Exposé Online banner

Simon Mayor and the Mandolinquents — Dance of the Comedians
(Acoustic Music CDACS 056, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01

Dance of the Comedians Cover art

The Mandolinquents are an acoustic, mandolin based (how did you guess?) quartet that’s been playing together off and on for a dozen years or more, and this – documenting one of their live shows in the UK from 2007 – is an excellent point of introduction. Led by Simon Mayor (mandolin, violin, guitar), the group also features Hillary James (mandobass and occasional vocals), Gerald Garcia (classical guitar), and Richard Collins (mandolin, banjo, mandobass); each of the four have respective solo careers, CD releases and other musical endeavors, which probably goes far to explain why this is only their second group release in ten years. They play an eclectic mixture of classical arrangements, traditionals, folk tunes, originals by the various band members, and even a couple jazz numbers, all laced with a healthy dose of musical humor, with comedic banter between the songs to keep things on the fun side (the comedy bits have their own track indexes, so party poopers can program them out if they so wish). These are outstanding players all, and they switch their instrumentation around enough to keep things interesting; they approach the material with consummate professionalism, but never take themselves too seriously. James’ vocals on the four or five cuts she sings on are absolutely delightful, and go far toward making this an enjoyable set from start to finish. A solid recommendation for fans of acoustic string ensemble work.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): The Mandolinquents, Simon Mayor

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marillion - Clutching at Straws – This EMI reissue has given me an opportunity I thought was long past: to review what I consider to be Marillion's finest moment. When I first discovered Marillion, I was dying for something new to...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues