Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention

There were the usual booths with knitted pot holders and things made out of gourds but also, off in one little area under the trees, were the musical instrument displays. Some were in tents but some were just laid out on tables like lemonade stands. People would wander in, pick up an instrument, and start playing. Some of these people were very, very good. If you look closely at the guy in the cap playing a fiddle you can see a price tag hanging off of the bow.
One thing that struck me last year was the makeup of the various groups that would play together. Cowboy hats and John Deer caps, old and young and often it was a woman playing the Bass. It didn't seem to matter as long as you could hold your own within the music. There was one group we kept going back to that were really appealing. Two guitars and a mandolin. A kid, a middle aged guy and an older guy who sang out of the side of his mouth. I tried to get a picture of the older guy singing but every time I'd get it set up someone with a guitar would shift and block his face. They held their instruments as though they were just another appendage, like an arm or a finger. When you looked at the older guy straight on he looked kind of like a singing bulldog, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. They were the core group but others with fiddles, banjos, a bass etc. Drifted in and out occasionally.



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