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What Kind of Mandolin Should I Get?

Excerpted from Easy 2-Chord Songs for Mandolin by Wayne Erbsen, published by Native Ground Books & Music.  Unless a free mandolin just falls in your lap, you’ll need to purchase one. When you go shopping for a mandolin, I strongly suggest that you don’t buy a cheap one off of the Internet. Most of these cheapo instruments will… Read More »


Drifting Too Far From the Shore

Charles E. Moody was not your average gospel songwriter. He alone wrote both the words and the melody of two of the bedrock classics of country and bluegrass gospel, “Kneel at the Cross” and “Drifting Too Far From the Shore.” To get a handle on this man and the songs he wrote, let’s go back… Read More »

lady banjo players c 1900

Playing Bluegrass Back-Up on Fiddle, Mandolin & Banjo

As you might guess, there are numerous differences between old-time and bluegrass music, although they share a lot of similarities too. In old-time music, the banjo, fiddle and mandolin generally play the melody all at the same time. During an old-time tune, the guitar generally refrains from playing the melody and concentrates on providing the… Read More »


Only Remembered For What He Has Done – Dock Boggs by Jack Wright

Introduction Dock Boggs’ 1927 recordings of raw, powerful singing and distinctive banjo-playing have moved and influenced musicians, fans and scholars ever since their release. His songs that became especially well known include “Country Blues,” “Sugar Baby,” “Oh Death,” “Prodigal Son,” and “Wise County Jail.” With the release this year of the CD of Dock’s material,… Read More »

Industrial Strength Bluegrass by Neil V. Rosenberg

[The Dayton Bluegrass Reunion (“An All-Star Salute to Dayton’s 40 Year Bluegrass Legacy”) was presented by CITYFOLK, “a nonprofitorganization designed to support the active awareness of andappreciation of folk traditions in the Dayton metropolitan area,” at Montgomery County Memorial Hall on April 22, 1989. Performers includedPaul “Moon” Mullins and Traditional Grass, Noah Crase, The Hotmud… Read More »


“West Virginia, My Home” A Visit With Hazel Dickens Interview by John Lilly

Songwriter and performer Hazel Dickens is among the most respected and celebrated folk or country music artists to come from West Virginia. She has recorded 11 albums, contributed to the soundtracks of nine feature films or videos – including such popular releases as Matewan and Songcatcher – and seen her songs recorded by artists such… Read More »

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