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Fine Woodworking contributing editor Roland Johnson-better known as “Rollie” in these circles-is, how shall we put this delicately…a gearhead. Known for owning at least three of every type of farm or woodworking-related machinery known to man, Rollie is also a consumate reviewer of tools and machinery for our humble magazine. What many of you might not know, is that he’s also a hell of a good mandolin player.
Fine Woodworking senior editor Matt Kenney recently returned from the Johnson family compound after a grueling (sarcasm) three-day shoot for an upcoming review of benchtop mortisers. Upon his return, this little gem of a video quickly made the rounds here at our editorial office in Newtown, CT.
Ladies and gentleman: Rollie Johnson covers The Band’s “Ophelia.”
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whoee, boys, that was some mighty fine a picking and a singing.
It's Northern Lights- Southern Cross…or maybe The Last Waltz…or is it both?? Robbie would be proud…..
cheers, mark laub
Frank's right, it's a Collings. It's an MF-5 custom with an Engelman spruce top and quilted maple sides and back. Collings builds really beautiful mandolins and they sound as good as they look. If you want a good look at the mando google collings mandolin 1127.
That was cool! I'm getting to like bluegrass more and more the older I get. I got to build one of these and learn how to play it one of these days.
You are a true Renissanse man. Nice choice on songs.
I think its a Collings mandolin. They started out as a fine guitar making shop near Austin Texas and they also make very nice mandolins.
Nice pickin. Nice photo. Cover art for your first album?
So, did you make the mandolin, Rollie? Can't quite make out the headstock on the photo.
Wonderful! I absolutely Love Mandolin & BlueGrass music. I have been threatening to learn to play for several years, & even bought a mandolin a couple of years ago. Maybe now that I'm retired I will find the time.
I have a friend living out in the hills here in Oregon who is "also a hell of a good mandolin player." And he is also a talented woodworker, cabinet maker and builds Beautiful mandolins & other string instruments. His instruments not only sound great; they are works of art & beautiful to look at. I'm going to pass this article on to him. I know he will appreciate it.
I think you found the entertainment for the FWW Live 2014.
love your pickin Rollie, love your mag. My sat. radio in the shop is always on the bluegrass channel or Willies roadhouse. I bet yours is too.
What a wonderful mixture, woodworking and music. Great pickin' Rollie!
You've got chops, Rollie! Mighty fine whistlin too.
Love this. Bring that with you next time you come here, OK, Rollie?
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