Hello from Fiddlin Arkansas! I must admit, my stomach is just churning in anticipation of the Arkansas Pickin and Fiddlin Championships coming up in just a couple weeks. If you love good fiddlin', you're really in for a treat. Current raining Grand National Fiddle Champion, Katrina (Pearce) Nicolayeff (nick-oh-lie-eff) has agreed to judge this year's championships. Katrina is a 3 time National Fiddle Champion and has also won the Grand Masters Fiddle Championships held in Nashville, TN each October. Katrina lives in Meridian, ID. Click here for a Youtube video of Katrina playing Beaumont Rag.We also have Arkansas native and Nashville sideman, Tim Crouch judging this year. Tim has worked with the likes of Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart, Sara Evans, George Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Vince Gil, Dierks Bentley and others. Click here for a video of Tim playing with George Jones.Nationally renowned fiddle player, Junior Marriott is our third judge. Junior is from Ava, MO where he teaches music and plays fiddle with the Honkytonk Renovators. Junior is nationally renowned for his fiddle playing and owns more state fiddle championships than hunting dogs - which is saying something. Junior has worked with Rhonda Vincent and Mark Chesnutt among others and won the Arkansas Master Fiddle Championships last year. Here is a video of Junior playing Bill Cheatum and discussing rhythm styles.Workshops featuring the judges will be held on both Saturday and Sunday of the Championships. Workshops are open to the public and only $10 to attend. A full tentative schedule can be found at www.fiddlinarkansas.com. New this year is an Accompanist division. Fiddle players are only as good as their rhythm section! The idea is to develop and encourage folks to play rhythm guitar. How does it work? Grab a guitar and get someone to play fiddle with you just like in a fiddle contest, only the rhythm is scored. The contest pays out the top 3 so why not give it a go?
Also new this year is an added division for kids. Youth divisions include PeeWee (age 0-10), Junior Junior (11-13), and Junior (14-16).