Wiens F5 #37. Dated February 13, 2013. This darker example of my work was originally owned and played by one of my favourite musicians, Tom Rozum. Tom’s lifelong career playing mandolin has included many different acts, but is best known for his 30-year collaboration with folk legend Laurie Lewis. Together they have recorded dozens of critically acclaimed albums and performed thousands of concerts all over the world. Tom’s 1998 solo album “Jubilee” stands as one of my personal favourite albums bar none. Tom is actually featured playing Wiens F5 #37 on another favourite record. Laurie Lewis’ 2013 album “One night in May” and he can also be seen playing Wiens #37 with Laurie Lewis on the Acoustic Guitar Website
Things change and as of 2019 this instrument is now in the collection of the man who got me interested in the mandolin to begin with, David Grisman.
Wiens #37 comes out of a fairly dark time in my personal journey and it’s dark finish reflects that I think. In my mind it’s also reminiscent of Bill Monroe’s blackened badass bluegrass spear, if we can imagine it without all the playing wear. It’s medium density Adirondack soundboard and spiral flame sugar maple are my favourite combination visually and tonally, Tom’s too. Both were sourced from Old Standard Wood Co. It’s a powerful and focused instrument. Pure bell-like sound and not flowery or full of wild overtones. Killer highs. This is a bluegrass mandolin.
Neck shape is copied from a mid ’23 Loar, slightly V’d near it’s 1.1″ wide MOP nut and rounding out nicely as it nears the heel. The ebony fretboard is flat and has stainless steel frets for long wear. The scooped fingerboard extension is inlaid with sterling silver faux frets in my usual manner. Tuners are silver-plated Waverlys and the tailpiece is a James, hand-engraved with the “Wiens” logo.
Bridge is a handmade Wiens replica of the Loar era Gibsons, ebony that has been blacked and polished. A replica patent stamp completes the vintage look.
French polished Spirit Varnish tops it off with a very thin and very beautiful surface that will wear nicely and will always be highly repairable. There is a slight marring on the peghead where Tom mounts his tuner. If desired, this can be quickly repaired by any good luthier.
The Pickguard is my usual handmade all-celluloid affair. It incorporates an inlaid steel rod in the reinforcement strip just like the Loar era examples. A replica patent stamp completes the vintage Loar look.
*This instrument is Sold