Welcome & Introduce yourself!

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I'm Barbara, and I live in central Iowa on a farm, and also in Texas. I've been playing the mandolin for about 4 years, and have branched out to also play the octave mandolin, mandola, cittern & tenor banjo. I play in a band based out of Des Moines, The Flatland Ramblers. We play Celtic and Old-Time / Traditional tunes. It would be great to maybe sometime figure out a time and place we Iowan Mandolin lovers could get together!

  2. H.P.
    Thanks for starting this group, Barbara, as well as the Weber Fans group. I'll try to get a proper introduction written soon, but today I have 2 dwarf pear trees to plant in the back yard and a new garden plot at the community college to get tilled. Doubt I'll get it all done or spend much time on the mandolin, either.
  3. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    H.P. They say you have to make hay when the sun shines, right? Have fun planting! Barb
  4. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Greetings. Now all three mandolin players in Iowa know one another. Well, it's a good start anyway.

    I'm Mike. I live in the Quad-Cities and have played around quite a bit.

    I've sort of transitioned from rock guitar, to Irish fiddling, to mandolin playing. Not quite sure how or why. I take web cam lessons with Mike Compton in Nashville. I highly recommend him, if you're interested in Bill Monroe, old time and country blues. Not that I am, but it's been a lot of fun and I've learned tons! It's even ... grown on me quite a bit.

    I mainly play a Collings. It roars. I have a '21 Gibson A, a '51 F-12 that my kid has, and an assortment of other stuff, including pretty decent recording gear I use for our shows (not that I really know what I'm doing). I'm thinking about getting a good newer F. Probably a Gibson or a Collings. If I win the lottery -- not likely, since I don't gamble -- it'd have to be a Gilchrist. That's my fantasy favorite. : )
  5. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I know there's more than 3 of us in Iowa, even more than 3 of us Iowans in the Cafe! It'll just take some time for them to get here to the social group! Do ya'll go to the Iowa Friends of Old Time Music Fiddler's picnic in Iowa City in September?
  6. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I have been to the I.C. affair. And a goodly selection of the Iowa City instigators attend the Irish session at Mac's in Davenport.
  7. H.P.
    Hi, Barbara, and welcome, Mike.

    My first memory of mandolins was looking at the beautiful things hanging up in Bender's Music in Clinton about 1952. I was 6, money was tight, and I knew better than to ask, but I sure wanted one. I know now they were mandolins. (I will spare you the story of five mandolins I owned between then and now.) I decided last fall that I would get serious about learning mandolin and bought a Michael Kelly from Dennis at The Mandolin Store. I got some Butch Baldassari fiddle tune CDs and his bluegrass DVD and have been enjoying learning ever since, so much so that I traded the MK for one of Dennis' Weber Special Editions about a month ago. It is a nice little instrument, and I am having a good time with it.
  8. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Hi, H.P.! I've thought on buying an oval Weber myself upon occasion. There are some sweet ones! ...

    There are some great learning tools on the web. Have you checked out TEFView? Amazing Slow Downer is pretty cool, too. I think the Internet is partly responsible for what appears to be a growing mandolin interest. Heck -- look where we're all chatting!

    Barbara, I like your octave. Is it a Trinity? Been thinking about getting one (an octave or a zouk). There's a Sobell 6-course octave for sale at Mandolin World Headquarters that I've been drooling over. But it's $6,500, so drool is about all I'm going to do.
  9. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Hi! My OM is a Petersen, made by Iowan Bill Petersen, from Council Bluffs. I've also got one of his citterns, and a mandola, and my fellow bandmate, Scott Ross, has one of his citterns, as well! Thanks!
  10. MandoManic
    Howdy, I am a ways from the cornfields, but lived in the Cedar Rapids area most of my life. I have been a Texan now for the last three years and currently live in Waxahachie. I attended festivals there in McGregor, Stawberry Point, Amana, Kalona, and the Fiddlers Picnic in Iowa City. I play a Weber F5 Fern. Thanks Barbara for getting us together for a little mando socializing.
  11. jessboo
    hello from muscatine. i picked with you at the fiddles picnic last year. because of your weber i traded the absaroka for a carver two point oval hole. what we need is a mando tasting for all of the iowa folks.
  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Hey, MandoManic... so you're an Iowan in Texas, and I'm a Texan in Iowa! Are you a member of the TEXANS group, too? They grow corn in Texas, too! The only festivals I've gone to are the Fiddler's Picnic.

    Hey Jessboo, I remember picking with you, and playing your Absaroka... Will be you at Fiddler's Picnic this year?

