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Blues Mandolin

Le Scaramouche 05 Aug 05 - 10:22 AM
mooman 05 Aug 05 - 10:28 AM
mooman 05 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM
Splott Man 05 Aug 05 - 10:35 AM
Le Scaramouche 05 Aug 05 - 10:44 AM
PoppaGator 05 Aug 05 - 11:38 AM
pdq 05 Aug 05 - 12:12 PM
Ironmule 05 Aug 05 - 03:32 PM
Steve Latimer 05 Aug 05 - 04:58 PM
Kaleea 05 Aug 05 - 08:24 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 05 Aug 05 - 08:57 PM
Dave Hanson 06 Aug 05 - 01:58 AM
Rolfyboy6 06 Aug 05 - 03:44 AM
Roger the Skiffler 06 Aug 05 - 05:21 AM
Tweed 06 Aug 05 - 01:25 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Aug 05 - 08:37 PM
Tweed 06 Aug 05 - 08:54 PM
Le Scaramouche 07 Aug 05 - 03:39 AM
Tweed 07 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM
greg stephens 07 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Fullerton 07 Aug 05 - 07:32 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Aug 05 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,mrjeefer 07 Aug 05 - 08:29 PM
Stewie 08 Aug 05 - 02:23 AM
GUEST,Mr. Jeefer 03 Oct 05 - 05:21 PM
Eve Goldberg 03 Oct 05 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,J 03 Oct 05 - 09:26 PM
Seamus Kennedy 04 Oct 05 - 12:51 AM
Le Scaramouche 04 Oct 05 - 06:12 AM
Jon W. 04 Oct 05 - 04:57 PM
Jon W. 04 Oct 05 - 05:00 PM
alanabit 04 Oct 05 - 05:17 PM
Wesley S 04 Oct 05 - 06:01 PM
PHJim 06 Apr 09 - 11:27 AM
PHJim 06 Apr 09 - 11:36 AM
GLoux 06 Apr 09 - 11:54 AM
pdq 06 Apr 09 - 11:59 AM
Mark Ross 06 Apr 09 - 12:39 PM
Mavis Enderby 06 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 06 Apr 09 - 11:59 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 07 Apr 09 - 12:50 AM
Ross Campbell 07 Apr 09 - 06:12 AM
Eve Goldberg 07 Apr 09 - 02:13 PM
matt milton 07 Apr 09 - 03:56 PM
PHJim 07 Apr 09 - 04:33 PM
Eve Goldberg 07 Apr 09 - 04:40 PM
PHJim 07 Apr 09 - 05:24 PM
Ross Campbell 08 Apr 09 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 09 Apr 09 - 12:57 AM
GUEST 09 Apr 09 - 05:59 AM
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Subject: Blues Mandolin
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 10:22 AM

I know we've discussed fiddle and banjo, but are there many recordings of blues mandolin? Only ones to come to mind are the Son Simms Four and Yank Rachell.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: mooman
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 10:28 AM

You will probably get a rapid list of suggested recordings here:

Mandolin Cafe Discussion Board

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: mooman
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM

In fact there is a discussion there on this very question in progress at the moment, including a few recommendations!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Splott Man
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 10:35 AM

Rory Gallagher probably recorded a few but I can't name any in particular.
Likewise Ry Cooder or Tony McPhee of the Groundhogs.
They have all featured mando in their live sets. I remember Rory Gallagher & Tony McPhee both played mando on the Old Grey Whistle Test (UK TV series from the 70s on) so that may be available on a BBC DVD.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 10:44 AM

Cool, Moo, thanks.

Oh yes, nearly forgot Rory. I love his mandolin on Goin' to My Hometown.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 11:38 AM

David "Dawg" Grisman is today's absolute master of the mandolin. Some but not all of his work could reasonably be classified as "blues." His work with the late Jerry Garcia (on acoustic guitars) is especially noteworthy.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: pdq
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 12:12 PM

You might want to get John Sebastian's "I Want My Roots" (1996, MusicMasters Inc.). It has

severals songs with the late Yank Rachell, still going strong and playing well at 85.


Rachell is best known for his mandolin work with Sleepy John Estes from the late 1920s on.

