Popular folk mandolin players

In folk music, a mandolin is one of the most popular instruments to be played. It is made of strings and might look like a guitar, but it is definitely not. It is classified as a plucked string instrument and has 4 courses of doubled metal strings. The sound is tuned as a soprano. To better understand more about the mandolin, let’s take a look at the all-time famous mandolin players and artists who understood the instrument better than anyone else.

Adam Steffey

The artist had received an honor from IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) of being titled ‘the mandolin player of the year’ 7 years in a row! From 1987 he became bluegrass and folk music enthusiast and professional which also led him to the fame. Also, Adam Steffey won five Grammy awards. What an amazing achievement for the man dedicating his life to the mandolin instrument.

Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe (1911 – 1996) was an outstanding mandolist and a songwriter who made bluegrass music known in the whole world. He is often associated only with bluegrass, but he was a man of folk. From his early years, he was discovered by young people as an artist and was called as a traditional folk music artist. His choice to play the mandolin was supported by close friends and family and who could have thought – he became famous and his songs are being covered to this day.

Chris Thile

As a young kid, Chris Thile joined a troupe to add the additional sound of the mandolin but on the spare time, he started to record his own solo singles. His talent to produce music helped him to get higher in the business and achieve his goals of becoming an artist. He grew up with the troupe and after more than a dozen years, he left the trio and started a new band called Punch Brothers. It became very famous very quickly and astonished their critics and increased their fan base. His achievements speak for himself: IBMA Mandolinist of the Year in 2001, Grammy award for the best folk music album and he is still being granted more nominations and awards to this day.

David Grisman

This mandolinist is born in the USA, New Jersey and is popular for combining a mixture of different types of music, usually it involves bluegrass and folk. He is being regarded as one of the most innovative mandolin artists. Folk music started to stick to him when he recorded songs with Tony Rice and Andy Statman. The interesting fact is that he performed folk songs on vintage guitars and mandolins that were constructed at the time when songs were produced. He created a record label in 1990 and it concentrates only on bluegrass, jazz and, of course, folk music.

Ronnie McCoury

Ronnie McCoury played with the mandolin in his father’s band and it was when he picked up the skills to start his own career. McCoury family were talented and innovative when it comes to music. Ronnie and his brother Rob played as a duo for some years and even recorded a few works of their own. From 1993 to 2000, Ronnie was an absolute IBMA’s Mandolinist. He was granted the award for 8 years in a row, which is amazing!