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Old 10-17-2020, 08:29 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Default Mysterious mandolin family instrument

I happened to come across this video by a young YouTuber named Sarah Jarosz. She's got a good voice, and a couple of high end musical instruments in view: there's a Collings guitar on a stand behind her, and she's playing what took me a minute to realize is an octave mandolin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAcu5g8AMEs

Here's a picture of her playing it onstage. She's got her clip on tuner covering the logo, dag nabbit!



Sarah Jarosz

It's clearly a high quality instrument; it's got a Monteleone mandolin family tailpiece on it, which I have on a few of my mandolins. But search as I might, I still haven't caught a glimpse of the headstock logo.

There's a good possibility that it was built by Fletcher Brock, who builds magnificent archtops, mandolins and other mandolin family instruments. He uses a similar art deco adornment on some of his headstocks, and this looks like one of his.

As it happened, I met Fletcher at the first Healdsburg Guitar Festival I attended in 2001, and actually watched his booth for him while he disappeared for a meal and, apparently, a ˙ L O N G ˙ stroll around the grounds. Nice guy, terrific builder, but not a gung ho sales guy, not in the slightest.

For those of you old enough to remember the late 1960's, his mother is Alice Brock, the Alice of "Alice's Restaurant" fame.

Anyway, while this instrument might be a Brock, I'm just curious as to whether any of you all can spot what it actually is.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can give me on this.


Wade Hampton Miller

PS: The alert among us will notice that there's a Collings F-5 style mandolin behind her onstage, too. I wish that I had had such fine instruments when I was gigging out at her age!!

Hey, that's cool - no Marxist-Leninist working class resentment here. If you can afford fine instruments, you might as well use them.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:37 PM
Willie_D Willie_D is offline
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I think it's a Northfield Archtop Octave Mandolin
https://www.northfieldinstruments.co...ctave-mandolin
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:47 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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It could be, but from what I can see of the headstock logo underneath the tuner on her instrument, it doesn't seem to match.

Yours:



˙˙˙

Hers:



˙˙˙

But you could be right, I don't know.

Thanks,


whm
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:56 PM
Willie_D Willie_D is offline
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Yeah, that's a different one for sure.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:19 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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A forum participant named Jofari just posted in the identical thread that I started in the general discussion forum that my guess is correct, it was made by Fletcher Brock. I was hoping to get a definitive answer to my question reasonably soon, but was surprised and delighted that I got an instantaneous answer!

That’s so cool....

So do any of you all have any experiences with Fletcher Brock’s beautiful instruments? I saw the ones he had at Healdsburg, of course, but didn’t want to play them in his absence - when he left me stranded at his booth, after 45 minutes or so a friend of his came by and I asked him to take over. I never did see or talk to Fletcher again; for the remaining two or three days of the festival he was never at his booth any time I walked by.

Which was both annoying and disappointing, because I had been contemplating the idea of having him build an instrument for me. But while I know he didn’t intend his extended absence as a deliberate slap in the face, that was the impact of his behavior, nonetheless.

I assume he’s shy and hates talking to the public. But some warning ahead of time would have been nice...

‘Nuff said.

I also happened to see a great string band from out of state one day a few years later: they were playing in a corner of a remote rural roadhouse out on the Kenai Peninsula one day when I just happened by. They were playing this great high level stuff, while the locals were mostly ignoring them, though not in a truculent way. I didn’t catch the group’s name, which was stupid of me, because they were excellent musicians.

One of the guys had what I thought was a Brock octave mandolin, and when I talked to him on their break he confirmed that.

I asked: “What are you guys doing up here? Did you have a few paying gigs scheduled and wanted to play a few more to get free food and beer while you were still up here?”

He laughed and said: “Exactly!”

I put a twenty dollar bill in their tip jar, and didn’t even ask to play his Brock mandolin, as much as I might have wanted to. But I know how much I dislike it whenever strangers come up to me at gigs and try to talk me into that, so I didn’t ask.

Anyway, thanks again for responding.


Wade Hampton Miller

Last edited by Wade Hampton; 10-17-2020 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Corrected a typo
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:31 PM
Fishermike Fishermike is offline
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Sarah Jarosz is hardly a just a “young Youtuber”. She’s a multiple Grammy winning musician who released her first album (which also led to her first Grammy nom) in 2009. She’s an acclaimed songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist who is frequently featured on “Live from Here” with Chris Theile. She deserves considerably more respect than you seem to be giving her.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Jarosz

Last edited by Fishermike; 10-17-2020 at 09:39 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2020, 01:52 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Mike, I’m sorry if I offended you by the tone of my posts; I had never heard of her before today. I’ve gotten not only the responses in the threads but quite a few offline emails from friends bringing me up to speed on this remarkable young woman.

