THOUGH THE LOAR-SIGNED F-5 MANDOLINS of the early 1920s set a standard revered by both players and builders, mandolin playing has evolved and expanded dramatically since the days of the mandolin orchestra. Pioneers such as Bill Monroe in bluegrass, Jethro Burns in swing and jazz, and David Grisman in his distinctive blend of styles ("dawg" music), have blazed many trails for a new generation of players. Interest has run parallel among contemporary luthiers in accommodating these mandolin players with instruments that meet their specific needs. The Gilchrist Model 3 “Artist” mandolin is based structurally on the famous 1923 Loar A-5, but with a more jazz guitar-influenced “look.” The natural-finish Adirondack spruce top with parallel bracing, flamed maple back and sides, curved ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays, ivoroid bound snakehead-style peghead and “f"-holes, are all stylish features of this sleek mandolin. Gilchrist mandolins are used by many contemporary players like Ronnie McCoury, Adam Steffey, Tom Rozum, and David Grisman.
(from Tone Poems II CD booklet, used by permission)
Photography by D. Brent Hauseman