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Playing Since: 1972
Experience Level: Expert/Professional
Foxfire has made 2 recent additions to Reso Hangout
Occupation: Recording Engineer/Producer/Musician
Mandolin, Dobro, Bass
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Visible to: Public
Last Visit 1/21/2020
Rudi Ekstein has been in the music business for many years as a performer, producer, and studio owner. Now, on his album Carolina Chimes, released October 5, 2018 on Foxfire Recording, Ekstein showcases his mandolin prowess on 12 original instrumental tunes featuring an all-star cast of world-class talent. Some of the artists brought into the studio for this project include multi-GRAMMY Award Winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and renowned guitarist Jeff Autry for the entire album, two time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mark Schatz performs on all but one tune, long-time collaborator John Plotnik plays banjo on the majority of the album and steps in on Dobro on four tracks while GRAMMY nominated multi instrumentalist, Patrick Sauber takes the lead on banjo. Foxfire Recording and CMH Records recording artist, Rudi Ekstein discovered his love for bluegrass music in the early 1970s, learning to play in many different bluegrass bands on a variety of instruments including mandolin, banjo, guitar, dobro, and upright bass. He is now dedicated to the art of bluegrass mandolin, Dobro and singing baritone. Over the years he has written quite a number of bluegrass tunes for all the bluegrass instruments; Twelve of his favorites are featured on Carolina Chimes. On ten of the cuts, he played an iconic July 9,1923 Gibson F5 Lloyd Loar Mandolin. Rudi has performed on stage with many internationally known bluegrass musicians including the legendary multi-GRAMMY Award winning fiddle player Bobby Hicks, multi-GRAMMY Award nominee fiddle player Byron Berline, award winning banjo hotshots: John Hickman, Billy Constable, Dennis Caplinger, and GRAMMY Award nominees, Craig Smith and Patrick Sauber, as well as two-time GRAMMY Award winning bass player Gene Libbea, from The Nashville Bluegrass Band, GRAMMY Award nominee and original Bluegrass Cardinal bass player, Bill Bryson, three members of the Country Boys (later the Kentucky Colonels), bass man Eric White, banjo player, Billy Ray Lathum, and dobro player, Leroy Mack. His various California band projects with Foxfire, Liberty, Silverado, with banjo great Patrick Sauber, as well as North Carolina band, Blue Wheel Drive featuring legendary fiddler Bobby Hicks, have showcased his talents playing mandolin or Dobro, and baritone vocals. His array of recording credits on various CMH Records Pickin’ On Series CDs over the years include playing cuts with GRAMMY award winning, Punch Brothers fiddler, Gabe Witcher, award winning multi instrumentalist, Dennis Caplinger, multi GRAMMY Award nominee dobro player, Rob Ickes, multi GRAMMY Award nominee, Herb Pederson, and many others. Rudi currently plays with The Gary Mackey Band.