The Sound

Photo of a J model mandolin on a stand in a photo studio

Will Kimble J Model Mandolin

Photos By Bud Osborne Modern bluegrass mandolin players differ in many ways from their predecessors. Emerging players are more open to non-conventional bluegrass instruments, such as the lightweight Nechville banjo or the thin-bodied Bourgeois Guitars Odyssey Dreadnought played on stage by Andy Falco. Even Monroe acolyte Andy Statman joined that trend several years ago when…

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Employees working on violins in the shop

The Violin Shop

Photos By Shelley Swanger Providing a combination of sales, repairs, rentals, workshops, performances, and musical fellowship, The Violin Shop has been the choice of Nashville’s finest fiddlers for over 30 years. Meeting the needs of four- (and even five-) string devotees from bluegrass to classical, Celtic to old-time, The Violin Shop (at 2504 8th Avenue…

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A Preston Thompson guitar lying in a bed a plants

A 21st Century Bluegrass Guitar From Oregon’s High Desert

The D-MA from Preston Thompson Guitars in Sisters, Oregon has almost no interest in impersonating a vintage D-18. And that’s exactly what makes it such a compelling and distinctively modern flatpicking guitar. Even though it shares the basic D-18 DNA of a mahogany dreadnought body with a forward-shifted, scalloped-braced, tap-tuned Adirondack top, the Thompson D-MA…

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Gavin plays his guitar

Gaven “Gravy” Largent

Modern Day Dobro Construction from a Traditional Perspective Photos By Jake’s Visuals In our world of bluegrass and acoustic music, the news travels quickly when a young master emerges on the scene. The sound of the Dobro1 in this artist’s hands puts the icing on the cake, or in this case the Gravy (self-penned moniker)…

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Bottom Row (left to right): Mike Seeger, Ralph Rinzler, Doc Watson, Tex Logan, John Carlini, Bernie Coveney. Back Row (left to right): Jack Cooke, Bill Monroe, Betty Fisher, Oscar Brand, Cecil Null, Benny Williams, James Monroe, Joe Gonzalez. Middle Row (with banjo): Don Lineberger

The Legendary Tex Logan Jam Sessions

I first met the double-genius, Dr. Benjamin “Tex” Logan, in the mid ’60’s. My long-time friend and guitar player, Bernie Coveney, and I had recently discovered bluegrass music (in New Jersey of all places!) as we searched for a radio station in the car and ended up on WWVA and the Wheeling, WV Saturday Night…

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Ben Mason in his workshop.

Ben Mason

Bluegrass Builders Photos By Kristen Ellis Photographer Not only is Kentucky home to legendary bluegrass musicians like Rosine’s Bill Monroe, Lexington’s J.D. Crowe and Cordell’s Ricky Skaggs, but many lavish luthiers as well, whether it be Russell Springs’ Frank Neat, who’s built custom banjos for the likes of Earl Scruggs to the aforementioned Crowe and…

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