The Journey of the People’s Mandolin

by | 17 Nov, 2010

Dr. Tom Bibby has come up with an amazing idea to track the journey of a mandolin as it makes it way through many hands traveling to who knows where. He calls it the Journey of the People’s Mandolin.

The people’s mandolin began its travels at MerleFest, in North Carolina in 2010. There Dr. Tom plan was to turn it over to some picker who lives far away and ask them to kick off the journey. After they play it and sign it, they are to pass it on the someone else.

There are only a few prerequisites to participation. No one may keep it more than one month. Each person who plays it should sign the mandolin before they pass it on to the next person. You may pass it on to anyone you wish, but hopefully to a true bluegrassers.

Even though I’m an old man, deep inside I’m a kid who still wants to float that message out to far-flung places I’ve never seen. I decided for me it had to be a message in a mandolin bottle.

I would like for folks to put on a case sticker to promo their geographic area or favorite band. If you’ll e-mail me at to*******@ya***.com with you-tube links or pictures I’ll post them here on the website or on my blog ( to document the mandolin’s travels. If my mandolin shows up at your favorite festival maybe a picture of you holding it beside a banner to promo your event would help your cause – Dr. Tom Bibby.

The mandolin commenced its journey at Merlfest this year with Irene Lehmann wife of Ted Lehmann of the Ted Lehmann Blog. From there it has moved to Strawberry Park at Preston, Connecticut. The Journey of the People’s Mandolin continues…

You can follow it here.