Roland's mandolin was made in 1968 and he bought it in 1969. It has a sitka spruce top with widely spaced grain, which is a major component of the great sound. It has a nearly flat ebony fingerboard. The back, sides and neck are of highly figured red maple. It has a laquer finish which is completely rubbed off the neck. It has Waverly tuners and an early Gibson engraved silver-plated brass tailpiece. The pickguard is a custom ebony one made by Mike Kemnitzer and the ebony bridge, a replica of the bridges that came on the original Lloyd Loars, is by Daniel Smith.
"I purchased it in February of 1969, just as I started to work with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass," Roland writes in a note that accompanies the mandolin. "I has been a joy to play all these years and I hope it brings you as much and more." The condition is "well-loved." It has plenty of wear, but is in excellent playing condition, very nicely set up. This mandolin has been played daily for over 35 years and has been everywhere. Roland played it on all of the recordings he has made between 1969 and 2005, including recordings with Lester Flatt, New Kentucky Colonels, Country Gazette, Dreadful Snakes, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Roland White Band, the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and many more. Roland has played it all around the world, from Japan, to Brazil, Sweden to Africa, in venues from the down-to-earth to the exalted, such as bluegrass festivals, one-room schoolhouses, the Station Inn, Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Montreux Jazz Festival. For more photos and info on Roland, check out his website or this Lester Flatt video.
This mandolin (inv. #MF7152) has a fine sound in addition to its historical importance. With hardshell case, it is offered at $23,550.
This instrument is SOLD
Photos of Roland and "The Roland"...
Back of Headstock
Full back view
With Lester Flatt
With Peter Rowan and Marty Stuart
With David Grisman
With Rose Maddox