The New Vintage Frets is an American mandolin ensemble based in Wisconsin. In 2018 this ensemble produced a CD titled: The Wisconsin/Vega Project CD
This unique CD offers present day recordings of century-old mandolin ensemble arrangements thoughtfully selected from Wisconsin-based mandolin orchestra libraries. Pieces in the collection were published in either the 1890s or early 1900s. The recordings were made in 2017 and 2018 with string parts played on antique, Vega brand mandolin-family instruments.
Tunefox is a new web and app based learning tool for bluegrass instruments. I was asked by Bennett Sullivan to present tunefox in my blog.
Tunefox is primaily a web and app based learning tool for banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass. To use all the features of tunefox you need to subscribe.
As a subscriber you get access to the app or website with tutorials for many Bluegrass tunes. For each tune you can select between different levels of difficulty and between different playling styles. You can try the free tunes Cripple Creek and Worried Man Blues on the website.
To learn the tune you can play along the TABs, change the playback speed and shuffle the licks of the tune which can create many different solo versions for each tune.
You can also use the free beginner lessons, blog posts, youtube videos and other resources of tunefox without paying.
Tunefox is presented in the following introduction video:
Salt Creek Advanced Mandolin Solo
Tunefox will have it’s first Tunefox Camp with Mike Compton as mandolin instructor and other experienced Bluegrass instructors in May 2019. You can find detailed information about the tunefox camp on the tunefox website.
In one of the recent episodes of the Folk Radio Podcast – Folk Radio Episode 51 – I have discovered a song that I did like immediately – especially because I could recognize a nicely played mandolin. This way I have discovered the music of Scottish singer Iona Fyfe.
The song Swing and Turn is taken from the new album Dark Turn of Mind which got a review by Folk Radio. Folk Radio writes about Swing and Turn: „As for those iconic tradition-bearers mentioned earlier – Jean Ritchie was the source for the lively, upbeat Swing and Turn. Iona was inspired to take on this song after seeing it performed by Boston singer/fiddler Laura Cortese at the Orkney Folk Festival, and her own arrangement seems to celebrate the host of links between Scottish and Appalachian traditions. „
Guise of Tough – Celtic Connections 2018
On this video you can see the mandolin player Graham Rorie together with Iona Fyfe:
Iona Five has just got an award at the SCOTS Trad Music Awards 2018: Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year Sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association – Iona Fyfe
On April 7, 2019 I was at a concert of the SWR Sinfonie Orchester in Freiburg. The program was composed of works by Frank Zappa. It began with three pieces from the Yellow Shark project. In 1992 Frank Zappa worked together with the Ensemble Moderne to produce a concert with his works played by a classical orchestra.
The mandolin player in Freiburg was Denise Wambsgans.
The world premiere of Yellow Shark took place at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt on Sept. 17, 1992. The recording of this concert is now available at youtube.
Video – The Yellow Shark 1992
The mandolin player in 1992 was Detlef Tewes. I have made some screenshots from the video showing Detlef Tewes with his mandolin and with Frank Zappa. Jürgen Ruck played guitar and banjo. This concert is really enjoyable and has some great moments, especially in the second part of the concert.