(Edit: unnecessary reply to Mike deleted.)

Short version: yes, I was unaware of her prior to today, but it wasn’t out of maliciousness or condescension that I wrote about her. You folks in the Lower 48 sometimes don’t realize the distance and geographical isolation that we have to endure here on the Alaskan subcontinent, but the exposure that non-mainstream musical artists get up here is woefully inadequate. It costs more to fly to Alaska from the Lower 48 than it does to fly to Europe, and the nearest major city to us is Seattle.

Not many acoustic acts make it up here unless their airfare gets covered, and with the Alaskan economy in freefall there are fewer and fewer of those gigs.

Seattle’s a 3 hour flight away. By direct contrast, the flight I took from Anchorage to Magadan, Russian Far East when I played a music tour there in Magadan Oblast was a mere hour and a half.

So, yes, we’re considerably closer to Siberia than we are to Seattle.

You should count your blessings that you have constant exposure to touring musical artists where you live, because 99% of the time we do not.

We’re a world away from you, in more ways than one.

Hope that makes more sense.


Wade Hampton Miller

PS: If you think I’m being pretentious by calling Alaska a subcontinent, look at Alaska on a globe some time, rather than one of those flat little maps where they stick Alaska in a reduced size down in the lower left hand corner. You’ll see that I’m not exaggerating in the slightest about the distances involved.

Price air fare prices too, while you’re at it. You’ll find that if anything I under-emphasized the distances involved.

Last edited by Wade Hampton; 10-18-2020 at 07:44 PM. Reason: The better angels of my conscience asserted themselves and told me to get off my high horse.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:53 AM
Dave Hicks Dave Hicks is offline
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Fretboard Journal interview with Brock (2014):

https://www.fretboardjournal.com/col...letcher-brock/
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:53 AM
Norsepicker Norsepicker is offline
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Default Sierra Hull

On her website Sierra Hull does a beautiful version of John Prineís SUMMERíS END. Sheís a Berkeley music school graduate and mandolin is her main instrument. Sheís playing a similar instrument in the video.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2020, 07:41 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Mike, I’m sorry if I offended you by the tone of my posts; I had never heard of her before today.

Short version: yes, I was unaware of her prior to today, but it wasn’t out of maliciousness or condescension that I wrote about her. You folks in the Lower 48 sometimes don’t realize the distance and geographical isolation that we have to endure here on the Alaskan subcontinent, but the exposure that non-mainstream musical artists get up here is woefully inadequate. It costs more to fly to Alaska from the Lower 48 than it does to fly to Europe, and the nearest major city to us is Seattle.

Not many acoustic acts make it up here unless their airfare gets covered, and with the Alaskan economy in freefall there are fewer and fewer of those gigs.

Seattle’s a 3 hour flight away. By direct contrast, the flight I took from Anchorage to Magadan, Russian Far East when I played a music tour there in Magadan Oblast was a mere hour and a half.

So, yes, we’re considerably closer to Siberia than we are to Seattle.



We’re a world away from you, in more ways than one.

Hope that makes more sense.


Wade Hampton Miller

PS: If you think I’m being pretentious by calling Alaska a subcontinent, look at Alaska on a globe some time, rather than one of those flat little maps where they stick Alaska in a reduced size down in the lower left hand corner. You’ll see that I’m not exaggerating in the slightest about the distances involved.

Price air fare prices too, while you’re at it. You’ll find that if anything I under-emphasized the distances involved.
Don't worry Wade you did not say "just" which was "just" imagination, and given both of my kids are older than she, I would indeed call her "young" also .and she is on Youtube so you're good
I'm in Wyoming and had not heard or her until your post .

Boy I know what you mean about the size of Alaska I've been there 2 times, once Fly Fishing on Kodiak and then flew to Anchorage to overnight then to Petropavlovsk Kamchatka .
People here stateside usually don't get the distances involved.


Here is an interesting map overlay for some perspective .

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Last edited by KevWind; 10-18-2020 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:36 AM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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Sarah is a wonderful singer and musician. I particularly like her take on Annabelle Lee. She has a cool banjo for clawhammer. I've never looked it up but it looks custom.

https://youtu.be/P_ElaY97FVI
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:50 PM
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Her collaboration with Aeife O'Donovan and Sara Watkins, I'm With Her, is just stunning. I believe they all have conservatory music educations, gained after they all were successful in various musical endeavors. I mean, who goes to school after selling millions of records with Nickle Creek? Sara Watkins, I guess.

