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Feb 20, 2024 - 6:00:12 AM
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878 posts since 9/3/2022

So it goes.

I was playing a show in a string band at the famous Purple Fiddle in WV back in the early 2000's. The year escapes but while doing soundcheck on stage, I see a green VW Westfalia Camper parking outside. Just to show ya, I believe this was the Myspace days lol. Anyways, This fine fellow drove hours to the show and when we greeted him, he ended up being friends of a friend who had heard about us. He handed me 2 CDs in a baggie and said "if you like String music, you need to listen to these guys." It was Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers and Highwoods Stringband.
I feel like I told this story already but I listened to those CDs until I couldn't play them anymore. Now, I'm learning Fiddle and talking with Doug on here from time to time, I think that's a great Full Circle moment. I haven't seen this guy since that show, but I'm grateful for his thoughtfulness.

Feb 20, 2024 - 10:00:47 AM
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228 posts since 11/26/2013

Ah, the Highwoods magic! Inspired multitudes to get interested in string band music, including myself, a good 40 yrs ago.

Feb 23, 2024 - 6:28:20 AM
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2982 posts since 6/26/2007

I still refer students to the Highwoods as a prime example of a band with drive. Fun bunch of folks too. Some of their live recordings from the old Brandywine festival are still some of my favorites for getting to the core of a tune and driving it hard. The banter was remarkable as well.

Feb 23, 2024 - 2:19:55 PM

104 posts since 4/17/2023

Purple Fiddle isn't far from where I grew up. About 20 years ago I was to open a show there for for Johnny Staats, but had to cancel. One of the few shows I've ever canceled. I always stop in the Purple Fiddle when I visit my parents, but hope to play there some day.

Highwoods recordings I've listened to online have excellent sound quality. Fiddle sounds super-good! I imagine the vinyl is nice to listen to.

Feb 23, 2024 - 3:27:23 PM
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11796 posts since 12/2/2007

As Flatt and Scruggs used to sing:
Those Highwoods recordings were made roughly 50 years ago now - two or even three generations. At that time they influenced some to start playing or form bands, but what's thought of as "old time" music today is much different. I was kind of tickled that someone posted their version of "Old and Gray" on YouTube in the last few weeks and credited us as their source. Ripples on still water.
The Brandywine festivals, especially the early ones, were great, and much different from Mt. Airy or Clifftop. They've posted some of our sets from those events on YouTube now if you want to hear some live shows.
Eric, it might have been more interesting to have met Riley or Gid, but I don't think they're online. I guess you have to take what you can get!

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