How far would you go for a bargain on the instrument of your dreams?
How about a 5,500-mile trip halfway around the world in the middle of a pandemic?
On this week’s podcast we meet CJ Lewandowski, mandolinist and lead singer of the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. CJ just flew to Greece to purchase a Gibson F-5 mandolin dated July 9, 1923 signed by Lloyd Loar, just like Bill Monroe’s.
He recounts the leap of faith he took to get it, the complexities of buying an instrument overseas, the state of the mandolin when he finally received it (which had likely never played bluegrass before owning it) and what happened when next is coming.
It’s the ultimate guitar, er, mandolin safari story… to Athens, Greece and back.
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys have a great new album coming out March 25th, 2022 Never slow down on Smithsonian Folkways. We’ll hear more about this in a future FJ Podcast episode.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars; Izotope (use discount code FRET10 to save 10% on your Izotope purchase); BED|STÜ shoes (save 20% with the code FRETXBS for a limited time); and www.acoustic.coffee (use the code FJCoffee2021 and get a free bag when you order two or more).
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Don’t forget that in addition to the magazine, the FJ now has a whole network of podcasts, from guitar making to tube amps: Luthier on Luthier; The truth about vintage amps; The Truth About Recording and Mixing; Acoustic voices; and wipe the floor
Photo above: Amy Richmond