Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Arkansas Pickin' and Fiddlin' Championships

October 8th - 9th
Junior Marriott
Nationally known fiddler from Missouri.  Judging resume includes the Grand Master Fiddle Championships, the Grand National Fiddle Championships, Texas State Fiddle Championships, Arkansas State Fiddle Championships and many others.  2010 Arkasnsas Master Fiddle Champion, 5 time Missouri State Fiddle Champion, 2 time Grand Lake National Fiddle Champion.

Matthew Hartz
Matthew Hartz is an artist shaped by countless musical influences. From an early age, he found himself fascinated by varying genres of music. From Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys to Pete Seeger, The Kingston Trio, Paul Simon, Flatt and Scruggs to old time fiddlers such as Major Franklin, Orville Burns, Benny Thomasson, Bryant  Houston, Norman and Vernon Solomon, Louis Franklin, Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor, Dale and Terry Morris, Randy Elmore and others.

     He established himself as champion fiddler in the 1980’s and early 1990's by winning:
  • 1983, 1984,1985 Idaho State Grand Championship – Lewiston, Idaho
  • In the span of one year, from 1988-’89 Matthew won, “The Big Three”: The Grand National Fiddle Championship – Weiser Idaho, the Grand Master Fiddle Championship – Nashville, Tennessee and the World Fiddle Championships - Crockett, Texas.
     He went on to win:
  • 1992 Texas State Grand Championship - Hallettsville Texas
  • 1992 Grand National Fiddle Champion-Weiser, Idaho
  • 1993,1995 Grand Masters Fiddle Champion-Nashville, Tennessee

     Attending regional and national fiddle contests enabled Matthew to hone his skills and allowed him the opportunity to learn directly from several of his aforementioned heroes. In 1985, Matthew met Orville Burns, the full-blooded Choctaw Indian fiddler from Oklahoma whom Matthew had listened to and revered since he was young. Their friendship led to their playing the Grand Ole’ Opry together and a record released in 1989 -“Texas Style Old Time Fiddling with Matthew Hartz and Orville Burns”.

     Though a respected presence in the fiddle world, Matt is also an accomplished guitarist whose lifelong obsession with pop & jazz has influenced many aspects of his music. Performing his original music leads you on a journey. As Gold and Platinum Award winning songwriter, Steve Eaton says, “if you ever have the pleasure of hearing him play fiddle, guitar and sing you too will be humbled. While some musicians dazzle with technical ability, Matt can do that but also give you the whole experience of entertainment. He will make you understand the blues, make you laugh and want to sing along. Every lick and note he plays comes right from the heart”. Matthew’s love for music is apparent; his songs are moving and yet timeless. 7 time World Champion Fiddler, Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor says this of Matthew, “His compositions spring from his heart and speak of his ability to express through music what most of us can only feel.” 

Tim Crouch 

      Tim is a fiddle, mandolin and guitar player from Strawberry, Arkansas. He started playing the mandolin at the age of 7, the fiddle and guitar at the age of 12. He was influenced by the bluegrass sounds of Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs, the western Swing of Bob Wills, the country sounds of Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, to the Jazz of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.

     Tim has performed and or recorded with such artist as Vince Gill, George Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Sara Evans, Marty Stuart, Oak Ridge boys, Charley Pride, Dierks Bentley, Jerry Reed, Tommy Shaw of "STYX", Mare Winningham, Mike Snider, Grand Ole Opry Staff Band, Jonathon Edwards, along with others.

     Tim has performed on television shows such as David Letterman, Conan O'brien, CBS Early Morning, Grand Ole Opry Live, Austin City Limits, Hee Haw, Country Music Awards Show, History of the Grand Ole Opry, Christian Country Music Awards Show, Classic Country, Inspirational Music Awards Show, and others.

     Tim occasionally plays on the road with country and bluegrass artist, but spends most of his time in the recording studios.
     Tim recently produced a project for 2 time Emmy Award winning, Academy Award nominee, Mare Winningham called "Refuge, Rock, Sublime".