Peter Ostroushko’s ‘The Mando Chronicles’ now available

Mando Chronicles

The Mando Chronicles is the new 3-CD collection from Emmy Award-winning composer and mandolin master Peter Ostroushko. Documenting the mandolin’s roots in Europe and its journey to the Americas and into the world’s finest orchestra halls, it spans many continents and musical genres–from old-time folk and bluegrass to jazz, classical and Latin styles. Out on November 27, this sparkling collection is a perfect gift for any music lover, coming in a beautiful box set with detailed liner notes by Ostroushko about the tunes and instruments he plays.

More than a strict history of the mandolin itself, the album illustrates Ostroushko’s personal connection with the instrument. “The Mando Chronicles is my own journey,” he says. “From the Ukrainian folk music of my parents to American jazz and everything in between, in my effort for expression and excellence, wherever the mandolin has gone in the world, I have gone with it.”

Guitarist Norman Blake reunites with Ostroushko on this album, marking the 10th anniversary of their seminal Red House Records release, Meeting on Southern Soil. Also joining Peter on this epic project are 21 other acclaimed musicians, including Irish guitarist Dáithi Sproule, country fiddler Johnny Gimble, jazz bassist Gordy Johnson, A Prairie Home Companion pianist Richard Dworsky, master guitarist and Red House label-mate Dean Magraw and members of the world-renowned Minnesota and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras.

Divided up into four segments, The Mando Chronicles features original compositions and fresh takes on Americana, Old World, classical and South American tunes that will appeal to a variety of radio formats, including folk, bluegrass, Americana, classical, jazz and world. It’s sure to be a favorite with any music fan and is a must-have for any mandolin player.

Peter Ostroushko will be playing select dates in support of his new album, including a special holiday CD release show presented by Red House Records on December 21 at the Landmark Center’s F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium.

Based in Minneapolis, Peter Ostroushko is an Emmy Award winning composer and is regarded as one of the finest mandolin and fiddle players in acoustic music. He has toured all over North America and Europe, has played on over a thousand albums and has earned an international reputation as a versatile and dazzling musical master.

Ostroushko’s recording contributions stand tall alongside the great Nashville session men of his generation, and he’s at home in virtually every style of music including bluegrass, folk, country and jazz. His own compositions are a rich musical stew of various ethnic influences. His family immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine after World War II and he was raised in Minneapolis’s Ukrainian neighborhood. As a child, he listened as family members gathered on weekends to play traditional folk music. Ostroushko blends these roots with other Old World sounds (from Scandinavian schottisches to Irish hornpipes) and he mixes in classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, swing, and old-time. He calls this gumbo of musical styles slüz düz, a phrase borrowed from his mother meaning, roughly, “over the edge” or “off his rocker.”

Peter Ostroushko

Ostroushko’s resumé is dizzying in its size and scope. He has played and toured with the Minnesota Orchestra. With the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, he’s performed a number of his own scores and played with violin virtuoso Gil Shaham as a guest soloist. He’s barked like a dog on Late Night with David Letterman and appeared on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He’s composed and performed scores for a number of theater companies across the country. He’s appeared on many radio and television shows, most notably A Prairie Home Companion, where he was a regular performer and one of the show’s music directors.

Ostroushko’s recordings reflect the breadth of his influences, eclecticism, and sheer talent. They include Heart of the Heartland (1994), Pilgrims on the Heart Road (1997), Sacred Heart, Meeting on Southern Soil (2002), Coming Down from Red Lodge (2003).

In 2005, Ostroushko won an Emmy Award for his original score for the PBS series Minnesota: A History of the Land, which movingly conveyed the feeling of Minnesota’s epic landscapes and history, giving voice to places and people long gone. He followed that up with Postcards: Travels With a Great American Radio Show, taking his photographic style on the road, sending his impressions of America’s cities and small towns through his driving instrumental tunes.

His 2010 release, When the Last Morning Glory Blooms, contained personal tunes he wrote for friends and family that seem universal in their ability to convey love, playfulness, and the yearning for home.

Now Ostroushko returns with the album of his career–a three-CD box set called The Mando Chronicles, featuring 22 guest musicians and over three hours of music.