I’ve been wearing out a delightful new find these last few months from mandolinist Chris Thiele. Chris is one of the young turks in the acoustic/Americana/bluegrass world. Between the Punch Brothers, Nickelcreek and the Goat Rodeo Sessions he’s been on quite a tear.
Now he has wowed us with classical readings of J. S. Bach pieces that just soar. So, is this surprise on Nonesuch called “Bach Vol.1” because he’s been touring and recording with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer? Well, sort of. He actually dedicates this delicious, precise, and pure solo mandolin release of Bach partitas and sonatas to an aunt and both of his grandmothers who nudged him towards classical and the world of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. These violin pieces (same tuning as a mandolin) swing on Chris’ mandolin yet there’s an intimacy that’s just plain beautiful.Anyone who blurs genre lines is A-OK by me.
Check out the video and his Bach chops: