Fiddling With a Few Thoughts, Pt. 2

by twofiftyorless

Recognizing Excellence

The fiddle is under-utilized in mainstream US radio. Charlies Daniels is famous for “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and has even landed himself a GEICO commercial. Boyd Tinsley is probably most famous in the United States over the last decade as the “violinist” for the Dave Matthews Band. But otherwise, you would be hard-pressed to find the fiddle anywhere near the radio dial, outside of NPR.

So, when Ian sent me the link to the music that had such a strong influence with the use of the fiddle, my ears were pleasantly surprised. The piece by Duncan that he shared was particularly interesting to me because he was a musician who displayed many of the skills that I admired in the virtuoso electric guitar players without detaching emotion from the notes he played.

“Wow…he is good,” I thought to myself.

But was he? As I mentioned above, my experience is extremely limited with listening to fiddlers. How am to know what a good fiddler sounds like? I supposed that only experience would afford me the opportunity (in time) to differentiate what separates a good from and excellent fiddler, just as I had developed with guitar players over the last 30 years. Or, perhaps, I could someone else with more experience listening to fiddles provide me with their opinion of a performer’s prowess.

It then occurred to me: finding a good musician is not all too different from finding a good physical therapist…(to be cont)