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Banjo Billy’s “500 Fiddle Tunes: Old-Time Archive”

When I was nine years old, my fiddle teacher sent me to a workshop from the “Famous Fiddlin’ Banjo Billy Mathews.” Having played less than a year and being deathly shy,...

Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930s

Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930s Harry Bolick and Stephen T. Austin University Press of Mississippi, 2015 Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs from the 1930s is an ambitious work that brings together various materials collected...

The Fiddle Book, Marion Thede (1967)

A large part of the 60s folk revival was made up of people who didn't grow up with the genres of American vernacular music learning to play it themselves. Initially, those largely urban or...

Depression Era Country Guitar

While it would be a fool's errand to try and count all the instructional books on, say, bluegrass fiddle, blues guitar, or clawhammer banjo, the number of books on oldtime backup...

Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance

A friend once quipped that the name of the main Facebook page for the music we all love should be retitled, "Dedicated to Narcissistic Escapism". It's true when we get together...

Oldtime on the Prairie: a review of Farmhouse Fiddlers

Between 1976 and 1985 fiddler and ethnographer Philip Martin conducted extensive interviews with more than 100 older-generation fiddlers and musicians in his local south-west Wisconsin. Martin played music with them, collected...