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Thread: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

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    Default An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    I searched for this on the cafe and there doesn't seem to be a resource for learning about black mandolinists of past and present. I dug up what I could, but would love to learn more. Here is what I've got so far, please add suggestions and links to recordings if they are available. I've learned a ton in the short time i've been researching this, and heard a lot of great new (to me) music along the way. I look forward to learning more from your suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Baron

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Seth Weeks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzMZcg8UTcM

    Katie Bell Nubin (Mother of Sister Rosetta Tharpe):
    (I'd love to find a recording of Katie playing mandolin!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKkxESJlpx4

    Howard Armstrong
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBMM5BxbY2Y

    Yank Rachell
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC8z4LjTCBM

    Willie Black (Whistler And His Jug Band):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iXzIvN4JI4

    Charlie McCoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0FF33Vj_Q4

    Matthew Prater:
    https://youtu.be/1XdOAUyESGA

    Carl Martin:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFMHydo_K8s

    Al Miller:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry_8EQZq9Mk

    Johnny "Man" Young:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poBf5g9sDjY

    Coley Jones:
    https://youtu.be/SAdLLMXcpTo

    Richard Brown:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ml0og3QNM4
    MandoLessons: Free Online Mandolin Lessons
    Velocipede: My Fiddle Tune Duo
    Old Time Mandolin: Solo Old Time Mandolin Album

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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    A couple of years ago I came across some YouTube videos of a show I watched as a kid, Up Home Tonight. These clips feature Nova Scotia bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Donnie Cromwell playing the mandolin.




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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists


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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Baron your thread reminded me that I have not seen the cafe's own DataNick post in a long while.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    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 Ranald's Avatar
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    Last edited by Ranald; Jun-04-2020 at 3:45pm. Reason: removing names included in OP
    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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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    This social group might have some information.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    That's Fiddln' Joe Martin on Son House's 1941 sessions...
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    That's Fiddln' Joe Martin on Son House's 1941 sessions...
    Thanks, Martin. I was skimming too quickly. I see that my link (post 6, above) for Son House, actually leads to Fiddlin' Joe Martin.

    Correction:

    Fiddlin' Joe Martin:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ps-amp-Rags-48
    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 lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by Franc Homier Lieu View Post
    Baron your thread reminded me that I have not seen the cafe's own DataNick post in a long while.
    I haven’t heard from Nick in quite sometime. Saw him play at the Temecula BG Festival in 2018 and haven’t heard from him. Please let me know if you come across Nick. He only lives an hour away. What a great singer and Mando player! A good guy, too!
    Dan Brooks
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Baron, Thank you for this post! Love the mandolin blues of Yank Rachell. My favorite of that genre. Very timely and appreciated thread. Dan
    Dan Brooks
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    There's an African-American string band in New York called the Ebony Hillbillies. Saw them at Wintergrass one year. I don't remember if they had a mandolin player at the time (they don't appear to have one now).
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    I searched for this on the cafe and there doesn't seem to be a resource for learning about black mandolinists of past and present.


    Thanks,
    Baron

    Fabulous present day mandolinist, Nathan Livers (Michael Cleveland and the Flamekeepers) comes from a wonderful musical background. Dad and grandpa were both great musicians.

    https://louisvillefolkschool.org/col...-nathan-livers
    Last edited by mtucker; Jun-05-2020 at 11:32am.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    I used to pick with Nick fairly regularly. Kinda lost contact when I moved to SD and stopped playing out. His last Facebook post was Oct. of last year. I sent him a message there. I hope he's doing alright!

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Don't forget Alvin Youngblood Hart


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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    I used to pick with Nick fairly regularly. Kinda lost contact when I moved to SD and stopped playing out. His last Facebook post was Oct. of last year. I sent him a message there. I hope he's doing alright!
    I thought I had his number. Shaun, if you have it shoot me a PM, would ya? Thanks, Dan
    Dan Brooks
    2017 Collings MT(GT), 2007 Eastman 815V, 1913 Gibson A1, 1912 Gibson A1, 1930s Strad-o-Lin

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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Another route for anyone looking for Nick. There is a phone number for a band he was in on this wedding site. It's a band contact number but I'm assuming whomever answers it might be able to tell you where he's been.

    Another way to contact another band he was in can be found on this Facebook page. Look under About Us and you'll find a band e-mail address.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    while it is not his main instrument, I believe Keb Mo plays the mandolin. He mentioned that there will be some on his newest album.

    I could be wrong and my memory cells may be a little scattered. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Keb Mo also got a Weber octave recently.

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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Taj Mahal has got to fit in here somewhere.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Taj Mahal has got to fit in here somewhere.

    Mick
    I came across a reference to Taj playing mandolin, but neither I nor the usually dependable Mandolin Cafe crowd was able to find any recordings or videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    There's an African-American string band in New York called the Ebony Hillbillies. Saw them at Wintergrass one year. I don't remember if they had a mandolin player at the time (they don't appear to have one now).
    I like the Ebony Hillbillies very much. Unfortunately, they neither ship CD's or sell MP''s in Canada, so I can only hear them on YouTube. I've never seen or heard of them playing mandolin, but they sure have a well-used dulcimer.
    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 Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMandoAlex View Post
    while it is not his main instrument, I believe Keb Mo plays the mandolin. He mentioned that there will be some on his newest album.

    I could be wrong and my memory cells may be a little scattered. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong
    Here's Keb Mo' on mandolin (with Taj). I forgot I had that link. If the links don't work search YouTube for "Don't Throw It Away - by Keb' Mo' with Taj Mahal".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZdNipkansw

    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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    Default Carl Martin

    Thought I'd include a shot I took in 1976 at the Winnepeg Folk Festival. It's scan from the contact sheet so it's a bit soft on the focus as the orignal negatives are AWOL for the time being. The shot is from the mandolin workshop he was in with Duck Donald, Will Millar of the Irish Rovers and one other I can't quite remember. I have the cassette recording I have to dub yet to CD. Back stage I got to try out Carl's mandolin and he had it strung up in an octave style with the G string having the lighter gauge string. It was hard for me to get it to note accurately but with Carl's large fingers it fit his sound well. He did a killer version of Red River Valley and the most blue song I've had ever heard then.. Ice Cream Freezer.
    Now that I am retired I've been going through all my negatives from the 70's and hope to post more in the future.
    Anyway, WInnepeg was a wonder those early years and got to see alot of legends.Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Don't forget Alvin Youngblood Hart
    If anyone besides me couldn't access that video, here's the URL (thanks, Shaun): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-_4...ture=emb_title

    Or search YouTube for "South Memphis String Band - "Jesse James" at Music in the Hall: Episode Twelve".
    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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    Default Re: An (incomplete) list of recorded black mandolinists

    Hubbie Jenkins, who played mando on some Carolina Chocolate Drops tracks:


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