Take a look at any festival schedule worth it’s salt and odds are good your are going to see Billy Strings and Don Julin on the lineup. These two are absolutely burning the road up. Just search youtube for clips and prepare to be blown away!
While the duo itself may be new to some of you, Don’s name is most likely pretty well known to you, especially if you frequent www.mandolincafe.com! He resides up in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan (although I’m not sure how much time he’s been able to spend there recently!) which is where I first became familiar with him. He’s a master player that teaches at the prestigious Mandolin Symposium put together by Mike Marshall and David Grisman, he’s authored two exhaustive books in the “Dummies” series, he leads a mandolin orchestra up in northern Michigan, he has his own jazz band that released a killer album called “Vibe” a few years back and his tune “Mr. Natural” has been used in a few medical product commercials as well!
He found time in his crazy schedule to do this interview and I couldn’t be more grateful! So I give you “5 Quick Questions with…..Don Julin”
|1. What are you currently playing (mandolin brand, strings, picks etc)
DJ — I currently have two Nugget mandolins, a 1979 F5, and a 1991 2-point. The F5 seems to like lighter strings so I use a custom set from GHS made up of .038 .024 .015 .010. The 2-point seems to like heavier strings so I have been using J75s. Last week I tried some Straight Up Strings and loved them.
2. What are you currently listening to?
DJ — John Hartford, Tom Waits, Bill Monroe, Frank Wakefield, Dawg, Miles Davis, Sun Ra.
3. What’s your favorite beverage when picking some tunes?
DJ — I enjoy a good smokey single malt scotch or a good old domestic beer like PBR.
4. If you were to pick up your mando at this second, what tune would you play?
DJ — Probably some tune that I am working on that is not quite finished yet.
5. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
DJ — “There are only two songs ever written: one was the blues and one wasn’t”.
Keep up with Don at the following links: