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Thread: When You First . . .

  1. #1

    Default When You First . . .

    . . . took up the mandolin, who were the first 1 or 2 players that you most listened to for inspiration and ideas?

  2. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Mike Seeger with The New Lost City Ramblers

    Ralph Rinzler with The Greenbriar Boys

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User
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    Cincinnati, OH

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    Thile and Compton. Opposite ends on the spectrum of perfection (IMHO)
    Last edited by Michael H Geimer; Mar-19-2020 at 9:22am.

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  5. #4
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Butch Baldasarri and Chris Thiele

  6. #5
    Rush Burkhardt Rush Burkhardt's Avatar
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    Sorry - can't pare down to 1 or 2!
    Sonny Criswell , Danny Curtis, John Duffey
    Rush Burkhardt
    Towson, MD

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  7. #6
    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    John Paul Jones
    Ray Jackson

  8. #7
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Yank Rachell
    Charlie McCoy (the long-gone blues guy, not the Nashville Charlie)
    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.

  9. #8
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    A friend loaned me Butch Baldassari's mandolin tutor book when I first started on mandolin 13 years ago, so I searched out his music.

    That wasn't exactly the first inspiration though, because I had seen the early David Grisman Quintet at a live concert way back in the late 70's. I bought all his following albums. I never thought I'd ever play mandolin, so there was a 35 year period of playing guitar (mostly Blues and a little Jazz) before finally getting around to it. That Grisman influence was still there in the background, so I'd call that my major mandolin influence.

    Apparently it didn't stick though, since I'm now playing Irish/Scottish trad. Never thought I'd be able to play that stuff either, after years of listening to groups like Altan and Lunasa. The mandolin turned out to be a great gateway instrument for that music.

  10. #9
    Fingertips of leather
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    David McLaughlin and Adam Steffey
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  11. #10
    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Don Stiernberg (and through him, Jethro, Don Julin).
    "I don't want to get technical or anything, but according to chemistry, alcohol actually IS a solution."

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  13. #11
    Registered User pit lenz's Avatar
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    Bush and Steffey! Still top of my list....

  14. #12
    Play on FredK's Avatar
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    Mike Marshall & Chris Thile. Many more now. Really like Tristan Scroggins' style of play.
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  15. #13
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Bill and Dawg
    & Jethro
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  16. #14
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Interesting question. I guess I pretty much made up my own style. The only mandolin player I'd seen live enough to call him an "influence," was Joe Val of the Charles River Valley Boys. I listened to Monroe, of course, but since I already played 5-string banjo and guitar, i found myself "hybridizing" what those instruments would do, into any lead work I might do on mandolin. I'd inherited a 'teens Gibson A-1 from my late grandfather's attic, and thus found myself designated as "mandolin player' when my brother and my friend Bob joined me in a bluegrass trio, Flower City Ramblers, about 1970 or so.

    I've always been lousy at copying others' styles, for better or worse. I did try to assimilate Bobby Osborne's tremolo on slower bluegrass songs, as best as I could glean it from records. I never took a lesson -- again, for better or worse; just sat down with the old Gibson and tried to figure out what worked for me. I'd listen to a tune, try to learn it, and then go back and listen again to the original, and discover I was playing a largely different break. Oh well.
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  17. #15
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: When You First . . .

    Bill Halsey, Duffey, Monroe
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  18. #16
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Thile (Nickel Creek) and Skaggs (Ancient Tones) then added Tim OBrienof Hot Rize (Untold Stories).

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  19. #17

    Default Re: When You First . . .

    LZ III. Not only mndln but banjo and pedal steel too. Several years later I started into Scruggs and Monroe, but the brit folk-rock stuff was more evocative to me; I started performing that repertoire when I was 14 y.o. That led to a deep dive into the old stuff, to this day.

  20. #18

    Default Re: When You First . . .

    John Reischman and Herschel Sizemore

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  22. #19
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Durham, NC

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    First was really the Dawg, but I played more like Levon. When I starting playing more seriously, It was Jethro's final sessions with Don Stiernberg playing rhythm guitar that really lit my bulb.

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  24. #20

    Default Re: When You First . . .

    I first started playing mandolin when I was, I dunno, 12 or so, 'cuz I saw one at a flea market and asked my parents to buy it for me.

    About 18 years ago, I had the lucky opportunity to catch the last show of "Guitar Wars" in Osaka – an odd conglomeration of Nuno Bettencourt, Paul Gilbert, I forget who on drums, and John Paul Jones on bass (and Steve Hackett, with his own group). Jones played a few songs on mandolin, and my gut reaction was "Ah, that's why I've always loved the mandolin!"

  25. #21

    Default Re: When You First . . .

    When I was a teenager, The Pogues' Terry Woods and Copperhead Road-era Steve Earle made the mandolin cool. I had a mandolin but sold it when I was desperate for cash. Years later, after my wife bought me a mandolin for Christmas, I went right to Munroe and Thile.

  26. #22
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: When You First . . .

    When I first started, I was mostly just interested in the instrument itself and was completely unfamiliar with the talent. When I started paying attention to who was out there, I YouTubed a lot of Chris Thile and Mike Marshall. Lately I pay more attention to John Reischman and Sam Bush. Also been getting interested in Jethro with all of the stuff posted about his 100th B-day... seems like he was a cool guy!
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  27. #23
    Registered User Bigfoot Fingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: When You First . . .

    Seals & Croft, Rod Stewart's "Mandolin Wind" and Led Zeppelin got me interested in the mandolin but I finally started learning to play after hearing and seeing Bill Monroe. Marty Stuart, Steve Earle, Ricky Skaggs and Chris Thile keep my interest going. I have to confess however that I did stumble upon a banjo a few months ago.

  28. #24

    Default Re: When You First . . .

    Oh ya, I forgot rod and co. My first rock album when I was 10 or 11. When I finally got a mndln years later, I learned the fretboard driving from mich to n carolina playing those tunes by ear. I was really into ron wood's slide playing..(and now that i think - prbly why my first dread acoustic was a 12 string. And all things must pass..

  29. #25

    Default Re: When You First . . .

    Barney McKenna and John Sheehan.

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