Music

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.

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.

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.

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

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

7. Yeah, THAT thing.

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.

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.

10. Radiohead? Hell yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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