It’s become a tradition: Every year, the Fretboard Journal holds a Vintage Instrument workshop at Wintergrass. A few hundred faithful get up early on a Friday morning (no small feat at a bustling bluegrass festival where all-nighters are the norm) to watch a couple of great players remind us why we love old instruments so much.
For 2023, Darrell Scott (guitar) and Matt Flinner (guitar/mandolin) were able to play a few dozen rare and vintage instruments borrowed from our area readers and friends. Included were rare Martin guitars, a 1935 Bacon & Day archtop (made by Regal), Loar-signed Gibson mandolins, and more. From the minute they launched into their first tune, Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More” on a pair of period-correct 1800s-era instruments, we knew it was going to be a special session.
This is the complete, 90-minute set. Thanks to everyone who lent us an instrument for this session and to our tireless contributor Mark Demaray for leading this unique workshop.
If you love vintage (and new) instruments, a quick reminder: The Fretboard Journal is hosting a Fretboard Summit in Chicago this August 24-26, 2023 at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Three days of music workshops, histories, hands-on exhibits, and concerts await…and, yes, there will be plenty of vintage instruments passed around. Register here.
Shot and edited by Peter Hilgendorf at Lake & Pine for the Fretboard Journal.