Curly Strings – Fantastic Bluegrass and Folk from Estonia – With Villu Talsi (Mandolin)

By a picture from the Kaustinen Festival in Finland I have discovered the band Curly Strings.

Curly Strings are

  • Eeva Talsi – fiddle
  • Villu Talsi – mandolin
  • Jalmar Vabarna – guitar
  • Taavet Niller – double bass

This band is very popular in Estonia, and their song Kauges Külas is one of the songs that were the No. 1 in the Estonian iTunes charts.

The style of Curly Strings combines elements of bluegrass and folk, including the harmony-singing and virtuoso solos on fiddle, mandolin or guitar. Some songs sound like traditional folk songs from Estonia, others are typical bluegrass tunes – the music of Curly Strings creates a happy mood and brings the listeners to dance and sing with the music.

Playlist Curly Strings

I have compiled the best Curly Strings videos in my playlist

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC878J8mcBo93RfhmGuvsj6DpIymV_QsV

Additional Information

Villu Talsi does also play in a trio with accordion player Tuulikki Bartosik and the Swedish fiddler Jonas Hjalmarsson:

http://tuulikkibartosik.com/bartosikhjalmarssontalsi/

Bartosik/Hjalmarsson/Talsi

Me and Villu also play in trio with Swedish fiddler Jonas Hjalmarsson. You can hear us enjoying traditional Swedish music mostly from Dalarna, our own music and all kind of traditional tunes from Estonia. We do concerts, workshops in Swedish and Estonian traditional music and play to dance.

Tuulikki Bartosik – free bass accordion

Villu Talsi – mandolin

Jonas Hjalmarsson – fiddle

Eeva und Villu Talsi are playing two matching instruments made by  Campanella Stringed Instruments:

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?99697-Curly-Strings

Eeva and Villu Talsi, fiddle and mandolin, and a married couple, came to me several years ago and asked me to build them matched instruments. I delivered the fiddle and mandolin approximately one year ago, and have been extremely impressed with the material that they are producing.

youtube channel of Jalmar Vabarna

In the youtube channel of the guitar player Jalmar Vabarna you can find some older videos with Villu Talsi

Mandolin Orange at Pickathon 2014 – Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin

MANDOLIN ORANGE are the North Carolina-born duo of Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin. They are both great singers and songwriters, and both great players on fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin.

I have just discovered a nice playlist with six songs from a concert given at Pickathon 2014. A great chance to listen to some of the beautiful songs with Mandolin Orange and the mandolin playing of Andrew Marlin.

I have compiled some more links with interviews and review, playlists and information about Mandolin Orange while I listened to some of their songs.

Enjoy the music of Mandolin Orange!

Playlist Mandolin Orange

live at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon during the 16th annual Pickathon on Saturday August 2nd, 2014.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzXGd8kyK27gr_XQtqKgjDuksr80zj3Ix

Playlist Mandolin Orange Folk Alles and more

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC878J8mcBo_ByJ8O-9o7dTs85xyn1r7h

Additional Information

Website Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange on twitter

Mandolin Orange – This Side of Jordan Album Stream

Website Pickathon

Folk Alley presents mandolin Orange (npr)

There is no shortage of folk and country songs about whiskey. But what makes this Mandolin Orange tune so enchanting is its effortlessness. The words seem to fall right into one another, like cheery drunks into so many bar stools. Mandolinist Andrew Marlin wrote this song during a road trip with his friend.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Mandolin Orange (The Bluegrass Situation)

MANDOLIN ORANGE are the North Carolina-born duo of Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin. One of the most remarkable pair of voices on the Americana scene today, Marlin and Frantz have quietly spent the past few years building their fan base through incessant touring and the release of two highly-acclaimed albums, Quiet Little Room and Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger. In anticipation of the Yep Roc release of their third album, This Side of Jordan, on August 20th, contributing writer Michael Verity spoke with Andrew about how he and Emily met, what it means to be compared to Gram Parsons and how their band contributed to a great new recording.

The quiet chemistry of Carrboro’s Mandolin Orange

“That’s so true,” says Marlin, after some contemplative silence. “We spend a lot of time just making sure that the arrangement of each song is as strong as it can possibly be because, with just two people, the song has to be arranged in such a way that it’s easy for us both to play our parts.”

Interview: Mandolin Orange (The Thread)

Mandolin Orange: Live Tapes EP (Noisetrade)

You can download or listen to four great tracks with Mandolin Orange

You might also read:

Azzurro by Daigo Marumoto (Japan) – Compositions for Mandolin Solo and Mandolin Orchestra

Recently I have listened to videos of the composition Azzurro for solo mandolin by Daigo Marumoto. This is a nice, dreamy composition for the mandolin, and so there are quite some videos of this composition played by the best Japanese mandolin players.

My favorite video besides the version by Masataka Hori at the beginning of the playlist is the following – with some reverb added to the sound which makes it sound like played in a big hall – and you can see the right hand of the player very well:

There is also a video where this piece is played on a mandola. The mandolin solo version by Tatiana Cro – one of the few mandolin players not from Japan in this playlist – is also very good, but the sound is very noisy, so it is not much fun to listen to it with headphones…

Daigo Marumoto has also composed two versions of Azzurro for mandolin orchestra. This is the fantastic, incredible version with the Japanese mandolin orchestra Arte Mandolinistica conducted by Yasunobo Inoue:

丸本大悟 / AZZURRO /ARTE MANDOLINISTICA+ARTE TOKYO

You can find the mandolin orchestra versions also in my playlist, including the video played by the GCEA mandolin orchestra from Madeira which plays only the second part.

Playlist Azzurro by Daigo Marumoto

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC878J8mcBo8_wxc7Ggiw3t1fI9lUa0kB

Additional Information

There is a short discussion about this piece in the Mandolin Cafe Message Board: Daigo Marumoto

The sheet music for this piece is only available in Japan – unfortunately…

Mandolin Sheet Music published in London around 1900 – A Bunch of Old Sheet Music

I have recently bought a box of vintage sheet music from the UK – including 55 pieces for mandolin with piano, second mandolin, guitar, banjo. I am planning to make scans of this available in the future – but I think it might be interesting to see the covers of this collection to get an impression about the status of the mandolin around 1900.

Some of the pieces have a copyright date of 1897, and I think most of the pieces have been published before 1900.

I have made pictures of the covers or of the first page of the sheet music.

Mandolin Sheet Music published in London around 1900

Additional information

Leopoldo Francia sheet music available at musicaneo:

George H. Hucke sheet music available:

Ezra Read sheet music available

Herbert J. Ellis sheet music available

Alphons Czibulka sheet music available

W. J. Fletcher mandolin method available on my website:

Theo Bonheur (Charles Rawlings, 1857 – 1919) sheet music

Norton Greenop (1868 – 1930) sheet music

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