Mike Marshall & Chris Thile Into the Cauldron

What's in the cauldron? Hmmm, what isn't? — Bach, fiddle tunes, Charlie Parker, heroic improvisational expeditions — the list is exhausting but, for two sensational and seasoned mandolin players, it all seems quite effortless. Marshall, a David Grisman Quintet original, and Thile, a cocky 20-something prodigy, cook up a spicy brew using only eight strings apiece. "Scapple from the Apple" would do Mr. Parker himself proud but I imagine all you would–be mandolinists will be hanging your heads in unworthy awe and either hanging up your axe or woodshedding like mad after hearing this. This is tough as taffy to imitate but smooth as butter to appreciate. (Sugar Hill)