Tag: USA

Mandolin

Evan Marshall – Mandolin Virtuoso – Master of Duo-Style…

Evan Marshall is one of the few mandolin players who has a preference for solo performances and solo arrangements. His repertoir is composed of some of the most famous classical masterpieces arranged for the solo-mandolin. Up to now I have not presented Evan Marshall in this blog – it’s time to do so!

Evan is a virtuoso player who can play everything on the mandolin. He masters the so called duo-style technique perfectly and uses this for his solo arrangements. It’s incredible what Evan can play on his Gilchrist mandolin – I just can say my favorite quote “little mandolin – big sound”.

In the interview on the Mandozine website Evan tells that the first piece that he tried to play as a solo was the famous guitar piece Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Tarrega. He thought that it should be possible to transfer the guitar tremolo technique to the mandolin too. Later he discovered the classical mandolin methods by Pettine and mandolin solo pieces by Francia that were using the same technique earlier.

But not only duo-style, also other incredible techniques are used by Evan. Check the following Caprice No. 3 and see what he can do with the tear-off (or pull-off) technique to play an incredible number of notes in the shortest time:

Evan is also playing in other ensembles. With Scott Gates and Brian Oberlin he played as a mandolin duo. Last year Brian Oberlin and Evan have recored a duo CD “Twin Mandolin Slingers”. This is a short video of one of their duo performances:

Evan has also played for many years in a Disneyland show in Anaheim, California as a member of the Band Billy Hill & the Hillbillies. Especially the solo arrangement of the William Tell Ouverture was his signature piece and a great success in those shows. There are some videos from a show in 1997. In the following example Evan plays the violin – which was his first instrument before he made the mandolin his favorite instrument:

Playlist Evan Marshall Solo-Mandolin / Mandolin Duets and more

Including more than 60 videos: William Tell Ouvertüre von G. Rossini, Pastorale von Händel, Ave Maria by Schubert, Ode to Joy by Beethoven, some Xmas-songs from his Christmas-CD, Caprices by Evan Marshall, Mozart violin concert, Bluegrass Duets with Scott Gates, Vivaldi concer in a duo arrangement and much more. Enjoy Evan Marshall!

Additional Informationen

Classical music, bluegrass, and pop are fused through the mandolin playing of Evan Marshall. Inspired equally by late classical violinist Jascha Heifitz and the dean of country guitar, Chet Atkins, Marshall has crafted a highly experimental approach to the mandolin that blends bass lines, chordal accompaniment, and tremolo melodies without overdubs.

CD recommendations (Amazon partnerlink)

The Lone Arranger
A Mandolin for Christmas
Twin Mandolin Slingers
bluegrass

The Dillards – Great Harmony Singing and a lot…

I have recently heard a great song by the Dillards – Hey Boys. In this song you can hear the fantastic harmony-singing of the Dillards.

I would like to take the chance to present the Dillards in this blog. You can find detailed information about the Dillards in the wikipedia article (see below).

The Dillards have been engaged for the Andy Griffith Show in 1963 where they played the band The Darlings. The Darlings were the first band who brought Bluegrass to a wider audience in the USA.

The Andy Griffith Show

Though The Dillards were already an established bluegrass band, their biggest claim to fame is performing musically as members of the fictional Darling family on The Andy Griffith Show, introducing bluegrass to many Americans who had never heard it.

The appearances of the Dillards as the Darlings ran between 1963 and 1966.

The following video fromthe Judy Garland Show in 1963 is one of the funniest Bluegrass videos that I have seen up to now:

The Dillards – Buckin’ Mule – Judy Garland Show 1963

The Dillards are also known to be the first band that played the tune “Duelin’ Banjo” in 1963 in the Andy Griffith Show, a tune that has later become very popular.

Playlist “The Dillards”

The playlist contains some complete concert videos at the end. Enjoy the Dillards!

Additional Information

favorite tunes

Sugar in the Gourd – A great fiddle tune

Today I have played some tunes from Butch Baldassari’s book 30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin Taught by Butch Baldassari – including a tune named “Sugar in the Gourd” which was fun to play.

I have looked for some youtube videos and found some great performances of this tune as well as some very old recordings like the following recorded in 1930:

SUGAR IN THE GOURD by Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers with Riley Puckett and Clayton McMichen. Recorded in 1930. Good, old timey foot stompin’ hillbilly music. Enjoy!

 

Sugar in the Gourd is an oldtime tune, but it is also a tune that can be played in a bluegrass style. It is mostly played by the fiddle, the other instruments are mostly playing the acompaniment.

I recommend that you listen to my playlist and select your favorite version of the tune. The tune is a fast tune, a good tune to practice speed.

Sugar in the gourd was the song of the week in the Mandolin Cafe in May 2012 – in the thread about this tune you can find more information and other videos with mandolins.

Playlist “Sugar in the Gourd”

Sheet music

I can recommend the Butch Baldassari book – the tunes are all great to play and the CD that comes with the book helps to play the tunes properly.

You can find some free sheet music links for Sugar in the Gourd in my link collection sugar in the gourd

“30 Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin Taught by Butch Baldassari” (amazon partnerlink)

favorite tunes

Dargason – From John Playford to Gustav Holst –…

I have recently started working on a new tune with my student – Dargason.

This tune goes back to John Playfords book about dancing – it just one line of music with instructions how to dance to the tune.

dargason-playford

On the abc notation website you can find this tune as well:

dargason-abc

This tune is related to the very popular tune Irish Washerwoman which has a very similar melody in the first part.

Dargason is a great example what you can do with a simple tune when you work with it creatively. Swedish composer Gustav Holst who is best known for his “Planets” suite has composed the St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra. The Finale from this suite is based on Dargason which is played over and over while the other instruments play chords, accompaniment or counterpoint – including the usage of another famous melody – Greensleeves. A fascinating piece which was invented by working creatively with this one-line melody from the 17th century.

As this composition belongs to the public domain ther are no restrictions for arrangements. I was happy to find the following version played by the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra:

San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra – Dargason

Playlist Dargason

Including versions for String Orchestra, lute, harp ensemple, maqrching band, percussion ensemble, recorder and more:

Sheet music – Dargason – The Dancing Master

In the Petrucci Library you can find the original source “The Dancing Master” by John Playford in several editions:

John Playford – The Dancing Master:

You can find the St. Paul’s Suite in the original version for string orchestra and in an arrangement for 15 saxophones.

Gustav Holst – St. Paul’s Suite:

Merken