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Don Perkins

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North Country Fiddler

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I began playing the fiddle at five years of age. I didn't learn how to read music, but rather listened intently to my mother, Lois, as she would hum the tunes while playing the piano. My maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother were both fiddlers. The Perkins family is steeped in French-Canadian fiddle music tradition. On the maternal side, ancestors emigrated from Canada to the USA back in the early 1800's and on my paternal side, ancestors came from Scotland and Ireland.

My father, the late Francis Perkins, considered one of the best square dance callers around, called to square dances at Grange halls in the North Country, and as a result of this early exposure, I played my 1st square dance at the age of ten. Been fiddlin' ever since.

I've been privileged to travel in the company of such fiddle greats as Jimmy Hamblin, Frank Orsini, the late Ken Bonner, George Pratt and Rollie Swinton. I've also had the good fortune to guest with many well known bands, including Bobby Hicks, won many championships and to carry on this beautiful music I've loved for so very long. Even got a tip of the hat once from none other than Bill Monroe who smiled and said "Mighty fine job, son."

It don't get much better'n that!

Don Perkins

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Playing Since: 1946
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

Interests:
[Socializing]

Occupation: Professional Musician

Gender: Male
My Instruments:
Handmade fiddle by Bear Acker; my Grandfather's viola; many assorted fiddles, including a Madeavarious (made of various pieces of junk) lol, and a nice fiddle given to me by Ted Wrench that Bear Acker fixed.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Bobby Hicks, Kenny Baker, Stuart Duncan, Ron Stewart, Jason Carter, & many more.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 3/29/2008
Last Visit 3/21/2011

This introduction was written by me (Fred Warner) when my company, The Sound Mill, published Don’s fiddle instruction book “Don Perkins, North Country Fiddler”......... Don Perkins North Country Fiddler..... Don began playing the fiddle at five years of age. He didn't learn to read music, but rather listened intently to his mother, Lois, as she would hum the tunes while playing the piano. His maternal grandfather and his paternal grandmother were both fiddlers so his love of fiddle music was, no doubt, predestined. In fact, the Perkins family is steeped in French-Canadian fiddle music tradition. On their maternal side, ancestors emigrated from Canada to the United States back in the early 1800's and on their paternal side, ancestors came to America from Scotland and Ireland. So it goes without saying that old-time fiddle music was an important part of their lives. The late Francis Perkins, Don's father - considered one of the very best square dance callers around - called to square dances at Grange halls in the North Country, so, due to that exposure, Don played his first square dance at the age of ten. He has fiddled countless square dances since. Don has been privileged to travel in the company of such fiddle greats as Jimmy Hamblin, Frank Orsini, and the late Ken Bonner, George Pratt and Rollie Swinton. He's no stranger to fiddle contest championships and has taken many first and second place finishes all over New York, Vermont and Canada. Don has a very distinctive style all his own and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the New York State Old Time Fiddlers Association in Osceola. He carries on the exciting music that has been such a rewarding part of his family throughout the years. Don has guested with many well known bands and recorded with many artists as far south as Nashville, Tennessee. He has even received a tip-of-the-hat and a "Mighty fine job, Son" from none other than Bill Monroe, the "Father of Bluegrass". Don says "It don't get much better'n that"! So fasten your seat belts, rosin up the bow and join the world of Don Perkins, North Country Fiddler, as he reveals his fiddle secrets he alone has known for over 60 years.

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