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 Clark Kessinger Fiddle & Setup

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227 posts
since 7/26/15

02/16/2017 13:05:37 View soppinthegravy's MP3 Archive View soppinthegravy's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Here are a few questions I have about Clark Kessinger:

What fiddle did he play?

What strings did he use?

What bow did he use?

What rosin did he use?

How was his fiddle set up?

carlbPlayers Union Member

United States
1959 posts since 2/2/08

02/17/2017 05:30:07View carlb's MP3 Archive View carlb's Photo Albums View carlb's Blog Reply with Quote

Bobby Taylor has one of Kessinger's fiddles and learned his fiddling from him and Mike Humphreys. One time, when he played for the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music, he brought his Kessinger fiddle amonst a few others. As far as contacting him, I'd suggest that you could try through his Facebook page.

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carlbPlayers Union Member

United States
1959 posts since 2/2/08

02/20/2017 06:03:25View carlb's MP3 Archive View carlb's Photo Albums View carlb's Blog Reply with Quote

I had emailed Bobby Taylor right after posting my response. I've just received an email from him, which I am posting below.

Clark played several fine fiddles throughout his life. I have his last fiddle. It is an old Stradivari copy with great power and response. It has been heavily refinished and repaired, but sounds great. I think it was the fiddle he used to record his Sweet Bunch of Daisy's album.

Clark used Super Sensitive strings. I visited him in the latter 1960s up to the time of his death in 1975, I had been using Black Diamond strings in on my fiddle. I was complaining about the raspy tone. Clark suggested, I use Super Sensitive strings for a smoother sound.

The bow he used is very high end quality. He won it in a fiddle contest way back in the day. At the time he won it, Clark said it was a  $100 bow. It is fine Albert Nurnberger bow from the 1920s. It is heavy, weighing in about 66g. It handles with great power and authority, and is the bow in which he invented the triple bow jump. This bow is sought after for its provenance and playing ability. The value would be much more prominent with today's prices.

I would have to look in his original case to see the exact rosin he used, but it was not expensive. I  think it may have been Super Sensitive. I will follow up when I get back home to take a better look at the contents of the case. Give me a call after Feb. 24th, and I will be able to be more accurate.

Clark's fiddle is set up quite well, more than likely in a  violin  shop. It is easy to play, with bridge slightly flatter than Classical setups. With the regular Super Sensitive strings and at a good height, it is a very good and historical instrument.

Edited by - carlb on 02/20/2017 06:05:52

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