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The best music you’ve (maybe) never heard #2

Support your local mandolin genius: Chris Thile

Now I know what you’re thinking: Mandolin GENIUS? C’mon, that’s really reaching. Piano genius, certainly. Guitar virtuoso, perhaps, but the lowly mandolin? Nah.

Well the folks at the MacArthur genius board of standards do not agree, and this year they awarded one of the much coveted, extremely elusive “genius grants” to Chris Thile, grown-up musical prodigy and collaborator to such middling talents as Yo Yo Ma, Béla Fleck and Dolly Parton.  He plays classical music and bluegrass, and every genre in between with amazing skill. Still not convinced? Have a look at this, then.

Though not musical myself, I have it on good authority that what you just witnessed is completely freakin’ impossible, but there he is, sitting around the apartment in his yellow socks, picking a Bach prelude on his mandolin!

For those of you looking for more accessible musical offerings, give Maestro Thile’s bluegrass and acoustic music a try, under the band names Nickel Creek or the Punch Brothers. I’m also partial to the Goat Rodeo recordings, from which I’ll share the following, my favorite song from the record. And yes, that IS Yo Yo Ma playing the cello.

Want more obscure music recommendations? Try this.

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