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Peghead Nation mandolin instructor Joe K. Walsh demonstrates his new Gilchrist mandolin, which was previously owned by Andrew Marlin and Aubrey Haynie.

by Teja Gerken
July 22, 2019

Peghead Nation mandolin instructor Joe K. Walsh has owned several mandolins over the course of his career, and for the last few years, he’s been known for playing A-style mandolins, in particular a 2016 Nugget and 1993 Gilchrist Model 3. But when an opportunity came up recently to buy a 2000 Gilchrist F-5 from his friend Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), he jumped at the chance. “I sold my black Gilchrist, and right around the time I sold it, Andrew was ready to sell this mandolin, which I’ve always loved, so the timing worked out great.”

Built by luthier Stephen Gilchrist in Australia, the instrument follows the classic F-5 design, which includes a red spruce top, maple back and sides, and sunburst finish. The instrument has the model’s standard flat fretboard. “I’m used to playing on radiused boards, but it seems to work out pretty good on this one,” Joe says. 

The mandolin was originally built for fiddler and mandolinist Aubrey Haynie, and it says so on the Gilchrist label inside the instrument. “Andrew crossed off the words ‘Aubrey Haynie,’ Joe explains, “and wrote ‘Me,’ so now it says ‘This instrument was built for me.’” 

Joe uses a braided strap made by Massimo Gatti of Cinghialetto Straps in Italy on the instrument. “Massimo and his partner make these beautiful straps. I had one for my Nugget, and as soon as I got this mandolin, he mailed me this one.”

To learn mandolin from Joe K. Walsh, enroll in his Peghead Nation courses Bluegrass Mandolin Jam Favorites or The Advancing Mandolinist.


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Dec 09, 2019
The guitarist plays an extended version of an original tune from his debut solo album, with mandolinist Maddie Witler and bassist Max Johnson.




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