2013 Monroe Camp Faculty Members
Mike Compton – Camp Director
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1956, Mike took up the mandolin as a teenager, and in 1977, moved to Nashville and quickly found work with veteran banjoist and former Monroe sideman Hubert Davis. In the mid-1980’s, he was recruited to help found the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and the group quickly became one of the most prominent and admired in bluegrass. He worked closely with John Hartford, recording six albums with the Hartford String Band and touring extensively until Hartford’s death in 2001. That same year, Mike performed as a Soggy Bottom Boy on 2001’s Grammy Album of the Year, O Brother, Where Art Thou? He’s Mike Compton — Grammy and IBMA award-winning recording artist; solo, duo and band performer; passionate teacher and advocate for the mandolin.
Mike is well-known as one of the foremost authorities on Monroe-style Mandolin. Mike serves again as your Camp Director. For more information on Mike Compton, see mikecompton.net.
Richard Brown, Associate Director
Richard Brown has been a bluegrass musician in the Boston area since the mid-sixties. He has played with prominent New England bands and nationally known bluegrass artists. Richard’s playing is heavily influenced by Bill Monroe’s style and “old style” mandolin players. He is currently bandleader of the Boston-based Reunion Band. Richard serves on the Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, and is associate director of the Museum’s Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp.
Roland White – Faculty Member
Growing up in rural Maine in a household of musicians, Roland White’s passion for music was instilled at an early age, playing a $2.50 “tater bug” mandolin alongside his siblings. By the time the family moved to Burbank, California, in the early 1950’s, the children were ready to take their careers to the next level. By the mid-50’s the White brothers met banjo player Billy Ray Latham who, along with Roland and Clarence, formed the nucleus of the Kentucky Colonels. In 1967, Roland was recruited to play guitar with Bill Monroe, a job that lasted for the better part of two years, until White signed on as mandolin player with Lester Flatt’s newly formed Nashville Grass. After a fateful automobile accident in 1973, Roland returned to Nashville and joined the band Country Gazette. Since 1989, Roland has played with the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
Roland returns again as an instructor at mando camp, is the author of several instructional mandolin publications and regularly teaches mandolin lessons. See the Roland White page for more information on his books, mandolin lessons, his current band, and other musical endeavors.
Skip Gorman – Faculty Member
Skip Gorman was born in Rhode Island in 1949 and introduced to traditional music at an early age. An encounter with Monroe at age twelve was a pivotal moment in the young musician’s life, and aside from being a masterful cowboy singer and fine fiddler, Gorman is one of the premier mandolinists in the style of Bill Monroe. In 1977, Skip recorded his first album of old-time cowboy songs and fiddle tunes, Powder River, which, along with his Trail to Mexico (1983), was among the very first attempts by a folk revivalist musician to reintroduce the older traditions of American cowboy music. In 1995, Gorman’s Rounder debut, A Greener Prairie, was released to universal acclaim.
Skip has taught at mando camp for several years. For more information, see www.skipgorman.com
Jesse Brock – Faculty Member
Winner of the 2009 IMBA Mandolin Performer of the Year, Jesse Brock has spent a lifetime in bluegrass, starting with his family band at the age of nine, and later with national acts such as Chris Jones and the Night Drivers and The Lynn Morris Band. Jesse first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry at age 11. He has performed on stages with Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, The Tony Rice Unit, among others. Jesse was an integral part of Michael Cleveland’s two solo albums on Rounder and is a solo artist in his own right, with an IBMA award-nominated CD Kickin’ Grass. Aside from his touring schedule, Jesse teaches mandolin in Yarmouth, ME, at the highly-acclaimed 317 Main St. Music Community School.
This is Jessie’s first year as a Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp faculty member. For more information see jessebrock.com.
Mark Royal, Adjunct Faculty Member
Hailing from Ohio County, Kentucky, birthplace of Bill Monroe, Mark stays true to his roots as an avid follower of the Bill Monroe mandolin performance style. An important fixture on the regional bluegrass scene, he has attended several mando camps in the past, and joined the camp as an adjunct faculty member in 2012.
Will Kimble – Luthier
Born in 1969, Will fell in love with mandolins in 1997, and began building in 2000. His father, Fred Kimble, taught Will how to build and still works with him to this day. He is also influenced by his friend and mentor, Lynn Dudenbostel. Will and his father are inspired by Loar-era Gibsons as they pursue their passion of building mandolins.
Will (along with fellow Luthier Paul Duff) will be providing mandolin repair, advice, and construction and care sessions at mando camp.
Paul Duff – Luthier
Paul’s passion for building mandolins was born out of a chance encounter with the music that was to become such an important part of his life – a bluegrass performance in Western Australia. After building his first mandolin in 1982, Paul became fascinated with the array and diversity of skills, many from a bygone era, required to successfully build a mandolin. In the almost three decades since, he has been focused on refining, developing and applying these skills to his one true passion; the mandolin family of instruments produced by Gibson in the 1920s.
Paul (along with fellow Luthier Will Kimble) will be providing mandolin repair, advice, and construction and care sessions at mando camp.