This Man Can Make Any Song Sound Amazing On The Mandolin

Chris Thile is a genius. Like, a MacArthur-certified genius. Why? Because with a mandolin in his hands, he makes amazing happen.

1. This is Chris Thile. He won a MacArthur Genius Grant. They give these out to smart people.

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And only to crazy smart people.

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2. What makes Thile such a genius? The fact that he can make ANYTHING sound amazing on mandolin.

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3. He started out in a little band called Nickel Creek.

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4. They released their first album when Chris was 12. They were Grammy nominated by the time he hit 20, and Grammy winners when he turned 22.

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5. Then Chris grew up. Got a little older.

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6. Figured out how to do that thing with his hair.

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7. Yeah, THAT thing.

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8. And he kept making awesome music. The fact is, he makes everything sound good on mandolin. For starters, here’s a bluegrass classic.

Awesome. Predictably awesome.

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9. But Thile’s not just a bluegrass guy. You want him to do something bigger? Oh, how about… The Strokes? Yeah, he’s got that.

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10. Radiohead? Hell yes.

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12. The White Stripes? Stripped down and solo? Most definitely.

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13. How about some Bach? Yes, yes he can.

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15. A jazz collaboration with fellow Genius Grant winner Edgar Meyer? ALL KINDS OF YES.

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16. A Bulgarian folk tune played in a super obscure timing structure? Sure, why not?

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17. An 18th century Scottish lyrical poem? Against all odds, he’ll crush that, too.

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18. Something more modern? Maybe some Britney Spears? Give it to us, Chris.

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19. A Josh Ritter cover? With an insane solo? Absolutely.

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20. The Cars? Yup, he’s even got that, too.

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21. The truth is, Chris Thile has magic hands.

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22. Which makes him the most dangerous man in the world — with a mandolin at his fingertips, at least.

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23. So rock on, Chris.

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