In an excellent interview on the Mandolin Cafe David Grisman recently unveiled photos of the new Eastman Mandola prototype (shown above). As someone who doesn’t own a mandola this is a tempting addition to the arsenal, for sure.
Since it would never be a primary tool for me as a player, I could never justify the expense of a high end custom mandola like the Kimble I lusted after at IBMA so many moons ago. So for me an imported Eastman mandola might be just the ticket, especially if it looks as good as those prototype pics appear.
I’m a sucker for those good old Lyon and Healy designs, bring it on!
I suppose I’ll need to figure out where the local Eastman dealers are huh?
Question from Jim MacDaniel: Thank you for all of the music you’ve shared with us over the years, and for inspiring many of us (myself included) to learn the mandolin. I also want to thank you for Corrado Giacomel’s J5 design into the realm of affordability for many of us, through your partnership with Corrado and Eastman—and we also loved the Eastman revival of the Bacon. On this latter note, is there anything new on the drawing board that you can share with us now?
David Grisman: As you may already know Jim, the next model in the Dawg Collection Series is a replica of the Lyon & Healy Style A mandola, an incredible design that hasn’t been produced for 80+ years! This has taken a bit longer as Eastman recently moved their USA offices from Maryland to California. I recently approved the 2nd prototype (with a slightly more acute neck angle and slimmer neck profile) and production has begun on these models. I’m very pleased with their attention to detail and willingness to build instruments that are different than the norm and reasonably priced. Other models are on the drawing boards and I’ll let Scott know about them as they near completion. No F-5s though, I’m avoiding the fray.