Punch Brothers, Mandolin Brothers and Lloyd Loar
December 3, 2012 6:21 PM   Subscribe

On Monday September 24th, Mandolin Brothers were visited by 3/5ths of The Punch Brothers: Chris Thile, along with Chris Eldridge and Noam Pickelny. Chris played their Lloyd Loar 1924 F-5 mandolin and their 1925 Fern. Among the numbers they played was a lovely rendition of Tennessee Waltz. Previously

From the Mandolin Brothers website: Of our March 31, 1924 signed Loar, #75846, bearing Virzi Number (one of the lowest numbers seen although they seem to have been applied in no particular order) #10002, Chris said that it was one of the finest sounding "Virzi-equipped" Lloyd Loar F-5s he had ever heard. He said "this has an explosive low end that's awesome!" He added "You just don't hear F-5s with a Virzi that sound anything like this." He was also extremely impressed with our newest acquisition: the non-Virzi signed Loar dated February 18, 1924, bearing serial number #75318. Chris said: "This is one hell of a mandolin; it's a 'hoss.'" And he added "This February 18th Loar produces a sound that's right in between David Grisman's July 9, 1923 (the Bill Monroe date) and John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin)'s February 18th Loar. (scroll down) It is, he told us, "truly spectacular!" Chris owns the Lloyd Loar made two serial numbers before this one and added that he's come to the conclusion that for the finest possible sound of which a Lloyd Loar is capable you "can't depend on any other time period but February 1924 for the production of the signed Loar to be this transcendent in its response."

They ended up doing several clips:

Lloyd Loar F5 #75318

Bluegrass Duet: Chrises Thile and Eldridge

..And banjo makes three.
posted by Bartonius (13 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Man, Critter is one of my favourite musicians. I know this is a mandolin post, but I think he must have rounded up the scratch for a prewar D-28 as that's a '39 and not Forster's/Sawtelle's '37 that he was so impressed with.

Great stuff.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:31 PM on December 3, 2012

This is fantastic. Thile is a genius with a mandolin in his hands, wonderful to hear this.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:32 PM on December 3, 2012

posted by jimmythefish at 6:33 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

As much as I love Thile, and as sweet as that mandolin sounds, I have to say that is one FINE SOUNDING guitar. The tone is amazing.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:44 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm dumb. I've enjoyed listening to Punch Brothers, and enjoyed listening to Chris Thile, but had no idea they were (sorta) one and the same. Thanks for the post.
posted by inigo2 at 6:48 PM on December 3, 2012

With you on that, Benny. So sweet. Sounds fantastic. I love Chris Eldridge's playing.
posted by Bartonius at 6:49 PM on December 3, 2012

Lovely. Thank you. Also of note-- Punch Brothers just released a new EP.
posted by The White Hat at 7:07 PM on December 3, 2012

The Tennessee Waltz, previously.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:55 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chris Thile has had his hands in some really cool shit in the past year or so.
posted by piedmont at 9:42 PM on December 3, 2012

Every mandolin player lives in fear of this inevitable conversation:
"Hi I'm home. Oh, that? I just bought that. It's a Gibson mandolin... its a good one, I've always wanted an old Gibson ... ummmm.... oh... $100,000... Why are you looking at me like that now?"
posted by zaelic at 12:02 AM on December 4, 2012

More than a dozen years ago, I picked up a guitar off a rack at Mandolin Brothers, that according to the label, was previously owned by Jimmy Page. I tried my hand at "Over The Hills And Far Away". The action made it easy to play and the tone was beautiful. It almost felt as if it was playing itself a bit.

It seemed too good to be true at $1,500. A second look at the price tag verified my intuition. It was $15K.

I bought a harmonica.
posted by noaccident at 1:03 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

$100,000? I think that I read that he probably paid more like $200,000 for his Loar.

Just a beautiful post on a beautiful topic, though.
posted by C.A.S. at 3:10 AM on December 4, 2012

Great post.
posted by OmieWise at 5:37 AM on December 4, 2012

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