One of Estes' albums from around 1964 has the first recorded efforts of Mike Bloomfield.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Ironmule
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 03:32 PM

Steve James from Austin Texas has an instructional DVD/VHS available on Homespun Tapes. His recordings usually have several songs that feature the mandolin. Worth checking out.

Wesley S on vacation in the suburbs of Atlanta


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 04:58 PM

Johnny Winter did "Too Much Seconal" on Mandolin. Neat tune, he was accompanied by a flute.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Kaleea
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 08:24 PM

In my childhood, when visiting my grandparents in Eastern Oklahoma, I sometimes heard a couple of old timers playing Blues--one feller on Guitar, the other feller on an old teardrop Mandolin. They lived in a community off to itself which was not an actual town. (I didn't understand why until years later when I realized that it had to do with segregation.) I just knew that they were a couple of fun fellers who'd sometimes be down at the river fishin' at my Grandad's favorite spot. They were very good. That's where I first heard real blues. They could really make those strings talk. I asked the Mandolin feller about his baby Guitar, & he thought that was the funniest thing he'd ever heard & went right into "Baby Guitar Blues" which he came up with on the spot. I asked him to sing it for me whenever I saw him.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 08:57 PM

Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars has played mando on a few tracks on their CDs, (ie "Casey Jones on "Shake Hands With Shorty").


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 01:58 AM

Although David ' Dawg ' Grisman is a true eclectic, he was more into jazz than blues, but what a player.

eric


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 03:44 AM

Johnny Young of Chicago, along with Yank Rachell of TN & Indianapolis, were generally considered tops at blues mandolin. He and Yank have CDs. Johnny played some on Maxwell Street.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 05:21 AM

Tom McGuiness often plays dobro mandolin with the Blues Band.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Tweed
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 01:25 PM

Go here to watch a video of Johnny Young at an outdoor fest in Chicago.
Johnny Young video at Adelphi Records.com.

You might poke around their vaults over there. Some very cool footage of Johnny Shines, Little Walter, and Honeyboy Edwards.

Tweed


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 08:37 PM

The O'Kanes played quite a few bluesy songs (one titled the Bluegrass Blues) and it never sounded to me like they were stretching. It just sounded like bluesy mandolin playing. I always get nervous when people try to play a particular style of music on an unlikely instrument... anyone for blues ocorina? Blues has so many bent and sustained notes that if you try to imitate it on a mandolin, it sounds too much to me like someone trying to imitate a blues guitar. Seems like you have to approach the blues within the integrity of the instrument... whatever you're playing.

But, maybe that's just me...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Tweed
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 08:54 PM

Jerry, (how ya doin' by the way)Click on the Johnny Young link and check him out. He's playin' blues on that thing at high velocity. Them guys played on whatever they had handy and figured it out or invented their own way of making it work. I doubt any of them had time to study mandolin theory, they just did it the best way they knew how and that's how new stuff comes to be. They got outta the box and made their own.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 03:39 AM

Ah, but I was asking because I had heard some blues tracks with mandolin, including early ones like the Son Simms Four.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Tweed
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 10:29 AM

Here's an obscure field recording you can listen to LS.
Things Gonna Be Allright


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 10:38 AM

Did the Dallas String Band record any blues? They were mandoline-led.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,Fullerton
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:32 PM

If you want to PLAY blues mandolin - try to get hold of one of the aebersold blues album and use to hone your skills.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:05 PM

Of course you're right, Tweed. I guess I was thinking of people who try to play Robert Johnson style blues on all sorts of different instruments. Now, if you get into white country blues and string band music, mandolin is right at home. I Got The Farm Land Blues, Blues In The Bottle, Bay Rum Blues, Mississippi Boll Weavil Blues.. I could go on and on.

All these years I've done a workshop comparing balck and white gospel music... The Gospel In Black and White. Wouldn't it be great if someone far more knowledgeable than I did a thread titled The Blues In Black and White?

Anyone?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,mrjeefer
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:29 PM

What about the mando player in Martin, Bogan and Armstrong?

They were old-timey ragtime, but bluesy as well.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 02:23 AM

There's a Testament CD featuring several of those mentioned above - Johnny Young, Yank Rachell, Carl Martin and Willie Hatcher: 'Mandolin Blues' Testament TCD 6004 1997.

