Zack Autry is getting used to being treated like a serious, professional bluegrass musician. The 23 year old mandolinist has been working for several months with the Edgar Loudermilk Band, where he joins his dad, legendary guitarist Jeff Autry on stage.
A new honor came his way this week when celebrated luthier and builder Randy Wood announced Zack as an endorsee of his custom, hand-built mandolins. In fact he surprised Zack after a show and presented him with a new mandolin he had built.
Wood, who has built and repaired mandolins for the most discriminating players along the east coast for many years, says that he was pleased to offer Autry the instrument.
“I like Zack, and I think of Jeff like a stepson. I think the world of his Dad and his Granddad. Zack has come along real good with his playing and seems like a worthy recipient of a decent mandolin. Hopefully it will help him continue to bloom.”
Jeff has spent a lot of time in Randy’s shop in Pooler, GA, and Zack says that he practically grew up there.
“I’ve known Randy Wood through my dad, Jeff, since I was probably about 10 years old or so. He and dad are good friends, with dad playing at Randy’s Picking Parlor and events that he’s been involved in for a very long time. I know over the years it has always been a highlight of our family vacations to Savannah to just stop by and talk. I’ve always had a wonderful, insightful experience at Randy’s shop and have usually gotten the opportunity to either hear or play some of the most well-built instruments before we leave. He’s an absolutely fantastic luthier and artist, as his career and the respect of his peers speak for themselves. He is also a very fine human being. There truly is only ONE Randy Wood.”
You can check the Loudermilk Band schedule online for a chance to catch Zack and his new mandolin, along with Jeff, Edgar, and Glen Crain on reso-guitar.