bluegrass columnist

The Mysterious Mandolin

The "Mysterious" Mandolin

Bluegrass is a celebration of challenging vocals and a wide variety of instruments. Perhaps the most important of those instruments is the mandolin. Few bluegrass musicians, and probably even fewer non professional players would tell you that Bill Monroe was not their inspiration to give the instrument a try.

To some people, the small, eight-stringed instrument might seem mystifying. Its tone is high, and can be interchanged with fiddle, and be backed very efficiently by a guitar. When a mandolin riff opens a bluegrass tune, it certainly catches the ear. READ MORE »