Not mentioned above are Matthew Prater of Nap Hayes and Matthew Prater and Joe Evans & Arthur McClain (The Two Poor Boys) either or both of whom played mandolin on many tracks. As Greg Stephens mentioned above, Coley Jones played mandolin on some Dallas String Band sides. There was a mandolin player with King David's Jug Band and Vol Stevens recorded a great banjo-mandolin piece called 'Vol Stevens Blues' and also played bj-md with the Memphis String Band.

An excellent album that is worth seeking out is Various Artists 'Early Mandolin Classics Vol I' Rounder CD 1050 (1989) put together by Terry Zwigoff, one of Robert Crumb's Cheap Suit Serenaders. Unfortunately, subsequent volumes failed to appear.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,Mr. Jeefer
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 05:21 PM

In an extremely delayed response:

Thanks for this Stewie. A lot of good info. here. Someone just recently gave me a copy of some of the R. Crumb Cheap Suit Serenader stuff. I'd like to check out some of the CD's you mentioned, though.

There's the great Yank Rachell recording that I'm familiar with on Blue Goose (don't even know if the LP re-surfaced on CD) and my LP got --depressingly-- slightly melted. He did a few excellent numbers on mando on that, "Texas Tony," and "Shotgun Blues," as well as a bunch of stuff on guitar: "Matchbox blues," etc.

I recall some quote from Cooder saying that when he tried to hang out with Yank Rachell (who's influence on Cooder, to me, is clear as a bell), Rachell --who worked a full-time day job-- was always too tired to stick around after playing to talk or chill with him.


Mr. Jeefer


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 08:07 PM

I believe the mandolin player with Martin, Bogan and Armstrong was Howard Armstrong, who died a few years ago at the age of 90-something. He was quite a character and an amazing blues mandolin and fiddle player.

And yes, there is a rich black stringband tradition that is pretty much dying out now-- I think Howard Armstrong and Yank Rachell would have been among the last that we know about who were still playing blues mandolin (and in Howard's case blues fiddle).

I think there are some documentaries and albums of Howard Armstrong around -- try googling.

Eve


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,J
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 09:26 PM

In 1978 I opened for Martin, Bogan and the Armstrongs and Carl Martin played the mandolin, Ted Bogan played an old Gibson f-hole guitar, Howard played fiddle. I can't recall what the upright player's first name was, but he was phenomenal. Very understated. I think he was Howard's younger brother or maybe his nephew. Jamming 'Sweet Georgia Brown' and 'Sentimental Journey' in the backroom between sets still ranks as my alltime favorite 'musical' moment. When Carl Martin smiled after one of my breaks and said to Ted Bogan, "This boy's been doin' his homework", it still makes me well up.

Ry Cooder recorded some real good blues mando tunes, too.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 12:51 AM

Jethro Burns


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 06:12 AM

I just heard a great Rory Gallagher and Peter Green number "Leaving This Town". Fantastic bluesy mandolin by Rory.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 04:57 PM

Charlie McCoy, a blues musician from around Jackson, Mississippi, played mandolin. He also frequently played guitar in mandolin style. He backed up Tommy Johnson on several recordings - "Bye Bye Blues" comes to mind.

He recorded That Lonesome Train Took my Baby Away on mandolin, and it's a real masterpiece.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 05:00 PM

The lyrics for That Lonesome Train Took My Baby Away are in the DigiTrad


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: alanabit
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 05:17 PM

I think I can recall hearing a Sleepy John Estes track "Mailman Blues", or something like that, with a prominent mandoline on it. It was on a sampler which I had back in the seventies.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 06:01 PM

That was most likely Yank Rachell on the Sleepy John Estes record. I'll check at home tonight. My favorite blues mandolin player working currently is Steve James from Austin Texas. He's one of the main players on the newest Maria Muldaur CD - an all acoustic blues record. It's worth checking out.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 11:27 AM

I noticed that this thread doesn't mention Rich DelGrosso, a great blues mandolin player. Bill Monroe's playing also contains a lot of very bluesey playing as well.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 11:36 AM

I forgot to mention Ken Whiteley and David Essig. I've heard both of them play great blues mandolin. I've even heard David play with a thumb pick and two National finger-picks.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GLoux
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 11:54 AM

No one has mentioned Jody Stecher, either. Very nice, bluesy mandolin, IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: pdq
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 11:59 AM

"... I can't recall what the upright player's first name was, but he was phenomenal..."

