http://www.hillcountryguitars.com/de...D=148&gid=1728

    Here's one from the same era as Ricky's original Ellis for sale at Hill Country Guitars. Not quite as flashy, but it sounds really good!
    NFI

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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    I seem to recall a forum member now owns it.

    Amazing back on that thing.
    Ricky Skaggs had two Ellis mandolins. One of them, #42, is now owned by Cafe member "MandoJason", or Jason Wheeler from the band Fauxgrass. Or at least it was as of a couple of years ago when he bought it.
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Apart from 'the' most iconic mandolin,Bill Monroe's 'Loar',for me, the other 2 are this Ellis mandolin built for Ricky Skaggs,& the Gibson 'Fern' once owned by Ralph Rinzler - the sound of which blew my socks off back in 1964 . IMHO - RR was possibly the best Monroe 'stylist' ever. He learned a lot from BM when he was his manager,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    I think that fern is a '26. I saw it at IBMA in Louisville in 1998 or 1999, now (then) owned by Helmut Mitteregger.

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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by PiginaPen View Post
    I'm a huge Ricky Skaggs fan. Pig in a Pen was my inspiration to buy my first mandolin.
    The real question is what was he playing at 6 yrs old?



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhvDvMV4_FY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh0Py4fNRqc
    It looks a lot like a Gibson A50 to me.
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by OlDanTucker View Post
    Here's one from the same era as Ricky's original Ellis for sale at Hill Country Guitars. Not quite as flashy, but it sounds really good!
    I first saw that one on Reverb, continue to look at it on Hill Country's website. I find something appealing in the thought that Tom built this one in the old way.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Alan - I posted a note on here re.Ralph Rinzler's Gibson "Fern" several years back,& got a reply from the current owner who lives in France,inviting me to play it if i ever happened to visit France. It's a terrific sounding mandolin,especially in RR's hands. In overall 'tone',it's quite similar to Bill Monroe's Loar IMO,
    Ivan
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Was watching this video yesterday and noticed Ricky was playing an Ellis

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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Alan - I posted a note on here re.Ralph Rinzler's Gibson "Fern" several years back,& got a reply from the current owner who lives in France,inviting me to play it if i ever happened to visit France. It's a terrific sounding mandolin,especially in RR's hands. In overall 'tone',it's quite similar to Bill Monroe's Loar IMO,
    Ivan
    Ah, then maybe it's changed hands since then. Is/was the 'current owner' of the initials CS?

  23. #18
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Hi Alan - I don't know. It was a few years ago that the current owner e-mailed me,
    Ivan
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Hi Alan - I don't know. It was a few years ago that the current owner e-mailed me,
    Ivan
    Thats a nice FERN! Had some sounds for sure.

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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    What way does Ricky Tune the mandolin for Get Up John? Sounds really great!

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    Default Re: Ricky Skaggs playing an Ellis mandolin

    Edited because Google provided an answer...

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