2015 saw the release of new music from Arkansas pickers and fiddlers far and wide! Here are a few you might have missed. Any or all of these would make the perfect gift for lovers and collectors of Arkansas fiddling this Christmas! Read more below:
Perhaps the hottest new stringband in the United States, The Ozark Highballers present a sound washed, cut, salted, peppered, and primed, then marinated for more than 50 years, collectively in 1920s and 1930s mountain fiddling, delta stringbands and midwestern ragtime that is completely unheard of today. Any one of the members would be a shoo-in to fill in or even replace even the classic line-ups of the classic stringbands. Featuring Clarke Buehling, Aviva Steigmeyer, Roy Pilgrim and Seth Shumate. Order your of their debut record below:
Has anyone ever heard of Alison Krauss? Ron Block, her longtime bandmate, banjo, guitar and vocalist has released a new album of instrumentals featuring some of the finest in Nashville. Included on the album is Arkansas fiddle legend, Tim Crouch. Alison Krauss herself has been quoted calling Tim the “finest fiddle player in the world”. Preview each track and secure your copy here. Everyone loves Mountain View's Princess of Bluegrass, Miss Clancey Ferguson. Her 2015 release, Arkansas Traveler is an ode to her roots. In her own words, this album was “made to sound like the original Country fiddle records from the Grand Ole Opry hits”. She ain't lyin'! Arkansas fiddle legend, Tim Crouch (see above) helped out on this one, too. Head over to CD Baby to find a copy of this great album. I understand that if you order before December 4, you will receive $0.01 shipping! Better hurry! Click here to order. A few years ago, they started a new tradition at the acclaimed Arkansas State Fiddle Championships. They added a division dedicated to the regional Ozark sounds awarding what the judges consider to be the finest of the fine among fiddlers performing tunes and sounds similar to that of those Ozark fiddlers now gone or forgotten to the general public. Crowned Champion in 2014 was a true Queen of obscure Ozark fiddling, Miss Emily Phillips. Her band, The Lazy Goat Stringband continues in the tradition of these Ozark sounds. Order their new album, Climbin the Fence.
Another Arkansas State Traditional Fiddle Champion released a new single this year. Aarun Carter and her western swing band, Well Swung released a cover of the Bob Wills hit, Ida Red in October and just recently, a Christmas single featuring 2-time Grammy Nominee and Western Swing Hall of Famer, Carolyn Martin. These singles also feature 3rd generation Arkansas musician and yours truly, Jonathan Trawick on guitar and vocals. Gift a signed copy of the physical CD today!