Tag: octave mandolin


Harrison Kennedy – Mandola-Blues

I have recently found a concert with Harrison Kennedy on the CBC Concerts on Demand site. Harrison Kennedy plays mandolin, guitar, banjo, harmonica and he sings.

During the 60s Harrison was a member of The Chairman of the Board and he was very successful:

In 1968 the Detroit POP GROUP “The Chairmen of the Board.” played all the top venues including JOHNNY CARSON’S TONIGHT SHOW, SOUL TRAIN and AMERICAN BANDSTAND and ENGLAND’S “TOP-OF-THE-POPS’, doing our hit, “Gimme Me Just A Little More Time.” C.O.T.B. had performances with B.B. KING, JAMES BROWN, SMOKEY ROBINSON, STEVIE WONDER, FUNKADELICS and more. C.O.T.B. also performed many times at NewYorks Famous HARLEM’S APOLLO THEATRE.

During the last years Harrison Kennedy has mainly sticked to the blues and he has recorde three CDs.

In the beginning Harrison used mainly the guitar or slide guitar to accompany himself, but recently he has discovered the mandolin, banjo and octave mandolin.

Here are some videos with Harrison Kennedy and his octave mandolin:

Harrison Kennedy – Tell the truth and shame the devil

Harrison Kennedy – Real Deal

Harrison Kennedy – Noonday Train

Playlist Harrison Kennedy

Additional Information

Wikipedia about Chairman of the Board: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chairmen_of_the_Board

Homepage Electro-Fi records: http://www.electrofi.com/

Review “Voice Story” 2005: http://www.bluesbox.de/html/reviews/reviews_k/reviews_kennedy.htm

Review “High Country Blues”: http://indangerousrhythm.blogspot.com/2008/03/harrison-kennedy-high-country-blues.html

Review “Shame the Devil” (2012): http://blueshamilton.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-harrison-kennedy-cd.html


The Nordic Sound: Pettersson & Fredriksson – Nyckelharpa &…

Pettersson & Fredriksson – nyckelharpa and mandola (octave mandolin) – a great duo with a great nordic sound.

Daniel Fredriksson was part of a project that I have just recently written about in this blog – the Magic Lute Project from the TFF Rudolstadt in 2009.

Daniel Fredriksson plays the nordic mandola, an instrument that was conceived in the 1980s by Ale Möller in cooperation with two luthiers:

The history of the nordic mandola is rather short – it was developed by swedish multi-musician Ale Möller and luthiers Christer Ådin and Anders Ekvall in the 80s.

The nordic mandola is a a 10-string, 5 chorus instrument. The lowest two strings are longer than the other strings and tuned down which can produce a real bassy sound. You will hear this in songs of the new album Sotali very well.

Most nordic mandolas have 5 choruses, with octaves on the C and G string.

But here’s the little peculiarity with this instrument. As Ale and Ådin/Ekvall developed the instrument, they found a need to be able to have different drones in the base. This led to the invention of something called “pin point capos”. The pin point capo is a little screw with a rubber packing on it which goes into holes drilled in the fretboard. This allows for shortening of single strings, and thus being able to change the base notes – without changing the tuning.  The base strings are usually elongated/theorbed so the lowest string goes down to A, and the second goes to F.

The nordic mandola is able to produce sounds from very low to very high, it gives a lot of possibilities – I think this is a great instrument as a solo instrument and as an instrument in a duo like Pettersson & Fredriksson. And the possibility to tune the lowest two strings to other notes very easily makes this a very flexible instrument.

Daniel Pettersson plays the nyckelharpa, another great nordic instrument with an incredible sound.

You can see Daniel Pettersson and Daniel Fredriksson and both instruments in the following video that was made in 2008:

Pettersson and Fredriksson

Another video from the same concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5pGvHMvocQ

New album Sotali

This summer the duo released its third album, Sotali – a great album that is available on the following site: http://petfred.bandcamp.com/

You can listen to the complete Album for free! And if you like it you can buy it as a digital download or as a special unique custom digipack.

Pettersson & Fredriksson: Brand

In the following video you can see the making of Sotali in the studio:

UPSWEDENTV – Pettersson & Fredriksson

Another example from the new CD:

Pettersson & Fredriksson – Stjarnan

Playlist Pettersson & Fredriksson

Additional information

Blog by Daniel Fredriksson about the nordic mandola: http://silkwoodmusic.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/the-nordic-mandola-its-not-a-banjo/

Buy the latest album Sotali or listen to the complete album (free streaming audio): http://petfred.bandcamp.com/

Homepage: http://petfred.freehostia.com/

myspace Pettersson & Fredriksson : http://www.myspace.com/petfred

youtube channel of Daniel Fredriksson: http://www.youtube.com/user/danielfre

youtube channel with more videos with Pettersson & Fredriksson: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheStringway/videos?view=0

aa mandolin guitar

Alison Stephens – Mandolinist, Composer, Teacher – A Great…

The great British mandolinist Alison Stephens has died on October 10, 2010. She was only 40 years old.

