5 Quick Questions with……..Kym Warner

Kym Warner

“Jolly Hockeysticks” This is how I was introduced to the mandolin playing of Kym Warner! I was at an indie book store on the west side of Michigan, when I was literally stopped in my tracks as this tune played! I immediately went to the counter to find out the name of the artist playing. The person at the counter raved about this new band called The Greencards. Sold. I bought the record and every one since then! The band is incredible, they have a great balance of songwriting and musicianship that lots of bands have a hard time juggling. The band has had a #1 album, has been nominated for a Grammy, and was the opening act for the highly successful Willie Nelson\Bob Dylan tour.

This year the band has taken a hiatus and Kym has just recorded and released his very first solo album titled “Everything That Brought Me Here”. The album is absolutely beautiful sounding! It’s got an “ethereal” quality to it that a lot of mandolin players with Kym’s skill and firepower sometimes miss the mark on. It’s definitely not your run of the mill release from a mandolin player, and that’s the beauty of it! On first listen you really don’t know what to expect. It’s an acoustic album, plenty of mandolin family instruments are included, but there are so many fantastic layers on this album that you really have to put a set of headphones on and really take it in! This album could easily be the soundtrack to a movie…..it’s fantastic.

You can listen to samples/purchase Kym’s record at his Pledge Music page, as well as at Amazon! You can also check out Kym’s band The Greencards here!

(Also check out the video of Kym playing “Tipsy Gypsy” with Adam Steffey here. Wow.)

Without further ado…….5 Quick Questions with … Kym Warner of The Greencards.

  1. What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)

KW– I’m playing a custom made Collings A style mandolin with an          Engelmann top. I use Elixir strings and I’m using a Dunlop    Primetone 1.4mm pick.

  1. What are you currently listening to?

KW —I’m always listening to a lot of very different types of music but  my go to album at the moment is ‘Camino’ by Gustavo Santaolalla.

  1. What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?

 KW–I’m preferably a single malt scotch guy, but I wouldn’t say no to  an icy cold  Stellar Artois beer.

  1. If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?

 KW–Well I’m releasing my debut solo record and about to embark on  some  shows that will showcase that music so probably something  from that! Perhaps this choro type thing on it called ‘Waves of  Ilhabela’..

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

KW–Lower your action and use lighter strings”. Many moon’s ago in my early days of learning about the mandolin I had no idea about set up or the types of strings available. My action was so high it was almost unplayable and I wasn’t aware of strings specifically made for the mandolin so I was using these crazy heavy acoustic guitar strings. 

 Life got a whole lot better once I found .11-.40 gauge mandolin strings.
Do yourself a favor and buy this record!!!
Cheers!
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5 Quick Questions With……….Jesse Cobb

Jesse Cobb

Today’s 5Qs is posting a day early because our subject has a online concert tonight (April 1st) at https://www.concertwindow.com/74532-jesse-cobb! If you’ve never watched an online concert before, this is the way to do it! The show is at 9pm EST and I would highly recommend checking it out!

Jesse is an amazing mandolin player! I first heard him with his former band the Infamous String Dusters. I was blown away at his mix of styles he played throughout the album…….I played that CD over and over trying to pick up some of those licks!

He’s since left the band and has gone on to release his own release called “Solitude” which is a pretty rare solo mandolin recording (except for the last track the excellent “Truth” which is available here along with a few other holiday tunes. He’s also traveled as Noam Pikelny’s mandolin player which is a band filled with bluegrass royalty!

So here is 5 Quick Questions with…….Jesse Cobb!

  1. What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)

    I use either tortoise shell pick or a 2mm Dunlop Gator pick. I play D’Addario EXP75’s, on my San Juan F5 style mandolin built by Bobby Winteringham from Delores CO.

  1. What are you currently listening to?

    I have been listening to an amazing songwriter named David Leask from up near Toronto by way of Scotland. Also, Punch Brothers and my favorite Darrell Scott album, Theater of the Unheard.

  1. What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?

    Beer, preferably a strong IPA from Southern Tier or Boneshaker from Amsterdam Brewing in Toronto. I have also in the house right now an amazing stout called Bolshevik Bastard from Nickle Brook in Hamilton ON.

  1. If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?

    One I wrote that has yet to be named, officially. Kind of a play on an old Heart song called Barracuda. I call mine the same thing, for now. It has the same rhythmic pulse as the other one. Plus a cool little Japanese type bridge. 

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

    If you’re asking about music: Don’t compare yourself with others. I remember watching Thile/Marshall in Nashville on the first Into The Cauldron tour. I was so bummed out by my abilities after watching them wail on mandolins for two hours! As the concert wrapped up, I saw Mike Compton in the crowd and proceeded to run myself down, threaten to burn my mando, just give up. His response was,              “Oh………..they’re just as frustrated as you about something”. I took that to heart and continued working on my own style of playing and quit trying to emulate them both soon after. I still admire them, just don’t compare myself (or anyone else) in that way. Every mandolinist is great at different things. 

    Life in general: Love

Here are some links to get in touch with Jesse and please check out the Concert Window show tonight April 1st at 9pm EST!!

https://www.concertwindow.com/74532-jesse-cobb
https://www.facebook.com/mandocobby
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jessecobb1

5 Quick Questions with………David Benedict!

David Benedict

This weeks “5 Quick Questions with…” is with David Benedict!. I first became familiar with David through the mandolin cafe. It was just before the release of his Matt Flinner produced CD “Into the True Country”. I purchased it and was struck immediately by his taste and tone! I listened to that album quite a bit in 2014 and he is back already with a stellar new album with guitarist Michael Moore titled “Each by Side”. This album has been playing non stop in my world for the past 48 hours. It is incredible! If you were a fan of Grisman and Rice’s “Tone Poems” you will enjoy this! Mandolin Cafe was singing its praises 1 week before it even was released. Do your self a favor, right after this interview go to this link HERE and listen to the entire album for free! If you enjoy it, it is only $7 for 13 tracks!!

