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 Roland White
Bluegrass legend Roland White playing the Katy. Roland said the Katy was nearly perfect. Asked what would make it perfect, "Oh, just lower the action a tiny bit." Whew! today I made it perfect. Thank you, Roland.


Rhonda Vincent playing the Katy Mandolin at the big Downstate Bluegrass Event in Springfield, Illinois. Quote by Rhonda, "Love your mando."


Form Object



The Katy Mandolins

The Katy Mandolins, named after the MKT or best known as "The Katy" The title picture of a Katy steam engine under full power comes close to giving you the great cutting sound of this fine bluegrass instrument. Blue grass artists that have played a Katy Mandolin have said, "Love your mandolin," "Awesome sound." Each Katy is crafted to plans from the early Gibson era. Using techniques developed by Lloyd Loar in early F5 days the Katy's are tap tuned to the same standards used by Loar. This tuning produces the fine bluegrass chop and lead voice that stands out and catches everyones attention.

Hand carved F5 Katy Mandolins sell for $5,800. Contact: Richard Snelson for information. rsnelson0984@mchsi.com or call: 217-972-7435.

The Steve Kaufman Music Kamp in Maryville, Tn. was a blast.


Here is what Bobby Burns, a Mountain View bluegrass player said about the Katy.

I really like the distinct woody sound and it seems as though each chop resonates great. It is not overpowering but definetly can be heard. I would love to add a Katy to my collection.. I play a England Mandolin that was made by Bryan England and also a Gibson F5. I have had the oppurtunity to play some other fine made mandolins, but I think the Katy mandolin is as easy to play as any of them. The action is great. For a good quality mandolin at a good price, the Katy will be hard to beat.. Bobby Burns Beebe,Arkansas
You can see and hear Bobby playing on the Mountain View, AR page.


I invite you to follow along as I show you some of the steps in building an F5 bluegrass instrument and also take you on a short tour of some of the sites that once lined the woods and streams along the old Katy Line. Folks through out the country now know the old Katy roadbed as "The Katy Trail" miles of fine hiking and biking across the state of Missouri.


 Click for an enlarged view.
 Click for an enlarged view.




 Click for an enlarged view.

With two mandolins, two guitars a flute and an old coon dog, this hunting camp picture was taken near the Katy Line by my grandfather. B.F. Oliver around 1885. I will have several of his pictures featured on this website, to see more visit his collection at oliverphotocollection.com.