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The Editors Mailbox

What Really Happens on a Fine Woodworking Photo Shoot

comments (15) February 21st, 2014 in blogs

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 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: Matt Kenney

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."


posted in: blogs, mandolin, musician

Comments (15)

MKenney MKenney writes: whoee, boys, that was some mighty fine a picking and a singing.
Posted: 8:54 am on February 24th

clpiton clpiton writes: rollie!
It's Northern Lights- Southern Cross…or maybe The Last Waltz…or is it both?? Robbie would be proud…..
cheers, mark laub
Posted: 6:55 pm on February 23rd

CKocourek CKocourek writes: That's Great!

Thanks Rollie!
Posted: 6:36 pm on February 23rd

woodheat woodheat writes: 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.
Posted: 9:22 pm on February 22nd

Wixom Wixom writes: 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.
Posted: 8:42 pm on February 22nd

WBGoodwin WBGoodwin writes: Rollie,
You are a true Renissanse man. Nice choice on songs.
Posted: 6:07 pm on February 22nd

frankcello frankcello writes: bob7long,

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.

Posted: 2:28 pm on February 22nd

Mikito Mikito writes: Nice pickin. Nice photo. Cover art for your first album?
Posted: 10:44 am on February 22nd

bob7long bob7long writes: So, did you make the mandolin, Rollie? Can't quite make out the headstock on the photo.
Posted: 10:24 am on February 22nd

Brentwood Brentwood writes: 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.
Posted: 10:14 am on February 22nd

Woodsmithy Woodsmithy writes: I think you found the entertainment for the FWW Live 2014.
Posted: 9:58 am on February 22nd

grumpy66 grumpy66 writes: 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.
Posted: 9:00 am on February 22nd

Tri_color_Turners Tri_color_Turners writes: What a wonderful mixture, woodworking and music. Great pickin' Rollie!
Posted: 7:55 am on February 22nd

patrick_mccombe patrick_mccombe writes: You've got chops, Rollie! Mighty fine whistlin too.
Posted: 3:47 pm on February 21st

elizh elizh writes: Love this. Bring that with you next time you come here, OK, Rollie?
Posted: 2:54 pm on February 21st

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