August is the cruellest month, for mandolinists
On Aug. 1, a drunk driver struck and killed Charlie Derrington, the luthier/repairman responsible for bringing the Gibson Company back to the forefront of American mandolin building.
Mid-Continent Music, an online purveyor of acoustic CDs with a wide selection of mandolin music (and the only online retailer to stock my CD, Notorious), is going out of business.
BluegrassBox, an online bluegrass community with three streaming radio stations, has shut down.
And yesterday, Aug. 15, Rigel Mandolins announced it was closing up shop, after 10 years of building some of the most innovative mandolins around.
What's really scary is this: Today, Aug. 16, is the Universal Day of Bad News for Musicians. Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, Mark Heard, and Vassar Clements all died on this day. With the beating the U.S. mandolin community has already taken this month, I wonder what could happen today that would be even worse?
I don't really want to know the answer. If you play the mandolin, today's a good day to stop smoking and wear your seat belt.