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Thread: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    I am currently building my first mandolin and was inspired by Levon Helm's playing, singing, attitude toward music, etc. Can anyone tell me the make and model of this mandolin as pictured in the images from Levon's performance at the Newport Folk Festival some years ago? it is what I am basing my current project on. Thanks.

    -Mark
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  2. #2
    TBI survivor Richard J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    I think, therefore, I pick.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    I think it's a Gibson F5 Jam Master.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    I think that might be larry campbell's gibson f-9. video is from 2008 and i don't think the jam masters were out yet.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard J View Post
    The link leads to a youtube video from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, where they misidentify Levon Helm's old F-4 as an F-5. Don't believe everything you see on the internet.

    Mark's picture is too blurry when magnified to say anything for certain, but I would say F-9 would be a reasonable guess.

    I've also seen video of Levon playing a Martin A. I would guess that he owned and used several mandolins during the course of his career.

    I met him briefly in 1980. He was a very nice fellow. My drummer was acquainted with him, and sent his card backstage when he did a show in Providence. Even though he was dog-tired and road-weary, he took 20 minutes to sit with us after his set.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    Amy Helm also plays what looks like an F-9 in addition to Levon's Flatiron F. Maybe it is the former.

  7. #7
    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Make/model of this Levon Helm mandolin

    I had the pleasure of opening for Amy Helm a few years back. She was playing a Gibson F-9 at that show, although it was a bit lighter and more gold than the one Levon is holding above.

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