    I know there are more Iowans on the cafe... maybe they are out planting, and will join us as soon as planting season is over!
  13. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Jessbo, I don't know what you have in mind for a tasting, but getting together sometime with lots of mandolins would be cool.
  14. jessboo
    barb yes i plan to be at the picnic. i still hope to catch up with your band on one of my trips up to see the grandkinds in altoona.
    mr. romkey, that is what a tasting is a chance to get to gather with a bunch of folks and pass mandolins around. does you boy still have that ode/givens?
  15. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Hi, Jessboo. You the guy we connected with on the Breedlove? Yes, sir, the Givens continues to sit in its case. Matt took the F-12 off to college. The Givens has some minor issues that need attention for it to be playable. His theory has been to get it playable and sell it. Let me know if you have any thoughts on the subject. He'll be home Saturday for a family get together. I just scored an Adam Steffey, but it won't be here till Monday.
  16. farmerjones
    Hello Everybody,
    I'm from the Westside over by Sioux City.
    Lewis & Clark Rendezvous this weekend at Blue Lake, near Onawa.
    Lot's of OT there.
    I get as far as the State Fair, as far as traveling East. Hope to see and meet more of us there.
    Stratford has a festival the weekend after July 4th, but it's not as far East as Des Moines. It's closer to Boone. I never miss that one either.
  17. jessboo
    hello farmer jones. glad to see you found us. dvaid m is jsut playing that fiddle like nobodys buisness. still playin the fiddle?
  18. farmerjones
    Sure Jes, I play fiddle everyday.
    Seems like the more i work on that fiddle the more David does accidently.
    I'll never be as good as him, but it's fun.
  19. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    The band that I play in, The Flatland Ramblers, is playing in Adel this weekend, Sunday, June 14, from 1-2 at the Sheep & Wool Festival, at the Dallas County Fairgrounds. We are doing a Celtic set. Any of ya'll who might be able to come, it would be great to meet you! Admission is $5. See the poster I have in our photo section!
  20. maj34
    Hello all. . . This is Marc from Iowa City. I'll be at the Fiddlers' Picnic this September playing mandolin with The Gilded Bats and guitar/mandolin/fiddle with the Goosetown String Band (which features David M from the Cafe as our main fiddler).
  21. David M.
    David M.
    Hey yall. Just found this group. I guess I didn't realize there were groups on the Cafe. Anyway, I'm in Muscatine and play fiddle, mando (Nashville made Flatiron Festival F and it's a decent one), guitar and sing. I play with Goosetown String Band and the Seldom Sane (a Muscatine pick-up band that plays dances, fests, etc.).

    We should all meet at the Fiddlers Picnic this year. Hopefully I'll be able to come.

    How many of yall are going to the Iowa State Fair mandolin contest? It's on the same day as the Fiddlers contest. August 15th, Saturday.
  22. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    I live across the river from Bettendorf, IA in Moline, IL. My mother was born in Osage, IA back 1906 or so. My grandfather was a fiddler, caller, and school teacher there before moving to Arlington, IL to take on part of a family farm. He's got to be where I get my love for the fiddle tunes from though I never knew that he played until way after he died. (He didn't play at all, apparently, after taking up farming as my mother never knew he played. My sister and brother me he did.) He had Scots-Irish and European Celt in his blood. Got a lot of relatives on my father's side of the family scattered throughout Iowa. Seems a great uncle of his moved from Kewanee, IL to the Carroll, IA area to farm shortly after emigrating from Prussia in 1871. Have a daughter and her family live in Bettendorf and one niece and her family live in Eldridge and another niece and her family in West Liberty, IA. Have attended the Fiddler's Picnic and hope to attend a session at the Pizza Ranch in Muscatine some Monday evening.
  23. des mando
    des mando
    hi ,desmando here i live in desmoines on the river and work in winterset and have a farm in afton area ,just learning. have one of the first eastman oval holes i purchased off the cafe. struggle with time but try to run the aonzo family scales everyday as well as working with dix bruces jam trax book for swing and jazz. mostly a dobro and harmonica player and a chronic cafe surfer
  24. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I will be at the Fiddler's Picnic as well, with my fellow bandmembers, The Flatland Ramblers. Cool to see that so many of you will be at the Fiddler's Picnic, for sure, we'll have to meet up!
  25. Jim D
    Jim D
    I guess I've hung out in the background long enough, so I've now joined this group. I'm Jim Durdin from Clarinda down in the far southwest corner of the state. I was born and raised around Houston and up into East Texas so I have being from Texas in common with you Barbara.

