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My son the fiddler

Posted by Robin on Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm the member, but it's my son who fiddles. I post here with his videos and audiofiles and the occasional query. I can't take credit for any of the talent! (But I have developed a personal interest in old-time music and tune history.)

Roger is 19 years old as of May 2015. He started by playing violin in grade school, and taught himself to fiddle at age 11. He  learned pretty much everything he knows by listening (to live players or recordings) and jamming. He found the local old-time community early on, and people here have been really helpful and supportive. He played his first contra dance at age 12 and fronted his first string band (all adults in their 50s and 60s) at 13. Now he plays regularly with a wide variety of folks for dances, festivals, and other events, both here in Missouri and out of state. He's become a regular at Clifftop, Battleground, Winfield, and other festivals where there's jamming to be had. He discusses music theory (mostly jazz, but some old-time too) at a blog at .

 (updated April 2015)

11 comments on “My son the fiddler”

bj Says:
Thursday, July 23, 2009 @3:04:16 PM

Judging by the tune you posted, he's well on his way.

Why do you no longer play anything? It would be great to play some sort of backup for your kid, especially if he starts in on the contests.

mudbug Says:
Thursday, July 23, 2009 @3:33:41 PM

Robin, I think it's great that you've made an instrument and lessons available to your son and got on this site and are learning how to record. It's obvious that music means a lot to your son. He'll always remember this.

Robin Says:
Thursday, July 23, 2009 @3:45:54 PM

I just updated my blog entry above to give a little more background on Roger. As for me ... my instrument (long ago) was piano, so that's not really helpful for backup. But we've been blown away by the number of people who are willing to play with Roger, so he doesn't need me to do anything but drive!

bj Says:
Thursday, July 23, 2009 @4:27:21 PM

LOL! I just noticed your "Instruments"!

sruprect Says:
Friday, July 24, 2009 @6:03:56 AM

Robin, there's a long tradition in Missouri fiddling of piano (and even pump organ) as a back up instrument. Around the St. Louis area, Emily Buckhannon played piano quite a bit in the '70's and '80's behind fiddlers. I have a recording of Charlie Walden that I'll lend Roger next time I see him that has Emily playing backup.

Sean R-B

Robin Says:
Friday, July 24, 2009 @8:09:10 AM

Thanks, Sean! I'll see what I can do with it. (And I never ceased to be amazed at how many people around here, particularly through the Folk School, have gone out of their way to help Roger's musical development. I know that's played a huge role in building his enthusiasm.)

cheekee Says:
Monday, August 23, 2010 @10:54:30 PM

but what about all the fiddle camps teaching piano accompaniment? i'm trying to think of a canadian fiddle camp without a piano class (that isn't a bluegrass camp)....and i can't.

Robin Says:
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @4:08:04 AM

Thanks, Cheekee ... but fiddle camp is not in the cards for us. And in any case, since the time of that conversation, Roger has found someone who is a much better keyboard player than I'll ever be regardless of training! I'll stay behind the wheel, where i'm most useful. (I make a decent fiddle caddy too.)

cheekee Says:
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @9:32:26 PM

haha. i just meant...there's lots of piano in fiddle accompaniment. that's all. :-D

christym Says:
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @9:39:47 AM

Hi Robin, I just discovered Roger's playing online while looking for alternate interpretations of June Apple. His and Alice's version (on youtube) is wonderful!! As a still-beginning fiddle student, I made it an exercise to transcribe it -- which as a compliment to your son, was no easy task :) Best of wishes to you both, Christy

Ozarkian DL Says:
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @3:55:53 PM

Thnx. fer tha update Robin....really like yer sons fiddlin, you've a lot to be proud of.

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