'THE GATHERING' FEATURES HIS INTERPRETATIONS OF "OLD EBENEEZER SCROOGE" AND HARTFORD'S "ON CHRISTMAS EVE"
John Hartford once said that Mike Compton knows more about Bill Monroe-style mandolin than the Father of Bluegrass himself. Now Compton has joined a remarkable album of Christmas and seasonal music with Rhiannon Giddens (of the GRAMMY-winning and Newport-headlining Carolina Chocolate Drops), Laurelyn Dossett (songwriter of "Anna Lee" from Levon Helm's 'Dirt Farmer' album), and others on the new album 'The Gathering.' The CD features his interpretations of "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge" and Hartford's "On Christmas Eve" as well as his mandolin across most of the songs.
Born in Jimmie Rodger's hometown of Meridian Mississippi, Compton has recorded with Hartford, T Bone Burnett, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Doc Watson, Bill Evans, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dolly Parton, Gregg Allman, Elvis Costello, and Willie Nelson.
He spent over a decade and six albums with Hartford and performed as a member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, with the likes of Lyle Lovett and to a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall, and backed artists as diverse as Bernadette Peters and Clint Black.
Compton also played the mandolin on two GRAMMY Award-winning projects produced by T Bone Burnett: the multiplatinum 'O Brother Where Art Thou? Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' and its companion 'Down From the Mountain.' He was featured prominently on Dr. Ralph Stanley's recent work and participated in the soundtrack for the film "Cold Mountain," also produced by Burnett.
The Mississippi State Senate honored Mike in March of 2002 with State Resolution No. 45 commending his accomplishments. On the Senate floor, it was shortly thereafter followed by renditions of Bill Monroe's "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge" and "I'll Fly Away." which prompted the senators to sing along.