Podcast 384: Simon Dunson

This week, we’re talking to Simon Dunson, a young artist out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina who is pushing the mandolin to new and wild places. Dunson’s debut jazz album, ‘Chicken Bridge,’ blew us away with its great playing, writing, and electric guitar effects… it’s not at all what you think when you envision a “mandolin” record.

During our talk, we hear how Dunson started out as a bluegrass musician but became enamored with jazz and genre-blurring musicians like Bill Frisell and Chris Thile. We talk about his time as a student at Interlochen Center for the Arts and the New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies program; the gear that he’s using today (including Dunson’s pedalboard and the custom pickup that he found works best on the 8-string instrument), and a lot more. It’s a fun introduction to a player you’ll be hearing about for years to come.

Julian Lage has stated, “I am constantly knocked out by Simon’s mastery as an instrumentalist, improviser, and conceptual artist.” We couldn’t agree more.


This Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; and Calton Cases.