More on Mandomania

        There were three other mandolinists on the stage at Mandomania last last week. They might not be quite as well-known as the others yet, but this does not change the fact they are all superb players.

        It might be the first time one band (Missy Raines and New Hip) had two mandolinists on the stage. Ethan Ballinger was on your far left, and Dominick Leslie was on the other end of the stage. I think Ethan plays guitar in Missy’s band. He joked that he finished school with a degree in commercial mandolin. The idea this young man might not play mandolin on a regular basis and perhaps borrowed one for the gig is remarkable in itself. It reminds me  of a young man who used to fill in for us at times. Once I called and asked if he could cover the bass and he said, “Yeah, but I’ll have to borrow one.” Most of the players at this level play many different instruments well.

        I had not heard Dominick before this festival, but he was a very slick player. He has won a number of national level contests and should be a mandolin force for years to come. 

        Jason Norris tours with Alaska’s Bearfoot. I have run into him before when he played one of my mandolins after a show. Jason has an aggressive but clean style worthy of any mandolinist’s study. 

        All these guys signed the People’s Mandolin to kick off its journey. Like Rebecca Lovell, they are all very young, but very talented, and I look forward to following their careers over the years.

        Here are their websites: and

        Tomorrow I’m gonna sum up a few more MerleFest thoughts. Then Monday I plan to launch into a series on the writer journey, how I got into the writer gig, and share some insights as to how I came to see my book project through to publication. It is due out soon, likely no later than mid summer. The saga has been a wild roller coaster ride and more fun than the county fair. After almost a decade I’m just now at the starting gate, and I can’t wait to stretch out and run a while.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Journey of The People's Mandolin, Mandolin Players I Know, Writing


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: