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Thread: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

  1. #1
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    Default Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Though possibly searching through a haystack where there isn't any needle, I'm looking for mandolin-driven string bands, particularly those of the early days of recorded country music. I know many bands included a mandolin, but I'm particularly interested in those that did not have the fiddle and put the mandolin in the "fiddle slot." I'm aware of the Three Tobacco Tags and the Scottdale String Band; and of course many of the early brother duets (especially the Monroes) almost fit that description. But I suspect there may have been groups that I've simply missed. Anybody?

    Thanks.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Many of the old string bands had a mandolinist who was also a fiddler, and switched between the instruments. Have a look at the "Blues, Stomps, & Rags" entries on the Jazz, Swing, Blues, Bossa, Choro, Klezmer, Ragtime genre category down the Forum page, and you'll find plenty of string bands with prominent mandolin playing. Whether those bands are "mandolin-driven" is another question though.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    The 6 & 7/8ths Stringband from New Orleans........

    https://folkways.si.edu/the-six-and-...um/smithsonian
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Fiddlin Doc Roberts when he was not playing fiddle.........

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orHjNfuFvpo
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong.

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    The Blue Sky Boys generally come up in a discussion like this, but maybe that is not what you are looking for. I think of them as a song-based duo, kind of like the Monroe Brothers. Are you thinking more instrumental string band music, playing fiddle tunes without the fiddle?

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Any group with Kenny Hall in it, such as Sweets Mill String Band, and later Heartland Harvest:



    The Three Stripped Gears:



    The Skillet Lickers when Ted Hawkins was featured:



    That one's just a duet with Skillet Lickers' guitarist Riley Puckett
    Allen Hopkins
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    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    I've posted this before.....here it is again!

    It's very very good.



    Also available on iTunes.

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    If we are talking about more contemporary bands, Take Two won the Clifftop neo-traditional contest last year without a fiddle, and with mostly mandolin family instruments. They are somehow related, literally, to the Mando Mafia out of Virginia. I couldn't find a video of Take Two's winning performance, but here is a video of them in the campground:


    Norman Blake's Original Underground Music from the Mysterious South has mandolin-centric tunes on it:



    And:



    I think there is fiddle on album, but those two tracks at least are mandolin heavy. And the cello on the first one is pretty dreamy.

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Foghorn String Band
    Play it like you mean it.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    A 4, the mandolin player in Take Two (with the beard) has got to be Kelly Perdue's son. Great to see such good young players carrying on the music.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Quote Originally Posted by A 4 View Post
    The Blue Sky Boys generally come up in a discussion like this, but maybe that is not what you are looking for. I think of them as a song-based duo, kind of like the Monroe Brothers. Are you thinking more instrumental string band music, playing fiddle tunes without the fiddle?
    Yes, the latter. I love the Blue Sky Boys and that type, but what I was wondering about was, as you've rightly said it, a string band playing fiddle tunes without the fiddle.

  18. #13
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    https://youtu.be/Bii7cMaHhfcTake Two contest vid
    Anyone know how to find more of their stuff?
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Then there is one of the best string bands ever our of South Carolina, the Poplin Family.

    https://folkways.si.edu/the-poplin-f...um/smithsonian

  20. #15
    Registered User mandotool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Not exactly "mandolin driven" but some rare early footage here w/ great Banjo Mandolin....Whistlers Jug Band.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwo6HVTacYs

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    Default Re: Mandolin-Driven String Bands

    Major Contay and The Canebreak Rattlers. Weren't they mandolin driven?

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