Photos by Kazuhiro Inaba
If you play mandolin, then Mike Compton most likely needs little introduction. If you don’t play mandolin or aren’t familiar with Mike’s work he is an IBMA and Grammy winning recording artist that the New York Times calls “a new bluegrass instrumental hero” and that Mandolin Magazine calls “a certified mandolin icon”. He’s played with everyone from John Hartford to Elvis Costello! He’s traveled the globe and is a much sought after session man and mandolin instructor. He’s also an expert in the Bill Monroe style of mandolin, so much so ,he’s the director of the Monroe Mandolin Camp! (http://monroemandolincamp.com)
You can learn more about him at his website http://www.mikecompton.net where you can purchase his music, check out his bio, and sign up for internet lessons!
You can also follow him on Facebook! (https://www.facebook.com/Mistertaterbug)
I couldn’t be more excited to present “5 Quick Questions with…Mike Compton”
- What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)
M.C. Currently playing: ’02 Gilchrist F5 and ’03 Gilchrist F4, ’08 Duff F5 and H5, Randy Wood two-point A model w/K&K pickup. D’addario mando string sets EXP74, 75, 77 and EJ76 on the dola w/octave strings on the C and G’s. Picks? Tortoise, Saga, d’Andrea Pro Plec and a Japanese version of the ProPlec (acetylate of some sort).
- What are you currently listening to?
M.C. Right now I’m listening to Narmour & Smith and working on a mando/gtr album. I listen to lots of different things from Ali Farka Toure to Rembetika to Bill Monroe to Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald to John Hatcher to…you get the picture.
- What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?
M.C. Depends on what time of day it is and what I’m having to do next. I like high-gravity beers, mostly ambers, pils, ales, not so much IPAs. They’re unpredictable. Late in the evening I often settle in with a single malt scotch. Tastes like barbecue smoke.
- If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?
M.C. Probably Old TN River or Ebenezer Scrooge. I just taught them to a student on the web.
- What is the best advice you’ve been given?
M.C. Be myself and play music like I like for it to be played. That way I won’t be wasting my time.Be yourself. The audience can spot a phony from the back row.
Thank you so much, Mike!!