Mike Compton and Chris Eldridge – “Squirrel Hunters”

Every year at Wintergrass, the Fretboard Journal holds a vintage instrument workshop. Basically, we get a ton of rare and old fretted instruments, put them on a stage and watch two performers try them out for the first time.

In 2016, the players we selected were Mike Compton and Chris Eldridge. In this video, the pair perform “Squirrel Hunters,” a tune that Compton used to play with John Hartford. Compton is on a reverse scroll Regal mandolin with rosewood back and sides from the ’30s (yes, it needed some fine tuning midway through the song) while Critter plays a vintage Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande.

The pair played for nearly two hours and through a variety of classic, obscure and sometimes ridiculous instruments. We’ll be sharing more videos from this session soon…