I was tempted to start this blog entry with……If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band…..but dang that would be corny – so I will not. On Saturday, December 6th the first, of hopefully many, Festival of Texas Fiddling took place at the Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco, Texas. This event was organized by two outstanding organization, Texas Dance Hall Preservation and Texas Folklife. These two organizations work towards preserving our Texas music and many of our historic dance halls.
The Festival of Texas Fiddling was an all day event filled with workshop lead by Texas fiddle masters: Brian Marshall (Texas Polish), Ed Poullard (Cajun) and Howard Raines (Old Time). Each of these masters not only shared their remarkable fiddling skills but also fascinating personal stories and history about Texas Fiddling.
There were also showcases by Mia Orosco. In 2012 Mia won the Grand Champion Division at the National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho, becoming the 2012 National Fiddling Campion and the youngest female to ever win the title. She is currently pursuing a violin performance degree at Baylor University. Raul Orduna & Los Trineros also shared their skills highlighted by Mexican huapango music.
There was a time in my life that I did not listen to music unless it was in a 30,000+ seat arena being BLASTED out of mountains of speakers. Times have changed……..In my opinion the FESTIVAL OF TEXAS FIDDLING was the Fiddling Woodstock of Texas. Not only were the workshops and showcases great……..folks were treated to mini-jams in the Twin Sisters’ parking lot as musicians grouped together and played.
As if this was not enough……this event was capped off by a good (no a great) Western Swing Dance featuring Al Dressen’s Super Swing Review and yes THERE WAS A FIDDLE IN THE BAND!
Can only sum up the Festival of Texas Fiddling in a few words………dang it is fun to fiddle around at Twin Sisters!
“While fiddling…….don’t Bb or B#, just Bnatural”