Curious Times from Mark Stoffel

Mandolinist Mark Stoffel is the focus of the latest single released by Mountain Home Music.

The German-born musician has been a member of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers this past 16 years, and is not only a gifted and agile mandolin player, but also a thoughtful creator of new music for his instrument. That is exactly what is on tap with Curious Times, his new release coming out this Friday.

Following on two previous solo projects featuring Stoffel the mandolinist, Mountain Home is working with him on a third, and this is the first peak.

Like a lot of new music that has come to light in the past year or so, Mark says that this composition reflects the ambiguity and confusion that set in when pandemic restrictions were put in place.

“The tune came to me one morning during the early days of COVID lockdown in 2020. The somber vibe of uncertainty that many of us felt that year has definitely found its way into the melody of the tune. Hence, the title: Curious Times! I finally got a chance to record it a couple years later at Crossroads Studios in Arden, North Carolina, and I just love how all the players really captured the mood of that tune.

Somber, but upbeat — Bluegrass with a dash of Celtic.

I couldn’t be happier about how it turned out. Hope you like it!”

Those players he mentions include Gina Furtado on banjo, Chris Luquette on guitar, Niall Murphy on fiddle, Ross Sermons on bass, and Tony Creasman on drums.

You really can hear the mix of Appalachian and Irish influences throughout this engaging three-part instrumental in fiddle tune form. Check it out…

Curious Times from Mark Stoffel will be available on May 26 from popular download and streaming services online. Pre-adds and pre-saves are enabled now.

Radio programmers can get the track via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.