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Blue Mandolin

Blue Mandolin Cover Art

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Blue Mandolin” is an acoustic Americana jazz/folk collection of ten mostly instrumental compositions by Phil Lawrence. The recordings feature the mandolin and guitar playing of Phil Lawrence with contributions from guest musicians on guitar, violin, upright bass, lap steel, piano, cello, vocals, and a number of other novelty instruments. There are two songs—a fast paced Irish-style ballad (lyrics by Phil and music and vocals by Michael Rofkar); and a gospel song featuring Sylvia Tepper (Mother Earth Band with Tracy Nelson) on vocals and keyboards. The eight instrumental numbers begin with “Hawaii High,” a swing/jazz piece with Dave Zirbel (Commander Cody) on the lap steel guitar. “Blue Mandolin” and “Devorah's Tune” feature the innovative guitar playing of Ian Lubar. “Song for Sohl” is a bluesy uptempo instrumental in a minor key in which Phil Lawrence plays the mandolin and guitar parts. “Limehouse Blues” is a jazz standard from the Django Reinhardt repertoire. “The Fires of '17” tells the story of the devastating fires that ravaged Sonoma County and Santa Rosa in 2017. “The Brooklyn Rag,” a bluegrass/ragtime composition, was originally recorded in 1983 at John Blakeley Studio in San Francisco. It has been remastered and enhanced at Studio E in Sebastopol. “Elegy” features Valerie Marshall on cello, and Sonia Tubridy on the grand piano, both of whom are classical musicians. “Santa Lucia” is a traditional Sicilian folk song, here recorded as an instrumental with twin mandolins in harmony and Eddie Guthman on upright bass.

All the tunes were recorded, mixed, and edited by Phil Lawrence at Mandolinimal Studios except for “The Brooklyn Rag” which was recorded by John Blakeley at John Blakeley Studio in San Francisco, and “The Fires of '17,” which was recorded by Harry Gale at Route 44 Studio in Sebastopol, California. The recording was mastered at Studio E in Sebastopol by Jeff Martin and Jason Andrews.

Here are the musicians and the instruments they play on the various tracks:

Eddie Guthman bass 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10

Ian Lubar guitar 2, 5

Dave Zirbel lap steel 1

Sonia Tubridy piano 8

Valerie Marshall cello 8

Sylvia Tepper piano, vocals 9

Michael Rofgar guitar/vocals 6

The Greenhouse Band 6

Jon Berger violin 6

Patricia Casey accordion 6

Gary Palmatier percussion 6

Dan Reynolds bass 6

Tony Blake timpani 6

Piper Heisig bass 7

Chris Caputo banjo 7

Bruce Stelter guitar 7

Tony Marcus violin 7

Phil Lawrence mandolin all tracks, guitar

on 1, 3, 4, 9,10; congas 5

Cover Art by Django Lawrence

Recorded, mixed, and edited at Mandolinimal Studios in Sebastopol, Ca. by Phil Lawrence except #6 recorded at Route 44 Studio by Harry Gale and #7 recorded by John Blakeley at John Blakeley Studio in San Francisco.

Mastered by Jeff Martin and Jason Andrews at Studio E in Sebastopol, Ca.

With special thanks to David “Dawg” Grisman, always generous, inspiring, and encouraging.

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It's A Beautiful Day Acoustic