One of my favorites, Mandolin Orange is unknown among my peers. And I figure you have to be doing pretty well to buy a Loar mandolin.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:31 PM
svea svea is offline
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Wade,

I'm glad at least a few more folks have now heard of Sarah Jarosz, thanks to you. Check out the recordings and Youtube videos with the "I'm With Her" trio. I was fortunate to see them live. Oh my!! Living in the lower 48 has some advantages I guess.

Back in 2013 I purchased an octave mandolin, partly inspired by her talented playing. You would think it would be an easy instrument to learn for a well rounded guitar player. I struggled to incorporate it, and eventually gave it up. I do still have my Collings MT mandolin, but I only play it once in a while. People like Sarah Jarosz make it look easy to be really good on multiple instruments. It's not!

Svea
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:13 PM
Fishermike Fishermike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Mike, Iím sorry if I offended you by the tone of my posts; I had never heard of her before today. Iíve gotten not only the responses in the threads but quite a few offline emails from friends bringing me up to speed on this remarkable young woman.

All of those posts and emails have had a considerably friendlier tone than you chose to use.

Short version: yes, I was unaware of her prior to today, but it wasnít out of maliciousness or condescension that I wrote about her. You folks in the Lower 48 sometimes donít realize the distance and geographical isolation that we have to endure here on the Alaskan subcontinent, but the exposure that non-mainstream musical artists get up here is woefully inadequate. It costs more to fly to Alaska from the Lower 48 than it does to fly to Europe, and the nearest major city to us is Seattle.

Not many acoustic acts make it up here unless their airfare gets covered, and with the Alaskan economy in freefall there are fewer and fewer of those gigs.

Seattleís a 3 hour flight away. By direct contrast, the flight I took from Anchorage to Magadan, Russian Far East when I played a music tour there in Magadan Oblast was a mere hour and a half.

So, yes, weíre considerably closer to Siberia than we are to Seattle.

You should count your blessings that you have constant exposure to touring musical artists where you live, because 99% of the time we do not.

Weíre a world away from you, in more ways than one.

Hope that makes more sense.


Wade Hampton Miller

PS: If you think Iím being pretentious by calling Alaska a subcontinent, look at Alaska on a globe some time, rather than one of those flat little maps where they stick Alaska in a reduced size down in the lower left hand corner. Youíll see that Iím not exaggerating in the slightest about the distances involved.

Price air fare prices too, while youíre at it. Youíll find that if anything I under-emphasized the distances involved.
Hi Wade, got your PM, thanks. It wasn't a matter of personal offense - you didn't owe me an apology.

Living in another (not quite so) huge state, your geography lesson brought back memories of relatives flying in from the east coast back when I was a kid, growing up in the SF Bay Area. My folks would ask them what they wanted to do the next day, and more than once, they'd answer "go to Disneyland", not understanding that it would be an all-day trip just to get there from where we lived. They'd say, "but it's in California, isn't it?" They couldn't quite wrap their heads around how big the state is compared to where they came from.

We're all very fortunate that the internet affords us access to all of the wonderful artists, young and old, that it does, not to mention forums like this where we can share them with kindred spirits, wherever they may be.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:08 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hicks View Post
Fretboard Journal interview with Brock (2014):

https://www.fretboardjournal.com/col...letcher-brock/
Thanks, Dave - I'm a huge fan of The Fretboard Journal (FBJ) and intend to keep my subscription to it current until the day I die. It's really a wonderful publication.

To those of you who haven't read FBJ or never heard of it, it's really a superb magazine. A lot of the coverage is of quirky, non-mainstream musicians, music and musical instruments, but for me that's a lot of its appeal. More mainstream musical subjects get covered in every issue, too, but unlike virtually every other guitar-oriented publication I'm aware of, the more offbeat material doesn't get ignored or hidden in a spot where no one's likely to read it.

Plus, I've discovered that attractive members of the opposite sex swoon and fall instantly in love with you when you're an FBJ reader. Without you even mentioning that you read it.

That's if you're heterosexual, of course. If you're gay, it's good-looking members of your own gender that get drawn like moths to the flame whenever you come strolling by.

The folks in their newsroom don't like to advertise that, because they don't want people subscribing for that reason alone. If you were to call their office and ask publisher Jason Verlinde, he'd even deny it! But he doesn't want that information leaking out for fear of being deluged by troglodytes, peckerwoods and nitwits.

But the Fretboard Journal is an equal opportunity sexual attractant, trust me on that...

Hope this helps!


Wade Hampton "Of Course I'm Not Making This Up!" Miller
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