There is a 3-record set of old time fiddle band music put out
by Shanachie, of Kentucky tunes. This seems the time to mention
it. I think the person who loved the project, Richard Nevins was
very disappointed when it didn't sell very well. Maybe not enough
people know about it. It's really great. There are booklets with
bios, notes, etc.
I just spent a weekend at Fiddler's Grove, a festival here in
Union Grove, NC, listening to the incredible playing of Bruce
Green, who lives in the mountains of NC and has a vast
repertory of Kentucky tunes, played heartfelt and learned
from older generation musicians. Playing in the woods like that,
till the wee hours, around a campfire with dozens of musicians,
on guitars, fiddles, mtn dulcimer, banjo, and clogging boards--
and magical. I just
got back from Clare, and it was the only thing that could have cured me
of the longing for that county's music. It's a different kind
of soul in oldtime, but just as powerful. Wild and ragged.
I can't play it myself, though Patrick can lay down the pipes and
take up a banjo, and hang right in. He also tried a bouzouki
late Sat night, and got lots of surprised compliments. Sorry
I forgot who said he has used bouzouki in old time with his
band, too. But I guess it's a small musical world.
I would love to play old time fiddle but afraid it would
distract me from Irish--the rhythms are different, and
I know few people who can play in both styles without
some of the flavor of the other bleeding through. And
fiddle is so delicate, the balance of the bow, etc, it's
taken me 15 years to even hold it the way it needs to be
held for Irish music.
Anyway, there's my 2 cents on this thread.
Cathy Larson Sky