Ethan Ballinger: Something in Between

Ethan Ballinger “Merle’s Boogie Woogie”

Mandolinist and guitarist Ethan Ballinger from Nashville TN plays here what is called a “tenor guitar“, kind of a hybrid between an acoustic guitar and a mandolin, usually tuned in fifths like most of 4-string instruments.

The tune in this live video is called “a“, and Ethan shows here all his flatpicking skills, with also some clear manouche influence.
I took a some information about Ethan Ballinger from his official website:
Spending his childhood growing up around bluegrass royalty and a musically talented family, Ethan was picking up instruments and playing the toy banjo with Chet Atkins as a toddler. 
“I picked up the fiddle when I was really young, but it didn’t quite stick. I also took piano lessons for a few years, but it wasn’t until a couple years later that I discovered the guitar and then the mandolin that I became obsessed,” he said.
As an aspiring and well-versed musician he found himself exploring different styles of music. He spent his time practicing and learning rock, jazz, bluegrass, blues, funk and even electronic.
When Ethan was 15 years old his parents bought him his first recording machine, which he immediately put to use recording his own instrumental music.   
“In addition to playing in garage rock bands, I was making albums for myself and friends,” he said. “I spent a lot of time writing and exploring different sounds ranging from ambient to experimental electronic to jazz and bluegrass.”
These home recordings unexpectedly turned into more than just a hobby. Garnering the attention of local television producers, Ethan went on to write, record and produce musical compositions for several nationally aired PBS programs and videos, including the Emmy award winning “Crank: Darkness On The Edge Of Town”. He continues to compose music for videos, shows and other projects.  
In 2008, Ethan released his first solo album, “Wish Upon A Falling Star,” which featured 16 original acoustic instrumental songs. Upon its release he received praise for his mandolin work and the album’s eclectic fusion of sounds.
Mandolin Café said, “Ethan’s ‘Wish Upon A Falling Star’ is the most interesting mandolin CD of the year to our ears.” While also stated it was one of their “personal favorite recordings last year.” They went on to say; “The amazing acoustic musician [Ethan] has a tremendous ear and a broad harmonic and textural vocabulary in his compositions.”  
He also played a markedly manouche piece in the same session. Here is the video
By Miche Archetto