I’ll leave you with a quote by Mike Marshall. “David is part of a new generation of American mandolinists who are helping to reinvent our instrument. Super clean and accurate playing combined with a broad sense of composition and a sensitivity of style that is soulful yet clear and beautiful. While his roots are clearly bluegrass and celtic fiddle based, his tastes expand deep into jazz and classical as well. The future of our instrument is going to be in fine shape with young people like David Benedict taking the reins.”

With that said, here are 5 Quick Questions with David Benedict!

  1. What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)

Right now I’m playing a 2000 Gibson made Flatiron Festival F. I’ve had this mando for several years and it keeps getting better and better as time goes on. I use D’Addario EXP74’s paired with a Bluechip TAD 50 pick for a nice dark and round tone.

  1. What are you currently listening to?

I often find myself listening to different music’s from the far ends of the music genre spectrum around the same period of time. Currently, I’m listening to Bill Frisell’s Unspeakable and John Hartford’s string band albums Wild Hog in the Red Brush and Speed of the Old Long Bow.

  1. What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?

I’m a procaffeinator. I rarely sit down with my mando without a cup of black coffee or hot tea.

  1. If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?

I’ve been working on “Rebecca” by Herschel Sizemore, and that tune has been frequenting my fingertips recently.

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Someone once told me to practice playing extremely slow so that I could learn to be responsible for the quality of tone and sustain of every note that I played. I still practice this way today.

Check David out at his homepage, his Facebook page and listen and purchase that new album HERE.

Cheers!!

dp

5 Quick Questions with………..David Long!

David Long

This weeks “5 Quick Questions with…” is with David Long. I first heard David’s work on a CD (you remember those right?) called “STOMP” which also featured last weeks interview subject Mike Compton. That CD really got a lot of play in my world. So it was exciting being able to do this interview with David. He’s been featured on the cover of “Mandolin Magazine”,has his own CD out called “Midnight from Memphis” and has traveled the world playing mandolin. He’s even graced the stage at the prestigious Kennedy Center. David is also an expert in the Monroe style of mandolin and will be an instructor at this years Monroe Mandolin Camp. (www.monroemandolincamp.com.)

You can also keep up with David on Facebook.

Without further ado……..5 Quick Questions with David Long!

5 Quick Questions with…David Long!

  1. What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)

D.L.  –  2003 Gilchrist Model 5 (SN 03550), Strings – D’addario J-74,                         and picks – D’andria 1.5 Triangle.

  1. What are you currently listening to?

D.L.  –  Lots of different stuff. Anything from Sam Cooke to the 8                             disc Louvin Brothers box set.

  1. What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?

D.L. –  PBR or Jacks Hard Cider

  1. If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?

D.L.  –  A Monroe tune probably. Brushing up for Monroe Camp                               this September.  

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

D.L.  –  Don’t think of work as a career. Think of it as a life.

There you have it! Thanks again for your time, David!

Please head over to by Facebook page and hit like!

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5 Quick Questions with……..Mike Compton!

Photos by Kazuhiro Inaba

If you play mandolin, then Mike Compton most likely needs little introduction. If you don’t play mandolin or aren’t familiar with Mike’s work he is an IBMA and Grammy winning recording artist that the New York Times calls “a new bluegrass instrumental hero” and that Mandolin Magazine calls “a certified mandolin icon”.  He’s played with everyone from John Hartford to Elvis Costello! He’s traveled the globe and is a much sought after session man and mandolin instructor. He’s also an expert in the Bill Monroe style of mandolin, so much so ,he’s the director of the Monroe Mandolin Camp! (http://monroemandolincamp.com)

You can learn more about him at his website http://www.mikecompton.net where you can purchase his music, check out his bio, and sign up for internet lessons!

You can also follow him on Facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/Mistertaterbug)

I couldn’t be more excited to present “5 Quick Questions with…Mike Compton”

  1. What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)

M.C. Currently playing: ’02 Gilchrist F5 and ’03 Gilchrist F4, ’08 Duff F5 and H5, Randy Wood two-point A model w/K&K pickup. D’addario mando string sets EXP74, 75, 77 and EJ76 on the dola w/octave strings on the C and G’s. Picks? Tortoise, Saga, d’Andrea Pro Plec and a Japanese version of the ProPlec (acetylate of some sort).

  1. What are you currently listening to?

M.C. Right now I’m listening to Narmour & Smith and working on a mando/gtr album. I listen to lots of different things from Ali Farka Toure to Rembetika to Bill Monroe to Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald to John Hatcher to…you get the picture.

  1. What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?

M.C. Depends on what time of day it is and what I’m having to do next. I like high-gravity beers, mostly ambers, pils, ales, not so much IPAs. They’re unpredictable. Late in the evening I often settle in with a single malt scotch. Tastes like barbecue smoke.

  1. If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?

M.C. Probably Old TN River or Ebenezer Scrooge. I just taught them to a student on the web.

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

M.C. Be myself and play music like I like for it to be played. That way I won’t be wasting my time.Be      yourself. The audience can spot a phony from the back row.

Thank you so much, Mike!!

dp