Review: Tristan Scroggins' Digital Album "Fancy Boy"

By Kevin Slick

“Fancy Boy” was released on 8 March 2019 on the  Bandcamp  digital music distribution platform.

“Fancy Boy” was released on 8 March 2019 on the Bandcamp digital music distribution platform.


Tristan Scroggins has been working on the technique of crosspicking on mandolin. Anyone who follows this modern mando-master has seen videos of him in hotel rooms around the world picking out tunes in cascades of notes that tumble down like a waterfall, or ripple like river, depending on the listener’s favorite water-music metaphors. 

Scroggins has compiled five tracks and released them online under the title Fancy Boy and the EP is a gem. The arrangements are beautiful, with Tristan joined by Megan Lynch on fiddle, Adam Chowning on guitar and tasteful clawhammer banjo by Tyler Andal who also plays some fiddle as well. 

Cross picking has been primarily associated with Jesse McReynolds, though Colorado bluegrass fans know the work of Jordan Ramsey well. Tristan, who can burn up the fretboard with the best of them, opts for a more melodic and even stately approach to the tunes on this project.  

Home Sweet Home” in particular stands out for the devotion to melody and feel above speed. This has become one of my favorite recordings. The music is not rushed, not forced in anyway, it sounds effortless; a complete joy to listen to anytime. Click through now and listen, you’ll be glad you did.