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Filed under: prairie musings, Artists, John Reischman — Peg Britton @ 5:03 pm

John Reischman was given the key to the City of Ellsworth.     I forget the date, but it was about 11 or 12 years ago. John is one of the acoustic world’s top-ranked mandolin players and composers.   The occasion for his appearance was a concert that he, Susan Crowe and Linda Kidder performed at the PAC.

Susan Crowe  (and here) (and here) John Reischman and Linda Kidder came at my invitation as I was, at that time, bringing musical groups here from Canada.   These three came for one concert, Susan Crowe and Heather Bishop came for another that we had in Abilene.  The other was a long-remembered concert  by the Arrogant Worms, also held at the PAC.  At the time John was here, those of us close to the scene were aware of the significance and worth of his mandolin.  At that time I recall he had it insured for $45,000.  It is worth many times that today.  Although I seem to have spaced out the conversation, or never was in it in the first place, Ally, who helped me with the concerts, well remembers John’s conversation about how he acquired his Loar mandolin.

In the world of mandolins, Lloyd Loar-signed Gibson F-5s from the early 1920s are considered the cream-of-the-crop. They’ve been the instrument of choice for legendary virtuosos like Bill Monroe and David Grisman and they often sell for around a quarter of a million dollars. Among the 200 or so Loars known to exist, Vancouver, British Columbia’s John Reischman has arguably one of the very best.  That’s the one that many of you heard him play.

Here is a good video of John that you might enjoy seeing to refresh your memory of that wonderful occasion when he was here and played for us.  Click here for video.

Seeing him on the video  brought back many memories especially when he started playing Over the Rainbow.  When we first met, he asked me what was one of my favorite songs…and he picked up his mandolin and played it for me.  He’s really become quite famous…and he’s a super nice man.

Susan and Heather are still very active professionally and stay in touch with our family.  They are very special to us.  We hear occasionally from John and would love to see him again as well.  At any given time, you can hear their music resonating through my house.  I’ve lost track of Linda Kidder.

Thanks for tuning in…


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