When I first learned to play the fiddle, I tried my hand at a few “fiddle contests” and did well, but I soon learned that my strength was playing with other people instead of against them. I have been referred to as a ”utility man”, a title I am proud of.
I love to seek out obscure, little-used songs and put a fresh arrangement on them. I want to continue to progress and improve as a musician, so I seek out players I admire and learn as much as I can from them whether it be in person, from recordings, or traveling to workshops. I am beginning to dabble with writing songs in the western style. I have put music to 2 different old poems, and put the chord progression to a song my daughter wrote in a 40’s style and flavor. I am also continuing to study music theory to improve my ability to improvise solos.
I particularly study and have a passion for old-time fiddle. Unlike the current “contest fiddle” style, these are the more archaic styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These songs are often done with unique tunings, odd or irregular meters, and self-accompanied singing (playing fiddle and singing at the same time). Using this style I have won the fiddle contest the past 2 years at the County Fair in Jackson, WY. These old styles are what the pioneers and cowboys brought west, and they compliment the Western Americana that so interests me. Bringing these styles back to the current Western Music scene gives new depth and color to the genre while preserving the heritage of these innovators.