Mandolin Man Minturn’s Dave ‘Skipdog’ Andersen

“Playing music outside here is sustainable,” said Dave Andersen, a long-time local artist. “I’ll make some videos and post them online,” he added. The current coronavirus stay-at-home order does not spare him and several local musicians.

COVID-19 effects may have kept him away from his gig performances, but it’s not going to put a halt on Dave’s expression for his passion.

“Now, it’s time to get #%€¥I£} real.” He said with full conviction. “It’s time to grab on to something real and don’t let go. If you don’t have something real, don’t post it. It’s like selfies.”

He is also super cynical about guys who would ask people money to their ‘Venmo’ account, especially when they play another Jimmy Buffet song. He joked about how several ‘unoriginal’ musicians are mushrooming on the internet of late during the COVID-19 stay home order. Doing the same thing doesn’t cut it on the internet. “You need originality now. You need to be original.”

Dave Andersen was singing out loud outside his home, near our warehouse, strumming on his Mandolin when I pulled over, kept the respectful distance, and asked if I could take some photos.

Dave explained, "One smart Dog" song came about when he was hanging out with a friend and turned to his small Border Collie and some Aussie mix puppy that held hard on a toy. The dog wasn't letting go of it and got his whole body going when Dave tried pulling it out of its mouth. Dave's friend said, "write a song on that."

I put up my camera, and he started “Here’s words to all of you folks. Grab a hold something real.”

Dave played guitar playing since he was 10. His biggest asset, as I see, is his raucous laughter, smile, and 'easy-going' outlook of life. To support that kind of thinking, one has to listen to the lyrics of his songs. And also waiting for that last strum on his mandolin or guitar as he burst in laughter. They flow just as effortless as his music comes.

Smiling, light-hearted musicians.

Born in Chicago, Dave would spend his later music years hanging out and playing with "Jamaican dudes, African Dudes, Westside homies and Delta blues guys." Dave got involved in a whole culture of music he wanted from that group of musicians. "Not from the guys who listen to the record." He said.

Then he came out to the mountains in Colorado. When he arrived, his opinion on music here was easy. "Like shooting fish in the barrel." he thought.

One of Dave's side interests from music is collecting and selling string type musical instruments. One, in particular, the "Jade" Mandolin.

Holding on to his “Jade” Mandolin

He has a Stella guitar, an American brand guitar founded in 1899. He bought his priced-possession 1954 Stella guitar for $50.

Sharing a little sadness, Dave said he lost a good musician friend Rod Powell, the first COVID-19 casualty in town. "This guy meant so much to this community," said Dave about his fellow musician.

Pulling himself back, Dave said, "It's time to be real and not depressed." Then he went strumming his mandolin and start singing another song.

After the last strum, he shows off his shirt and sweater from the Thrifty store. It's a Possum sweater from New Zealand for $20 and $10 for the hat. The Mandolin was a purchase he had deferred rent to pay for. That is Dave 'Skipdog' Andersen. Somethings have more value than just dollars and cents.

The Ordinary Guy
Skipdog in his element
Dave’s music is “written” all over the house
It’s good to sometime get lost in your imagination
Window into the music world of Dave Andersen
Violin and Mandolin share some similarities
The man in the mirror reflecting on a good friend that passed. Dave got his old bike and have been slowly restoring it.

Dave never misses an opportunity to get his hands on some stringed instrumentals. He has a teardrop Mandola, a metal guitar from the 1950s, and a four-string banjo, amongst others.

The Mandola on the left

Dave purchased the 'Snowboard' Banjo from Rebecca, a long time resident from Minturn who runs an antique shop in downtown. He got this treasure for $120.

The Showboat Banjo is made around World-War 1 between 1910 to 1920
The Banjo rim is made of Maple and the back is hollow almost like a drum to beat on.

Each time Dave grabs an instrument and talks about the make and attributes or how he obtained them, out of nowhere, comes a song for that instrument. Dave said the Banjo is so crude and that it takes a lot of talent to make it work.

With some of the older instruments from Dave's collection, the music and song that come out of them are not the typical songs that he would never write. "That's funny; I would have never chosen those cords." He said he would have never even chosen those words. With some older instruments, music, and songs somewhat come out of these instruments on its bidding.

Withstanding time in sound
Caricature Artist Ken Carpenter’s work on Dave

For Skipdog, laughter is the medicine!

That’s all folks!
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