Alison Stephens was the leading British mandolinist. She has played the mandolin part for many performances in Britain and all over the world and appeared in many BBC broadcasts.

Alison has recorded several great CDs with different partners. As Duo Mandala with Lauren Scott (harp) she has recorded the album Tapestry. With Steven Divine (piano) has has recorded the concertos for mandolin and piano by Raffaele Calace and other works by Calace – this is one of my all time favorite CDs with classical mandolin. Alisons last CD Souvenir was recorded with Craig Ogden on the guitar.

During the last years Alison was also responsable for the mandolin editions at the Astute-Music Publishing Company. She has begun to build up a repertoir for the mandolin and has also composed new works for the mandolin. Working with Alison Stephens for my two mandolin book published by Astute-Music was a great experience. Unfortunately I have never met Alison. She had planned to take part in the mandolin symposium in Trossingen in 2008, but just before the symposium she was diagnosed with cancer for the first time and so she could not come to Germany.

The death of Alison Stephens is a big loss for the Mandolin in Britain, and for the whole World of Mandolin.

Message by Lauren Scott:

I have very sad news I’m afraid.

Ali passed away yesterday. She had been diagnosed with cancer for the third time 3 months ago and had been working up until 2 weeks ago, and very suddenly her health declined. She died peacefully in a hospice.

Funeral arrangements will be posted on her website in due course.

I’m sorry to be emailing you such terrible news.



Lauren Scott

Victor Kioulaphides has composed a Suite für Ali and has just added two videos of the World Premiere of this Suite played by Alison in 2009:

Suite for Ali

Suite for Ali, by Victor Kioulaphides; composed for and performed by Alison Stephens at The Great Hall of the Dartington International Summer School on August 23, 2009. World Premiere. Preludio-Allemande-Courante

Suite for Ali (IV-V)


Playlist Alison Stephens

Playlist Six Episodes for Solo Mandolin

Related articles:

More Information about Alison Stephens

Homepage: http://www.alisonstephens.com/

youtube channel of Alison Stephens with some other videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Alimandolin

Lauren Scott about Alison Stephens: http://harpyness.blogspot.com/2010/10/alison-stephens.html

Interview with Alison Stephens: http://www.mandolincafe.com/news/publish/mandolins_001169.shtml

Article about Alison Stephens: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Features/The-life-affirming-experience-of-cancer.htm

and: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Musician-and-fundraiser-loses-cancer-battle.htm

Obituary by NINIAN DUNNETT: http://news.scotsman.com/obituaries/Obituary-Alison-Stephens-mandolinist.6591846.jp

Free sheet music for the mandolin composed byVictor Kioulaphides, including the Suite für Ali: http://www.paperclipdesign.com/vk/

aa mandolin guitar

Metallica – Toto – REM – on Mandolin, Mandola,…

Madeira must be a good place for mandolins – at the moment there are 17 mandolin orchestras and tunas on Madeira. Activities of those orchestras can be found on the website of the Associacion de Bandolins de Madeira http://www.bandolins-madeira.net/

A group of four players with mandolin, mandola (octave mandolin), guitar and bass has arranged some popular rock songs by Metallica, Toto and R.E.M. and has made several videos in their youtube channel  http://www.youtube.com/user/cromandolin

Nothing Else Matters

This is a cover of Metallica.’s Nothing Else Matters. Played by Claudio (guitar), Élio (mandolin), Énio (bass) and Silvino (mandola).
The arrangement for mandolin and mandola was made by Élio in the style of Apocalyptica.
Recorded on Sep. 14, 2009.

Losing my religion (R.E.M. cover)

Africa (Toto cover)

This is a cover of Toto’s Africa. Played by Claudio (guitar), Élio (mandolin), Énio (bass) and Silvino (mandola).
Recorded on Sep. 7, 2009.


It’s my life (Bon Jovi cover)

Additional information

Website Bandolins de Madeira: http://www.bandolins-madeira.net/

More videos from Madeira: http://www.youtube.com/user/bandolinsmadeira

youtube channel cromandolin: http://www.youtube.com/user/cromandolin