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Emory with his Dogwood elk skin lined mandolin strap.

According to Emory, "It feels like buttah!".


What others are saying about Emory:

Mandolin player Emory Lester is establishing himself as an impressive 'new' instrumental talent who promises to be a musical force to be reckoned with for some time to come.
Acoustic Musician - Jan. 1995

Emory Lester is one of those young mandolin pickers that I've got to keep tabs on. He's fast, he's clean and he's tasty. What's more, he's a dedicated member of the new acoustic team, writing new tunes, and putting new and interesting combinations of musicians together.
David Grisman - June 1993

I can vouch for his high-chops quotient (he's fast, clean, idea-laden, and kicks rhythmic butt). Emory has emerged as one of the next-wave bluegrass/new acoustic innovators. Above all, Emory exudes great energy. And it's contagious.
Tony Trischka - June 1993

Amazing technique this guy has. He plays some of the hottest, cleanest, blazingest mandolin I've ever heard. P.S. Emory - Sam Bush, David Grisman and I would like ta take ya out fa pizza and a little ride, what da ya say?
Mike Marshall - May 1993

Emory Lester is no doubt one red hot mandolin picker. With guys like Emory around, the future of the mandolin is in good hands.
David Grisman - 'Dawg Answers' - Dawgnet web page

Emory with his custom, elk skin lined Dogwood guitar strap

Check out Emory's website

Emory & Mark Johnson on stage at The Gray Eagle, Asheville, North Carolina

It was in 1998 that Emory met the highly creative banjoist Mark Johnson, known for his unique brand of clawhammer banjo music, called 'Clawgrass', which came from the title of his noted debut recording with the Rice Brothers. Since their meeting, Emory and Mark have found a new niche in their music, and a common respect and creative partnership that has resulted in many shows as a duet, across the U.S., and is documented in their debut recording entitled 'Acoustic Campaign'. Their friendship has only become stronger, and their creative music has matured into a exciting new sound, that is uniquely theirs. A new recording, due to be released in October of 2005, will be called 'Acoustic Rising', features some of Mark and Emory's best work to date, and is sure to continue making waves in the bluegrass and new acoustic communities.

Cover of Emory & Mark Johnson's  current CD, Acoustic Rising.

Mark's wearing his custom, elk lined Dogwood strap

tooled with the "Chubby Dragon" & Mark's signature


A near-perfect blend of musical passions for original, deep-rooted bluegrass.
Reviewer: Andrew Stevenson
Mark and Emory continue to push the boundaries of modern bluegrass music. At the same time, their compositions glow with respect for the tradition that inspires them. There are very few musicians in the Country Music world that play with the level of quality these two gentlemen exhibit on this ablum. If you have never heard a clawhammer banjo, you owe it to yourself to listen to Mark's work on this disc. And Emory is a virtuoso on mandolin and guitar. Enjoy!

Top notch virtuosity and artistry.
Reviewer: Dave Wiseman
If you appreciate fine "down-home" acoustic music, you will want this album. The technical virtuosity and musical artistry demonstrated on this album are top-notch. My personal favorites are the pure instrumentals, which comprise the majority of the selections. Down To The River To Pray is a classic interpretation and performance.