- Type: People Who Play
About Jose's history with Weber:
"A friend of mine had a Weber Absaroka standard mandolin some years ago and I really liked his. I was playing guitar mostly with him at the time. Soon after our musical time together ended I saw a beautiful Weber Absaroka octave mandolin at Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan, an exact larger version of my friends that I just had to have. That was my first Weber purchased in 2010.
In 2011, I was checking out the Mandolin Café website and saw a Weber Gallatin A model mandola that a fellow was selling. I had no real intention of buying anything else, but after speaking with the guy I decided to go for it. I must admit I was attracted to the honey-colored finish on the mandola and bought it without hearing it- I trusted that it would sound as wonderful as the seller claimed. He was right, and my previous experience with Webers told me to trust that intuition.
As for the Octar itself, I had always been enamored with the arch topped, f holed, guitar bodied octave mandolin as played by Tim O'Brien and Sarah Jarosz. They have such a voice, a presence, especially on the lower end. When I saw Weber had it's own version of that instrument, I knew it had to be a special instrument. As with my other two Weber purchases, I bought it seeing only a picture of an Octar, having not plucked a string on any of my purchases prior to buying them. I had played several Webers at Elderly, Down Home Instruments in Frankfort, Illinois and Gruhn's in Nashville. Every one was rich and beautiful sounding from the mandolins to the mandocellos. But for whatever reason, I wasn't ready to buy at the times I had actually laid my hands on some at the various shops. While I'd never done that with any guitars or other instruments, i.e. actually trying them out before purchasing, it attests to the total trust I had that Weber was INCAPABLE of constructing a mediocre instrument. Also, the first rate attention I received from Suz at Two Old Hippies,and the good folks at Elderly Instruments made the experience all the more exceptional.
I have been primarily a guitar player in various bluegrass/old timey bands with the occasional acoustic rock songs thrown in the mix over the past 40 years. I had always had some dabbling with the mandolin, but only really started seriously learning my way around the mandolin family about 10 years ago. As most people play a standard mandolin, getting out an octave or mandola at a jam (and now, an Octar) elicits responses of surprise and ultimately, delight.
So, I can honestly say that Weber instruments have enriched my musical life; heck,my life in general. They have made me a better player; they certainly have made me sound better."