Mike Compton is a Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association Award–winning recording artist; a solo, duo and band performer; and a passionate mandolin teacher. The New York Times calls Compton “a new bluegrass instrumental hero.”
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Compton took up the mandolin as a teenager. Drawn to the powerful mix of old-time fiddle stylings, blues influences and pure creativity embodied in Monroe’s playing, he moved to Nashville in 1977 and quickly found work with veteran banjoist and former Monroe sideman Hubert Davis. In Nashville, Compton recorded albums with the Hartford String Band and toured extensively with the band until Hartford’s death in 2001. At the same time, he collaborated with other masters, including guitarist David Grier, renowned mandolinists David Grisman and Mike Marshall, producer T-Bone Burnett, for whom he performed not only as a Soggy Bottom Boy on 2001’s Grammy Album of the Year, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but on the following Grammy-winning Down from the Mountain soundtrack and tours, and on the Cold Mountain soundtrack and tours.
Honored in 2002 with a special resolution by the Mississippi State Senate for his accomplishments, Mike Compton is in demand today at every level, from solo tours, treasured performances with the Nashville Bluegrass Band, appearances with Grier, and other duet partners, to instructional settings like the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s wildly successful Monroe Mandolin Camp, to studio recordings with bluegrass legends such as Ralph Stanley and country stars like Faith Hill. As Mandolin Magazine put it, Mike Compton is simply “a certified mandolin icon.”