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Thread: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

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    Default Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    The Mandolin Cafe has posted the following news release:
    Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Bill Graham interviews bluegrass mandolin legend Dean Webb, one of the founding members of The Dillards, still busy playing bluegrass many years after his appearances on The Andy Griffith Show.



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    Registered User OrphanBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    I grew up on The Dillards. I still have two of their first 3 albums (I loaned the other one to a friend - you can guess the outcome of that). Because of Dean Webb, I learned to love the mandolin. It's great to hear stories about the band and learn that he's still playing. Thanks.

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    This was a great read. I too grew up with the Dillards and seeing them as the Darlings made it easy to learn their music before the days of video learning. Those first two Electras, Backporch and Live Almost just blew me away and it was Dean's mandolin sound that really made me sit up and listen to his style. It was so different from Monroe. He used his 1956 F5 throughout the years with the Dillards on the recordings and live shows and he was able to get a tone unlike any other mandolin picker out there. I've tried to hold it and pick it the way he does hoping to get that sound but I just can't do it. I wanted to get that sound so bad I bought Dean's '56 F5 and it didn't help me a bit to get his sound. Not many strap their F5s up at the top of the headstock and attack the strings from underneath. And I don't know of any other mandolin picker that plays it that way. You can really see his style in action in that 1972 video. He added a Barcus Berry pickup to the '56 F5 during the Dillards plug in years. Truly Dean Webb is one of the legends of the bluegrass mandolin and it's good to hear he is still picking regular and so is Rodney Dillard out playing the Dillard classics.

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    Registered User 45ACP-GDLF5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Of the six episodes that the Dillards were on TAGS, you can see Dean's '56 Gibson on two of them. The other four episodes, he's playing a Gibson F4.
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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Well, as Dean said, he is holding those other mandolins. I recall seeing the F2, the F4 and his '27 Fern too. But the sound you are hearing in all those episodes is coming from his '56 F5 as they prerecorded a soundtrack in a studio for each song they did in the show.

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Whoops! I meant to say see Dean in the above posted 1978 video at Austin City Limits not 1972. And he is holding the F2 in the early Darlin's photo as posted here.

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    Mike Fox mandolinfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Like many others born in the 1950's, the Dillards performances on Andy Griffith were the first bluegrass I heard. But I never realized how much the 1970's Dillards influenced post-2000 progressive groups like String Cheese Incident and Railroad Earth. Man, were they ahead of their time!
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Back in '63 in the UK,when i began to teach myself banjo,Bluegrass records were as rare as hen's teeth.Two of the first that i was able to buy were 'Backporch Bluegrass' & 'Live - Almost !'. I soon grew to love Doug Dillard's 'rapid fire' banjo playing & learned many of the Dillard's tunes. Dean Webb,along with Bobby Osborne,were the first 2 mandolin players i ever heard.It's great to learn that Dean is still playing & enjoying it still. Long may he continue to do so,
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    Not many strap their F5s up at the top of the headstock and attack the strings from underneath.
    What exactly was he doing there, with that kind of right hand technique? I can't quite make it out from the video. Very strange. He certainly has his own sound.
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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    I never asked him why the strap at the top but if you go back in the history of bluegrass that is the way Bill Monroe straped his prewar F7 and early on when he got his 1923 F5 Loar in 1945 he continued to strap it at the headstock on up until around 1953 or early 1954. I'm guessing Dean was into Monroe music before 1954 and thought that is the way to do the strap and just liked it that way. Monroe did his A models strapped at the headstock too. They also did their guitars that way and I'm thinking Lester Flatt was the first to strap a guitar at the heck heel vs. the headstock but not until into his Lester&Earl days. Now Dean's right hand placement is another thing. Not sure who he got that from but he sure does make it seem comfortable. With the strap at the headstock it does seem to make it easier to do it the right hand that way but I find it impossible to do.

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    Smile Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Yesterday, I watched several "Andy Griffith Show" episodes...TVLand was running a little marathon and, fortunately, some of those included The Dillards. I, like many, love those episodes the most. I don't just love the music they did on the show, but their deadpan appearance was hysterical and when Pa had to tell them to "dial it back a bit", it made it even funnier. Add that to some incredible music, and those episodes live in my heart. I have owned a mandolin for a grand total of about three months, but, yesterday..I played along with "Dooley" for the very first time. In a couple of episodes following, I played along whenever I could. Of course, I just had to grab a chord here and there..it wasn't really "playing along"..it was more like groping for the right chord or note and being successful on one or two by the time they were done with the piece, but, for me, it was playing along. I'm always delighted to watch The Darlings do their thing on the show, and being able to make a tiny bit of music with them was like The Grand Ole Opry for me...being such a beginner, it was just plain fun.

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    Registered User OU1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    I loved and still love it when the Dillard's are on an old re-run of the Andy Griffith show. I can remember not to long ago watching an old recorded episode watching Mr. Webb on the mandolin, I was trying to pick up on some of his playing technique and I was rewinding and watching in slow motion over and over again. What a wonderful artist on the Mandolin!

    Go Sooners!

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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Another feature article published this date 2012. Long live The Dillards!

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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Rest in peace.

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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Noting the anniversary of this feature by Bill Grahan.

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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Noting the anniversary of this feature on the late Dean Webb.

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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Dean Webb has had and still has a huge influence in my playing.it's his tremolo and what I call a "galloping bluegrass tremolo" that made me get to serious work on my right hand technique.on "mountain wedding" he plays a version of old Joe clark,but it sounds like he might be in get up John tuning (?)..on Briscoe declares aunt Bee,,they play a ripping version of dueling banjos,and on the Darling baby,they're playing John Hardy about as fast as possible,,all tunes display Webb 's outstanding right hand technique,,

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    Default Re: Dean Webb, Mandolin Man Ongoing

    Hearing Dean on my first acquaintance with the Dillards (their Live! LP) really opened my eyes regarding the mandolin. I even put his break from "Old Joseph" on that album on my phone as a ringtone.
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