About The Mando Chronicles:
“I grew up in a community of Ukrainian immigrants where live music was always around me. My father played stringed instruments and there were always jam sessions at our house. The people keeping their culture alive through songs and music. A lot of folks played the mandolin as did my father. That was the first instrument I tried to express myself on. Later on I added other stringed instruments, but to this day the mandolin is my favorite. Growing up in an atmosphere of watching the elders in my life having fun with music is what got me started. It seemed like a perfectly natural thing to want to do.”
The Mando Chronicles
by Peter Ostroushko
Disc 1 — Americana (with notes from Peter):
- Paddy on the Turnpike
"Paddy on the Turnpike" is my version of a popular American fiddle tune of Irish origin.
- Ace of Spades/Brilliancy
"Ace of Spades" and "Brilliancy" come from the Texas contest fiddling tradition.
- Lantern in the Ditch
"Lantern in the Ditch," "Old Virginia Reel," and "Bull Run Picnic" I learned from Norman Blake. They can be found in the excellent book The Old Time Fiddler's Repertory by R. P. Christeson.
- Mr. Bill Hinkley's March to the Promised Land
Bill Hinkley was a mentor for a whole generation of string band enthusiasts based in Minnesota, of which I was one. My banjo-playing friend Jim Tordoff introduced me to Bill back in the early 1970s, and Bill's musical influence has guided me to this very day. Bill passed away in the spring of 2010. I went to visit him at the VA hospital the night before he passed on. I believe he gave me this tune from his deathbed. I called it "Mr. Bill Hinkley's March to the Promised Land." It seemed only fitting to record the tune with my old friend Jim Tordoff.
- Crossing the Cumberlands
No recording of American mandolin music would be complete without a tune from the "father of Bluegrass music," Mr. Bill Monroe. The one I chose is a rather obscure tune of his, "Crossing the Cumberlands.
- Proud Boys of Manassas/Bull Run Picnic
The three other original tunes on this CD are "Proud Boys of Manassas," "Long March Through Texas," and "Herald of Spring." I composed them in the early 1980s, back when I was touring with Norman Blake and the Rising Fawn String Ensemble.
- Long March Through Texas
- Old Virginia Reel
- Herald of Spring/Civil War March
The "Civil War March" came from a book of Civil War music I got from the public library. At the time I recorded this tune, 25 years ago, I knew the title and the composer's name. But after all that time, those details have disappeared from my memory.
- Monkey on a Dog Cart
"Monkey on a Dog Cart" I also learned from Norman Blake. He got it from fiddler James Bryan who collected it in North Carolina.
- Heliotrope Bouquet
"Heliotrope Bouquet" and "Swipesy" come from the ragtime piano playing of Scott Joplin. Both tunes, written in the early 1900s, coincide with the rise of the mandolin orchestras in America. To give an idea of what a mandolin orchestra might sound like, I arranged Scott Joplin's music for the family of mandolin instruments.
I also gave the same treatment to "Flapperette," another ragtime tune I learned from sheet music that Mr. Chet Atkins gave me.
- Sweet Georgia Brown
- In a Sentimental Mood
Along with Scott Joplin, one of my favorite American composers is Duke Ellington. His enduring melodies and harmonic twists translate to the mandolin quite nicely. I chose his hauntingly beautiful ballad "In a Sentimental Mood" and his classic "C Jam Blues."
- C Jam Blues
I asked my friend Western swing legend Johnny Gimble to record "C Jam Blues" and also the swing standard "Sweet Georgia Brown" with me to showcase his mandolin style. Johnny is mostly known for his incredible fiddling, but he is equally adept on the mandolin. He started playing with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in 1948 and created his own mandolin sound by electrifying his instrument, stringing it with just four strings, and tuning it like a mandola, CGDA. It gave his instrument a rich darker fat sound, more akin to a guitar.
- Entrance of the Gladiators
"Entrance of the Gladiators" has been one of my favorite tunes ever since I first heard it played at the circus when I was a kid. It's impossible for me to play this tune without smiling. In this version, we give it a Dixieland feeling, with the mandolin taking on the trumpet part.
Disc 2 — Old World:
- Stoli Hori
- Tashka/Chervonyee Cherevitchkee
- Moldavian Dance Tune
- Vals from Orsa
- Tarantella di Mirto
- Avec Relais
- Una Bambola
- Coeur Vagabond
- Ed Reavy's/Gusty's Frolic/Miss Patterson's Slippers/Rakish Paddy
- Lament for Captain Henry O'Kane/Mama's Pet/The Banks
- The Humors of Tullycrine/Sporting Paddy/Lough Isle Castle/Reel in the Key of A
- The Knackers of Naven/The Salamanca/The Nine Points of Roguery
Disc 3 — Classical & South Americana:
- Antonio Vivaldi — Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425-Allegro
- Antonio Vivaldi — Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425-Largo
- Antonio Vivaldi — Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425-Allegro
- J.S. Bach — Sonata in G minor for Solo Violin (Mandolin), BWV 1001-Adagio
- J.S. Bach — Sonata in G minor for Solo Violin (Mandolin), BWV 1001-Fugue
- J.S. Bach — Sonata in G minor for Solo Violin (Mandolin), BWV 1001-Siciliano
- J.S. Bach — Sonata in G minor for Solo Violin (Mandolin), BWV 1001-Presto
- Ludwig van Beethoven — Adagio ma non troppo in E flat major for Mandolin and Strings, WoO 43b
- Niccolò Paganini — Minuetto in E major for Solo Mandolin, NR. 1-Minuetto
- Niccolò Paganini — Minuetto in E major for Solo Mandolin, NR. 1-Andantino
- Niccolò Paganini — Minuetto in E major for Solo Mandolin, NR. 1-Allegro Moderto
- (Laid to Rest) Beneath Oklahoma Soil
- Os Cinco Companheiros
- Diabinho Maluco
Audio for this preview is no longer available.
From the Publisher:
Mandolinist/composer Peter Ostroushko grew up listening to tunes played at family get-togethers in the Ukrainian community of northeast Minneapolis. It's the music that provides the basis for many of his compositions. His first recording session was an uncredited mandolin set on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. Since then, his works have been performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, among others, and his music has been featured on public television specials such as Ken Burns' film The National Parks. The Mando Chronicles collects some of his finest compositions. The 3 CD collection spans many musical genres — from old-time folk and bluegrass to jazz, classical and Latin styles. This is a collection any mandolin player will treasure for years to come.
From the Prairie Home Companion archives
“(Laid to Rest) Beneath Oklahoma Soil”:
Books by Garrison Keillor
Prairie Home Albums
Prairie Home DVDs