18 July 2022

Dewey Farmer, 1942-2022

From Richard Thompson's feature on Bluegrass Today, the BIB learns with regret of the death of Dewey Lee Farmer from the Carolinas, at the age of 79. A multi-instrumentalist, he was outstanding on mandolin; his playing, founded on Bill Monroe's style, was developed to the point where a case has been made that he in turn influenced Monroe. The three-minute home video (shown on Bluegrass Today and also on YouTube) of him playing a Monroe tune on his new Altman F-5 mandolin is worth watching both for the sound produced and for the way his hands move.

The feature also includes a discography, tributes from musicians who knew him, and six further videos, the last of which is a tribute song ('The legend of Dewey Farmer'), composed, played, and sung by Willie McDonald, mandolinist of the Bluegrass Patriots, the fine Colorado group who headlined the first Dunmore East bluegrass festival in 1995 and toured Ireland five times before they retired as a band in 2011. The image above is taken from the cover of the 2012 Patuxent Records album Dewey Farmer & Derwin Hinson.

© Richard Hawkins



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