"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."
When you talk about influencers, those who play mandolin handily refer to established artist legends like David Grisman, Jethro Burns, Bill Monroe, it's the trend-starters like these whose fretboard proficiencies and personalities broke new ground for mandolin and inspired a personal passion for our eight-string wonder. One artist who achieved pop music fame in the 70's is rarely given his due credit for mainstream acceptance of the mandolin is Dash Crofts of "Seals and Crofts" fame.
Seals and Crofts' music was folksy and easy on the ear, but hidden in the lyrics and chord structure was a profundity and complexity uncommon to pop culture. Dash was also an accomplished soloist, although you wouldn't likely hear it in the hit record versions, we came across and intriguing YouTube video that showed off his string prowess, and knack for pushing the mandolin to new boundaries.