Weber Endorsing Artist


The First Fern Story

Select Weber Fern and Weber Tiger Elite from the menu bar

above to see the second & third incredible Mandolins.

I received my new custom Weber Fern April 5, 2005. When I first opened the case I was struck by the superb workmanship. Beautiful wood, incredible colors, impeccable finish work in every detail. The Weber folks call this new color 'Desert Dawn,' and it is gorgeous reddish brown with a subtle sunburst. My description of the color just doesn't do it justice. I recorded it side by side with the Monteleone Grand Artist I have played for nine years, and the volume is 3 to 4 DB higher on the Weber. I ended up

using it on some recording work after just two hours of play time as the recorded tone was so good.

    I had a number of custom things designed and built into this Fern. At each step of the way Bruce and his staff consulted me on many details that I would not have thought of without their suggestion of available choices. Choices I had never considered in my quest for the perfect Mandolin. One of the things we did during our Sound to Earth factory visit was to have me play a piece that would demonstrate different aspects of my performance technique, and allow Bruce and his colleagues to see and hear how I use the instrument first hand. I chose Raffael Calace's II Preludio Opus 49 as a piece that would demonstrate a wide range of dynamics, tone colors and various techniques. The piece uses notes that range from the low G to E on the 24th fret of the E string, and right hand techniques that include fast

single note passages, duo style, harp arpeggios and tremolo across all eight strings.

    The first was a recommendation from Bruce Weber himself; a cedar top. He had some incredible cedar that he thought would be very good for my style of playing, and the particular flatwound strings that I prefer. I didn’t know until several years later that this tree was originaly cut in 1910! We chose some wood for the back, and I gave him

the three pieces of charcoal explained below.

    One very special feature of this Mandolin is the pickguard which was made from the only wood that could be salvaged from the Andrew Pool homestead (my Great-Grandfather) outside Greycliff, Montana. A forest fire consumed the cabin in 2003. In June 2004 I traveled with my daughter Kelley to Greycliff, to visit the site. The homestead is now part of the 17,000 acre Hobble Diamond ranch managed by Steve Story, who was very kind to provide me access to the site to photograph the cabin, and visit the grave of my Great-Aunt Helen (daughter of Andrew and Myrtle Pool)

that passed away as an infant at the homestead in 1917.

    Below are some pics of the homestead cabin when I visited the site in October 2001 just before the CMSA convention in Bozeman, Montana. At that time the cabin walls were still standing over about 80% of the structure. My Grandmother, Pansy Genevieve Pool rode the horse that pulled these logs up the mountain as her father cut the trees

down for the cabin. She was around twelve years old at the time.

    Also included is a picture at the old Sound to Earth factory in 2001 with Bruce Weber. Then there are two pictures

are from the homestead visit with my daughter in 2004 after the forest fire had reduced the cabin to ash. We were

able to find only three pieces of charcoal left with any weight. One was about the size of a large softball, and

Bruce Weber was able to get enough usable wood from this piece for a pickguard and an armrest.

A picture of the salvaged wood is below with a quarter included to provide scale.

© 2011 Mando Kinetics Music BMI