I think the bass player for Martin, Bogen and Armstrong was Tom Armstrong, Howard Armstrong's son.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 12:39 PM

Just heard a cut on the radio from Ramblin' Jack Elliots'new album of Depression era blues. Someone is playing some great blues mandolin but I don't know who.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM

I've never quite understood why the mandolin isn't regarded as more of a blues instrument. Two great exponents, old and new:

Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachell

Jim Richter

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 11:59 PM

PHJim got both my nominations. Rich DelGrosso is a fine blues singer as well as decidedly BLUES mandolin player, and Ken Whitely likewise. Much grittier than his excellent but smooth guitar and horn playing brother Chris. The two out of three tells me I want to hear David Essig.:)
Carter B


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 12:50 AM

See Borealis Records catalog for the Whitely brothers individually and collectively, among many other fine Canadian artists. Rich delGrosso scored ttp://www.mandolinblues.com/ as his website name. I bet he gets up early in the morning, baby, 'bout the break of day!
Carter B


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 06:12 AM

Somewhere I have an album called "Fatback Mandolin" by Johnny Young (mentioned above). Can't find any trace of it on Google (or, so far, searching through my shelves). If I find it I'll post a track-list.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 02:13 PM

Slight correction to some of the posts above - the Whiteley clan spells their name with "ley" at the end. Just in case you are searching for them on google or something...


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: matt milton
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 03:56 PM

There was an album by Johnny Young called "Fat Mandolin" (maybe that's what you're thinking of), which for years was out-of-print and a massively sought-after collectors item.

It's recently been reissue on CD with four bonus tracks under the name "The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions". It's really cheap on Amazon - under a fiver - and well worth it. I'm not particularly into electric blues - Young's mandolin is amplified and sounds it, as is the rest of the band - but it's still a really enjoyable album and I'd highly recommend it.

In fact, I'd recommend checking out all the other Blue Horizon label reissues if you haven't noticed them. A great Duster Bennett compilation, a great Gordon Smith compilation, an interesting Christine Perfect album (was never quite convinced) and various albums by Furry Lewis among others.

Er, also I'm currently recording an album with some solo blues mandolin songs on it, among them Sporting Life Blues, Divin Duck Blues (modeled on Sleepy John Esters/Yank Rachell's version) and St James Infirmary. I'll post links up if I decide I'm happy with em.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: PHJim
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 04:33 PM

I've also heard Ken's nephew Dan Whiteley jam on the blues using his mandolin. I don't know if he's got any blues mandolin recorded. While mostly known as a guitar and mandolin player, Dan also plays some hot mouth harp as does his dad, Chris.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 04:40 PM

Yup, those Whiteley's sure are talented! I remember being at a festival, I think it was the short-lived Northwinds Folk Festival in Toronto, and seeing Ken in a mandolin workshop with Yank Rachell and Jethro Burns.


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: PHJim
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 05:24 PM

How could I have forgotten Andy Statman.
Check him out on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvzqywwK5vE


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 05:38 PM

Matt - you are right, of course, "Fat Mandolin" is the name of Johnny Young's Blue Horizon LP. Amazed to find it's so sought-after, but seemingly only about 500 copies may have been produced. The re-mastered CD gets a great review on Amazon, but the only Amazon (UK) offerings of the re-issue are currently £74 new, and from £48 used.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:57 AM

Eve Goldberg- I hate misspelling stuff always, but even more so names of people I've heard live, own albums of, and even know some of their relatives. Oops.:)
Thanks-   Carter B


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Subject: RE: Blues Mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 05:59 AM

Ross - follow this link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Horizon-Sessions-Johnny-Young/dp/B001F9T9XE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1239270951&sr=8-2

Amazon are selling it on CD for £4.98

(Someone else appears to be selling it on Amazon at those big prices you mention, which I don't understand. But if you follow the correct link you can get it for that knock-down price)

I seriously recommend the Furry Lewis & Mississippi Joe Callicott CD on Blue Horizon too. Some of the rawest blues I've ever heard.


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