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One of my favorite topics is the subject of musical instruments.   As some of you know, my father is a luthier.  He has built over a dozen cellos, four violins and several violas.  I am not a luthier, but I have spent many a happy hour in his shop watching him work.  I attended the Violin School at UNH in 2000 and learned how bows are rehaired and repaired.  I have been to just about every violin shop in the United States and Quebec, Canada selling horse tail hair.  If you'd like to learn more about that experience, I wrote a blog post about it.  You can use the search feature on the sidebar to locate it.  If I remember, I might link to it here.  In addition to violin shops, I've been to every shop that sells mandolins and know many of the mandolin makers by name.  There's nothing I like better than sitting down in a mandolin or violin shop with a newly constructed instrument and chatting with the maker about it.  I will be making my annual "pilgrimage" to see some customers in the spring.  I'll head up north first to Vermont, Montreal, Maine, then down to the Boston area (there aren't many violin shops and no mandolin shops in New Hampshire - go figure).  From there, I'll head south through CT to New York.  Lots to see in the Poughkeepsie/Hudson Valley area.  I'll do the Island first, then head into the city.  New Jersey, then south to Maryland with shops in Baltimore, Virginia.  Lots of Bluegrass in that area!  I'll catch PA and northern NY on my return trip.  Next it's Tennessee with a few days stop in Nashville of course.  If you've got a shop in the North East and would like to see any of the products listed on my Shop page, please let me know and I'll make an effort to swing by.

Mando Mo Strings
A few years ago, one of my students, a gentleman named Al*, mentioned to me that he had been making mandolins.  One thing led to another, and soon I found myself checking out all of the instruments he made.  There's the Bull Dog, a gorgeous F5 style "bluegrass" mandolin with a traditional Tobacco finish (here's a video), the Tortoise, another F5 style mandolin with beautiful tortoise-shell binding (video), the Terrier, a beautiful natural-finish F5 mandolin and one of my personal favorites (video) and the Red Fox, a lovely Celtic-style mandolin in mahogany and spruce (video).  There's also the Doberman, an A-style Bluegrass mando (video), the Golden Eagle and the Blood Hound (video).  He also makes a couple different flat-back teardrop Celtic mandolins he calls "the Pup" (video), a couple ukes and a couple guitars.  He asked me and I agreed to help him get these instruments to market.  I set up a website for him and a Facebook page and made the videos you see above.  In return for my efforts, he has made me the exclusive dealer of his products!  I am honored, to say the least.  I will list everything he has for sale with full descriptions, pictures and pricing on my Shop page, so you can check out the line there.  PLEASE NOTE: the prices mentioned in the videos are subject to change and do not include shipping, handling, setup or taxes.

Bow Hair
In the meantime, I just received a new batch of fresh triple-drawn visually sorted unbleached white horse tail hair.  It goes by the 1/2 kilo (1.1 pound) and costs $330 a bundle plus shipping and tax.  I take PayPal or cash in person at my house in Granby.  You can contact me to let me know how much you want to order.  Each bundle is about 32" in length. I also have black and coarse.  Please ask.

*Here's a video I made when Al came by to visit me in the summer of  '18