Mudcat Café message #1747836 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91596   Message #1747836
Posted By: Willie-O
26-May-06 - 09:38 AM
Thread Name: Mandolin Mudcatters survey
Subject: RE: Mandolin Mudcatters survey
I should be off to work, so here goes instead:

Is the mandolin your primary instrument or a sideline?
Depends who you ask and whom I'm playing with. It's #1 or #2. I am more versatile on guitar in my own opinion, but there are fewer mandolin players around, here anyway.

Do you perform regularly with others/are you part of an organized group?
Two or three groups. I'll be playing in a bar tonight with one of them and a small Celtic festival in a couple of weeks with another. In ensembles, I am frequently asked to play the mandolin, see question #1.

What type of music do you play? Tendency towards Celtic tunes, also folk-rock accompaniment styles, occasionally bluegrass/old-timey but I don't really have that going on now.

What style would you LIKE to be playing?

More jazz, like Jethro Burns style.

Are you happy with your mandolin?
Totally, just got a beautiful carved-top A-style made by Jeremy Goertzen-Hamm which replaced my old A-50 style El Cheapo (now being played by my daughter, to my great pleasure).   I always wanted a round-hole A-style, but couldn't afford the old Gibson of my dreams; this is just as good, great sound, beautiful top, super-comfortable to play.

What type/style/brand of mandolin do you own.
Also have a very nice Peter Cox mandola which I don't play often. The trouble with mandolas is that you can play em like a mandolin, but you're in a different key than everyone else unless you learn to play tunes in keys they weren't written in.

Amplification: LET"S GET CONTROVERSIAL. I play in bars. I look for ways to alter the sound of perfectly good instruments in ways that interest me. On this mando I use an old Di-Marzio contact pickup under the strings/behind the bridge on my Goertzen-Hamm. It gets worse from there. I run it through the same effects I use with my Martin O-18 (more heresy). Volume pedal, foot-pedal tuner (GREAT INVENTION!!!), compressor pedal, and digital delay. I find that by just bringing these pedals, mounted on a board, I don't need an amp, just run everything direct into the soundboard, get a nice fat sound without humming and buzzing problems that my amp gave the board.

I am somewhat inspired in this blasphemy by Willie P Bennett who plays psychedelic electric mandolin with Fred Eaglesmith. I like the sounds he gets so I tried it and it's fun. Just don't overdo the weirder aspects of it (endless delay...).    Also, since I am the only member of my Celtic band who actually plays tunes, I can vary the sound I produce to keep things interesting.

trying to earn an honest living.