What fiddlers like in oldtime backup guitar – in their own words

You might get the impression that oldtime backup guitar doesn't get a lot of attention. But once you start asking questions, you find there are plenty of opinions. Several thousand people read Howard Rain's...

The Cabin: tradition & place in Romney, West Virginia

Traditional Appalachian musicians from Hampshire County, West Virginia and the surrounding area are fortunate to have a great venue where they can share their music and friendship. The Cabin, as it is known by these...

Decolonizing the Music (Room)

Brandi Pace is an African-American music educator, now teaching elementary music in Fort Worth, Texas for almost a decade.  She is also an accomplished instrumentalist and singer focusing on jazz, oldtime, and "the Black...

First Annual Queer and Trans Oldtime Music Gathering: an interview

“A shared vision.” “Healing and transformative.” “Exceptional togetherness.” When Clive North and Willi Carlisle talk about the First Annual Queer and Trans Oldtime Music Gathering, it’s easy to see this event has the potential to...

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, the workshop was...

The Functional Art of Old-Time Back-Up Guitar

One thing I love about playing old-time music is that a good tune or a good session is a collaborative effort. Each individual plays a part in creating the overall sound. This is how...

Fiddlin’: an interview with the makers

Fiddlin' (2019) is the first full-length documentary about one of the greatest oldtime festivals around: The Old Fiddler's Convention in Galax, Virginia. Directed and produced by two sisters local to the area, the film...

Vernon Spencer & the Spencer Family of Big Springs, KS

Vernon Douglas Spencer was born September 22, 1921, on the family farm in Big Springs, Kansas. He was the baby of 11 children born to his parents Harley and Cora and around the age...

Bill Peterson on Midwest Fiddling Legend Dwight Lamb

I spent 1973 on the small island of Adak, Alaska as a communications operator for the U.S. Navy. A buddy of mine bought a copy of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle...

Antisocial Media

These 19th century cowboys dancing to fiddle tunes, posted to a Facebook group, is but the latest case in point. A kindly member of our oldtime community ran across the photograph, found it interesting,...