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Mike Compton is a Grammy- and IBMA award-winning artist and a passionate teacher and advocate for the mandolin. Mandolin Magazine calls him "a certified mandolin icon."

Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Mike Compton grew up hearing old-time country music and took up the mandolin as a teenager, drawn to the powerful mix of old-time fiddle stylings, blues influences, and pure creativity embodied in Bill Monroe's playing. By the mid-1980s, he was a founding member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, which quickly became one of the most prominent and admired in bluegrass.

He recorded a half-dozen albums and toured extensively with the legendary John Hartford in the Hartford String Band. Working with producer T-Bone Burnett, Compton performed as a Soggy Bottom Boy on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to 2001's O Brother, Where Art Thou? and on the subsequent Grammy-winning Down From the Mountain soundtrack and tours. 

Today, Compton performs and records widely both solo and in ensembles with guitarist/songwriter/banjo player Joe Newberry, Jumpsteady Boys (which includes Peghead Nation Old-Time Fiddle instructor Bruce Molsky), Helen Highwater String Band, and many others. He is an in-demand instructor and runs the popular Monroe Mandolin Camp in addition to teaching at high-profile workshops around the country.

Wearing his signature pressed blue overalls, Compton stuns not by tricks or artifice, but through his singing, his ability to engage a crowd, and through decades of honing his technique into the unique, one-of-a-kind Compton signature mandolin sound.

Learn Monroe-Style Mandolin with Mike on Peghead Nation!




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Nov 24, 2020
A great mandolin duet of Sarah Jarosz’s original tune, recorded live at the Marshall Mandolin Summit.

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