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Fiddle Surprise at Ajo, AZ

Posted by fiddledan on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yes, my websites are back up and running correctly.

I must tell you that I really don't like competitions or competing. I have long since stopped feeling any need or desire to compete at contests such as Clifftop or Mt. Airy. I avoided competing at our Yuma contest because I had won several catagories 3 years in a row and convinced everyone that it was someone else's turn and that since I am club president (yeah, I missed the meeting) and co-coordinator of the event it could be seen as a conflict of interest. But, every now and then I enter one of the contests out here in AZ because my club-mates convince me that I "have to". Such was the case at Ajo last weekend.

Now competing out here is not like back east. No one tune and out. It's three tunes, hoedown, waltz and tune of choice which may NOT be a hoedown or waltz and if there is a tie, another tune (usually a hoedown). More than one catagory? Well, three MORE tunes and if a category plays twice (like our Yuma contest) three more! AND you are not allowed to repeat any of the tunes in any other category. SO, you get the idea.

Well, these things just make me plain nervous and I sure was when I played the Adult division round. Boy, I figured I sounded like hell. SO, I went off to jam with some like minded old time musicians including my clawhammer playin wife, The Lovely Miss Jennifer. We played for a couple of hours. As we were playing a couple comes up to the jam and says, "Congratulations" to me. I was puzzled and asked "For what?" The lady says, "you won", me, still confused, "won what?" Her - "First place!" Well, I was still confused but yep, found the organizer who handed me the award! Could have knocked me over with a fiddle!

Next day was the "grand champion" category which puts the first three of all age groups against each other. There were 13 or 14 fiddlers including some pretty hot child fiddlers - always hard to beat! Well, I DID! Won Grand Champion also! What a surprise but lots of Fun. That and GREAT jammin too! Woh, I might be hooked (not!).

Special thanks to my Accompanist Dennis Russell (drypitstop). Couldn't do it without him! Congrats to him also. Dennis took second in the Accompanist category! Dennis lives here in Yuma and is one of the founders of our Territorial Chapter of the AZ OT Fiddlers' assoc. Another great reason to be in Yuma.

Oh, What did I win with at an Old Time Fiddlers' contest? GC round: Yellow Barber; Midnight on the Water; and Whistling Rufus. Adult: Martha Campbell; Orvetta Waltz; and Pig Ankle Rag. Yes, folks, Our Old Time can win at contests other than Clifftop.

That's right, real old time tunes. So, when you say you don't come to the Old Time Fiddlers' association events because that ain't really old time and is all that "contesty stuff", remember - that's only because you are not here.

We plan at least one OTFA event this year each month. March will be in Corneville (up by Cottonwood) and April is Salome! No contests at those, just great jams, good food and good folks.

Remember, Play nice!

8 comments on “Fiddle Surprise at Ajo, AZ”

John Gent Says:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @8:08:18 AM

Well, I'm getting ready to enter the Oregon OT Fiddle Contest 3/19-3/20. My nerves are still pretty stable - a little less stable after reading this! But I need real stories, so thanks for that.

And big time congrats on the win and recognition. You sure deserve it.

Oregons OT seems different than back east as well. Oregon wasn't a state until 1859, so all we have is the Lewis and Clark expedition that we can call 'old'. But the Oregon Trail brought a wonderful mix of music of the time, and I think that's where it's 'different' here.

briar Says:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @8:15:12 AM


TimK Says:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @9:34:17 AM

Congradulations !!!!
Winning a fiddle contest in any catogory let alone grand champion, is a feat to be proud of.
I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "one and done like back East". Every contest I've participated in requires a hoedown, waltz and tune of choice for each round of competition.

mudbug Says:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @2:32:21 PM

Congradulations, Dan! Wish I could have heard that GC fiddle off. I bet there was some smokin' fiddlin'.

bsed55 Says:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @6:11:13 PM

I attended quite a few contests when I lived out there in the '80s. Seemed like EVERYBODY played Clarinet Polka & Don't Love Nobody and Martin's Waltz Do they still?.....You mentioned Orvetta Waltz----one of my absolute FAVORITE waltzes!!
Mazel Tov!

wormbower Says:
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @11:57:42 AM

Congratulations, Dan! Wish I could have been there to share in all the fun and to hear your winning performances in person. Fortunately, through the miracle of the digital age, I did get to listen to your first set. ;^)

artcarnie Says:
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @2:40:31 PM

Yelp, That was fun, Congratulations!

fiddlerdi Says:
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @6:03:11 PM

Great job Dan!
We'd probably never win playing those tunes in the Kansas contest, old time just doesn't seem to win above that bluegrassy Texas Fiddle Style. But you may have a point when you say nobody plays it so maybe I'll try that someday just for fun. I know what you mean about being nervous and not really wanting to do it in the first place. Oh and good job beating those danged talent youngsters!! LOL!

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