Professor Produces Texas Folklife Fiddle Album
Virginia Wesleyan Professor of History Dan Margolies has produced an archival compilation CD titled “Traditional Music of Texas, Volume 1: Fiddle Recordings from the Texas Folklife Archives.” Released Dec. 5, the album represents the rich variety of the Lone Star State’s fiddle tradition with recordings from the Texas Folklife archives, digitized with the assistance of archivists from the University of Texas at Austin. Listeners will find live recordings dating back 25 years or more, with sounds from fiddle workshops, field recordings and live concert events. Artists and styles featured on the album include legendary Texan fiddler Johnny Gimble, Texas breakdowns and contest style fiddling by Ricky Turpin and Valerie Ryals, Polish-style fiddling by Brian Marshall, Texas-Mexican fiddle music of Rio Grande Valley by Jose Moreno, and down-home Texas-style fiddling by Bill Gilbert and Mike Henderson. The album’s release coincides with the very first Festival of Texas Fiddling (Dec. 6), also conceived and curated by Margolies, in collaboration with Texas Folklife and Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. The festival will feature various style workshops led by recognized masters of Texas fiddling, says Margolies: “Texas may well have the most diverse array of fiddle styles in the United States. People who are used to thinking of Texas fiddling chiefly in terms of flashy contest style fiddling or honky tonk fiddling are going to be happily surprised to discover just how good all the styles of Texas fiddling are for both listening and dancing.” For additional album information, visit texasfolklife.org. To learn more about the fiddling festival, visit texasdancehall.org.