The Best Folk Mandolin Music to Listen to Right Now

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


It’s no secret that folk music has been making a comeback in recent years. And with that comes a new wave of incredible folk mandolinists. Here are some of the best ones to listen to right now.

What is folk mandolin music?

Folk mandolin music is a genre of music that typically uses the mandolin as the primary instrument. This type of music often has elements of folk, bluegrass, and classical music. It is often characterized by its use of simple melodies and chord progressions, as well as its focus on acoustic instruments.

The history of folk mandolin music

The mandolin is a small, stringed instrument that has been a part of folk music for centuries. Though its origins are unclear, the mandolin is thought to have originated in Italy during the Renaissance. It later spread to other parts of Europe and eventually made its way to the United States, where it became a staple of folk and bluegrass music.

Folk mandolin music typically features simple, catchy melodies and often includes elements of improvisation. This type of music is often passed down from generation to generation, and many mandolin players consider themselves to be part of a long tradition of folk musicians.

There are many different styles of folk mandolin music, and it can be hard to decide which type is right for you. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the bestfolk mandolin music to listen to right now, so you can find the perfect soundtrack for your next adventure.

The different styles of folk mandolin music

There are many different styles of folk mandolin music, and it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some of the best folk mandolin music to listen to right now.

The first style on our list is Celtic mandolin music. This type of music originated in the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Celtic mandolin music is characterized by its lively rhythms and melodies. If you’re looking for something upbeat and cheerful, this is the style for you.

Next up is Appalachian mandolin music. This style developed in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States. Appalachian mandolin music is known for its beautiful melodies and lush harmonies. If you’re looking for something that’s both beautiful and nostalgic, this is the style for you.

Last but not least is bluegrass mandolin music. This type of music originated in the American South, and it’s characterized by its fast tempo and high energy. If you’re looking for something that’s sure to get your toes tapping, this is the style for you.

The best folk mandolinists of all time

The mandolin is one of the most popular folk instruments in the world. It has a long history and can be traced back to ancient Greece. The mandolin is a stringed instrument that typically has four strings. It is played with a pick or plectrum and is held like a guitar. The mandolin is most commonly used in folk music, but it has also been used in classical, jazz, and rock music.

There are many great mandolinists in the world, but there are some that stand out above the rest. Here are four of the bestfolk mandolinists of all time:

1. Mike Marshall: Mike Marshall is a Grammy-winning mandolinist who has played with some of the biggest names in bluegrass and folk music. He is known for his virtuosic technique and his ability to play any style of music.
2. Chris Thile: Chris Thile is a Grammy-winning mandolinist and singer-songwriter who is considered one of the greatest living musicians. He is known for his inventive style of playing and his ability to cross genres.
3. Sam Bush: Sam Bush is a Grammy-winning mandolinist, singer, and songwriter who has been called the “King of Newgrass”. He was one of the pioneers of the newgrass movement and has influenced countless other musicians.
4. David Grisman: David Grisman is a Mandolin Hall of Fame inductee who has been playing music for over five decades. He is known for his innovative style of playing which he developed called “Dawg music”.

The best folk mandolin albums of all time

There are a lot of great mandolin players out there, but this list looks at what we feel are the best mandolin albums of all time. These are the records that showcase the instrument at its very finest, and feature some of the greatest musicians in the genre.

So, without further ado, here are the best folk mandolin albums of all time:

1. David Grisman – ‘Dawg’s Groove’ (1972)
2. Sam Bush – ‘Glamour and Grits’ (1979)
3. Chris Thile – ‘Not All Who Wander Are Lost’ (2001)
4. David Lindley – ‘El Rayo-X’ (1981)
5. John Paul Jones – ‘The Thunder Thrummmmmmmed’ (2005)
6. Alison Krauss – ‘Forget About It’ (1999)
7. Yonder Mountain String Band – ‘Mountain Tracks: Volume 2’ (2002)
8. Béla Fleck & The Flecktones – ‘Live Art’ (1998)
9. The Punch Brothers – ‘The Phosphorescent Blues’ (2015)
10. Mandolin Orange – ‘Such Jubilee’ (2016)

How to play folk mandolin music

Folk mandolin music can be enjoyed by people of all ages and from all walks of life. If you’re keen to learn how to play, then there are a few things you need to know first. In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the basics of playing folk mandolin music, from the different techniques you’ll need to master to the different types of songs you can play. By the end, you’ll have a good understanding of what’s involved in playing this fascinating and rewarding type of music.

Tips for playing folk mandolin music

Mandolin music has been around for centuries, and has been played in a variety of different styles. Folk mandolin is one of the most popular genres, and is enjoyed by musicians all over the world.

If you’re new to playing mandolin, or are looking to get into folk mandolin music, here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Start by listening to a lot of different folk mandolin music. This will help you get a feel for the genre and will also give you some ideas for your own playing.

2. Pay attention to the timing and rhythm of the music. This is an important aspect of all music, but it’s especially important in folk mandolin music. Make sure you practice keeping a steady beat.

3. Learn some basic chords on the mandolin. This will allow you to play along with songs and will also make it easier to write your own melodies.

4. Practice, practice, practice! The more you play, the better you’ll become at playing folk mandolin music.

The benefits of playing folk mandolin music

The mandolin is a small, stringed instrument that is played with a pick. It originated in Italy, but has become popular in many different genres of music, including folk music.

There are many benefits to playing folk mandolin music. Mandolin music is often very upbeat and lively, which can bring a lot of energy to a performance. The mandolin also has a very unique sound that can add a lot of character to a song. Folk mandolin music often features intricate melodies and harmonies, which can be very challenging and rewarding to play.

If you’re looking for some great folk mandolin music to listen to, check out the following artists:

-The Tragically Hip
-Old Crow Medicine Show
-The Decemberists
-Gillian Welch
-The Punch Brothers

The future of folk mandolin music

The future of folk mandolin music looks bright, with a new generation of performers taking up the instrument and bringing their own unique styles to the genre. Here are some of the best folk mandolinists to watch out for in the coming years.

Sarah Jarosz is a three-time Grammy-winning mandolinist and singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. She draws inspiration from both traditional folk music and contemporary pop, creating a sound that is all her own.

Mandy Bogart is a New York-based mandolinist whose style combines elements of bluegrass, jazz, and classical music. She has released several solo albums and also performs with the progressive bluegrass band The Mammals.

Ethan Pilot is a young mandolinist from Vermont who has been making waves in the folk music world with his inventive playing and heart-wrenching vocals. He released his debut album in 2019 and has already toured extensively throughout North America and Europe.

Noah Wall is a Canadian mandolinist who merges traditional Appalachian sounds with those of Celtic and Quebecois music. He has released two solo albums and frequently performs at festivals and concerts across Canada.

Why you should listen to folk mandolin music

Folk mandolin music is some of the most beautiful and relaxing music you can listen to. It’s perfect for when you need to wind down after a long day, or if you’re looking for something calm and soothing to help you fall asleep at night.

The best folk mandolinists have a delicate touch that brings out the natural beauty of the instrument. They also have a great sense of rhythm, which makes their music even more pleasant to listen to.

If you’re not familiar with folk mandolin music, here are a few artists you should check out:

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