Van Manakas on WFDU

We’ve sung the praises of guitarist Van Manakas here on Bluegrass Today, particularly with regard to his CD, Leavin’ Tennessee, which he recorded with Butch Baldassari while Butch was still healthy enough to play his mandolin. It is a terrific album, featuring Manakas’ virtuoso flatpicking in a fiddle tune style.

Carol Beaugard host of Lonesome Pine RFD on WFDU-FM, just shot us a note that Van will on with her this morning (10/22) at 11:00 a.m.

“Van will spend an hour in the studio sharing music from Leavin’ Tennessee, one of the last projects completed before mandolin master Butch Baldassari’s untimely death last year after his long battle with a brain tumor.

The CD was recently released on Butch’s label, SoundArt Recordings and features a stellar cast of sidemen, including bassist Byron House (Sam Bush Band, Robert Plant), Scott Vestal on banjo and fiddlers Stuart Duncan, Shad Cobb, Barbara Lamb and Bobby Hicks.

Manakas and Baldassari were long-time collaborators and friends.  The morning is sure to produce lots of heartfelt anecdotes and loving memories.”

It’s terrific music, and it will be a treat to hear Van speak about it – and Butch – with Carol.

The show can be heard in the NYC metro area on 89.1 FM and is streamed live on If you miss the program, the show will be archived for two weeks on WFDU’s web site, and will be taped for later broadcast on WAMU’S Bluegrass Country.

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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.