    I got interested in mandolin when I bought a hand made one, not very good, at a craft show in Kerrville, Texas in 1975 when I was there for the Kerrville Folk Festival. It was hard to play so I sold it but never forgot how neat it was. I moved to Iowa in 1977 and ended up with a Martin mandolin which I traded for a Gibson A-50. I sold that after I got my Weber Bridger about 10 years ago. I've dinked around with mandolin for several years but only really got serious about it in the past couple of years. I'm getting better but have a long way to go. What I need most, I'm told by my mandolin teachers is to find people I can play music with.

    Currently besides the Bridger, I have a Mid Missouri mandola that is really mellow, and an octave mandolin by a Canadian maker J. Michael Spicer. I'm all over the place and play a little anglo concertina and always keep a 5 string banjo around the house. May or may not return to it one day but it was my first stringed instrument from back in high school. I have a lot of fun with Irish whistle and have some pretty nice whistles I've collected over the years.

    I leave Thursday for Wisconsin and the Irish Fest in Milwaukee for the weekend, camping with a different Barbara and playing music in northern Wisconsin and then a weekend of camping and music with 25 or more people from the Green Apple Folk Society out of Appleton.

    Barbara I really like the looks and sound of your mandolin. When I've saved my money, I'm going to Fiddlers Green in Austin and play one like yours next to an Ellis A and will walk away with one or the other.

    I'll visit more when I get back from vacation.

    take care


  26. Steve Hinde
    Steve Hinde
    Hi all,

    I live outside of Waterloo and Cedar Falls in the little town of New Hartford. I've been playing mandolin for about 10 years, and started building them...and other things...about 7 years ago. I manage to finish about 2 or 3 instruments a year with my day job getting in the way. You can see some of my work on the cafe here, or on facebook. I'll have to get out more and do some pickin too.

    Steve Hinde
  27. ISU Trout Bum
    ISU Trout Bum
    Hi All:

    I live in Des Moines and work in Ames. I've been playing 4 or 5 years. Am self taught . . . so it is pretty ugly most of the time . . . but, I really enjoy the instrument. I also attempt to play zouk, whistle and Irish flute. 99% of what I play is 'Celtic' oriented, but I'm starting to get into Old Time tunes as well. I've a number of hobbies, but I really enjoy building mando family instruments. I am just finishing up an OM right now. Will probably start another one in the very near future. Glad to see other Iowans on the site.

  28. taterbugman
    Hey, Iowans! I'm David M's son.. I've met many of the folks in this group, and some of you I see every Monday! Glad to be on the Cafe..
  29. Bear667
    Greetings All,
    I am Bear 667 (MIke D) and I am brand spankin' new to the mandolin. I was given a Rouge RM-100 along with biginner books from a friend. I enjoy the learning process. This is the first time in my life I've attempted to learn any instrument. I am glad that there is an Iowa group, so I don't feel so alone here.
  30. jessboo
    welcome bear if your ever in eastern iowa stop by.
  31. LA Mando
    LA Mando
    Hi Folks,
    I just found this group and am glad it's here! Looking forward to meeting my mandolin picking neighbors!
  32. Steve Hinde
    Steve Hinde
    Anyone going to Honey Creek this weekend? Looking forward to hearing the Chapmans live!
  33. aborders
    Greetings all; just got back in country in August and started really working on my mandolin recently. I've got a "The Loar" LM-600. Really looking forward to when I can get to the point of playing with other people. Hoping to find some around Davenport.
  34. happytree290
    Hey y'all. I'm Darin and I'm from up North in Osage. I'm very new to the mandolin. Will be getting mine this Thursday or Friday. I've also been learning the guitar for about 3 months now as well, and I just so happened to get the music bug in the process.
  35. Pick&Grin
    Hi all,

    I'm Matthew. I've lived in Iowa (Davenport) for just over three years now. Been playing mandolin on and off for sixteen years, but have really fallen in love with the thing in the past two and am working on upping my game; it's been a joy! Great to connect with other Iowa mandolin players.
  36. wooq

    I'm James, in Coralville. I've lived in Iowa and played music my whole life, but have only recently started learning mandolin. I have been playing with my parents' bluegrass band, the Riverbottom Ramblers, for a couple months, and am really having a blast with this little thing (a "The Loar" LM-590). I'm going to be trying to hit all the local festivals and jams this summer, hope to run into some of you all!
  37. Pick&Grin
    Hey wooq! Glad to see you on here. I'll be hitting them, too, so hopefully we'll cross paths.
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