|Big Muddy M-2 factory 2nd mandolin|
The night before, Bede took me to Dusty Strings to buy a solid-wood mandolin for my birthday. I had thought that a mandolin of my own was many months away, as it is much more challenging to find a decently-good mando than a decently-good guitar an affordable price. This "entry-level" Collings MT A style mandolin, for example, retails at $2700 USD. I had on my wishlist a factory-2nd Big Muddy mandolin that had a few surface blemishes on the back of the neck (which lowered the price significantly), but was structurally sound, beautiful to hear, and accessible to play. Edited to add: I got the Big Muddy mandolin on my wishlist.
One of the highlights of that evening was when the man who helped me choose the new love of my life* demonstrated one of his new favorite mandolins. The other mandolins on the wall reverberated in response. I was reminded of what one of my teachers at guitar camp last summer said: the audience is important because every human is a resonator. He said that you might get a recording that's almost as good as a live performance if you have particularly good acoustics, but there is no comparison to the sound you get with a live audience.
I will wait to post a recording until I become decent enough to listen to. (Ukulele is relatively easy with the "decent enough to listen to"learning curve. Mando is harder!) I'm working on a simple version of an Irish reel called The Musical Priest, and plan to learn Eel in the Sink, too, just so I can say, "Hey, let's play Eel in the Sink" as casually as someone might suggest You Ain't Goin' Nowhere. I dream on....
*I love all my instruments. Gentle suggestions to let some of them go are met with puzzled frowns until someone politely changes the subject.