The mandolin: synonymous with Bluegrass and American folk music, is one of the most popular acoustic string instruments. If you wish to acquaint yourself with the instrument and its significance in the music industry, learning about the maestros that have played it through the years is a great place to start. There are many famous mandolin players, some of whom are still sought after in the acoustic music world. There are classical players like Bill Monroe who established a lifelong tradition and legacy, while the more contemporary players have popularized the instrument by developing new and futuristic styles and music.
Here are four of the most popular mandolin players that are responsible for advancing the art of the mandolin over the years:
1. Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe, known as the father of Bluegrass, was and still is the most famous and prolific mandolin player. He started playing the instrument at a very young age and as the leader of his band Blue Grass Boys, which is also the source of the name of the genre Bluegrass, he became an influential mandolin player who went on to teach and inspire talents such as Lester Flatt.
2. Adam Steffey
One of the most recorded mandolin players of all times, Adam Steffey is also a five-time Grammy winner. In the modern Bluegrass scene, his is a name that has gained much acclaim. The International Bluegrass Music Association has voted him as The Mandolin Player of the Year ten times. He has spent time as a member of bands such as Lonesome River Band, Mountain Heart, and Alison Krauss & Union Station. He is now the newest member of the band Volume Five.
3. Chris Tile
Only at 38 years old, Chris Tile is one of the youngest and renowned contemporary mandolin players. A composer, singer as well as co-founder of the band Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, Grammy award winner Thile picked up the mandolin when he was five years old. He was also awarded the $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship in 2012. in 2016, he took over as the host for the popular radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion.
4. Rhonda Vincent
Rhonda Vincent began her musical career as a child with her family’s band known as The Sally Mountain Show. Since then she has had a thriving career in Bluegrass. Due to a lack of many well-known female mandolin players, Vincent has managed to carve a special place for herself in history and is often referred to as the Queen of Bluegrass. She is also a Grammy winner. You too can master the art of playing the mandolin with some hard work and a lot of practice. Sitka spruce is the preferred tonewood for mandolins if you wish to achieve better sound quality. You can find superior quality Sitka spruce here.
Sam Bush?? You left out the best!
Alan Bibey, Wayne Benson
Where is Sam Bush ?!? Or David Grisman ?!? These two set the bar for folks like Chris Thile. And Ronda Vincent is NOT considered the “Queen of Bluegrass.” Alison Krauss is. Not to mention that Vincent never solos on her instrument.
And Ralph Stanley I mean seriously I get so annoyed at these lists because they throw in the newer artists for the younger readers BUT everyone young and old should know who a legend like Ralph Stanley,Flatt And Scruggs,And Bobby And Sonny Are.