HA’ppenings: Surprise Old-Time Fiddling on the Show

Last Friday evening (11Mar16) I opened a brightly-colored mailer that had come in to WHRB the previous Saturday, to find a CD and a note from fiddler Matt Brown.  He said that he and guitarist Greg Reish were going to be in town for a concert at Club Passim on Sunday, and were available to visit Hillbilly at Harvard.  So with a brief flurry of emails, we were able to arrange a time, and Saturday (the 12th) the two showed up at 11, bright-eyed and ready to play.

Matt and Greg arespeed-of-the--plow both scholars and teachers of old-time country music.  Matt is at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, teaching fiddle, banjo, and guitar; Greg is Director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University and “a recognized authority on oldtime and bluegrass guitar styles.”  They have a new album of fiddle-and-guitar duets out, called Speed of the Plow (title of one of the tunes).  They are both engaging, talkative, knowledgeable, and terrific musicians.  I had fun chatting with them on-air, and listening to them play a good handful of fiddle tunes from the album.

Here are Matt and Greg with “Indian Ate the Woodchuck”:

That’s not on the album, and that’s not at WHRB (they had to squeeze in beside me at the board you see on the blog header), but it’s a good example of Matt’s clear, confident playing, and Greg’s solid guitar accompaniment. If you want to learn a whole lot of mostly unfamiliar fiddle tunes, or just try a little flat-foot dancing in the living room, pick up a copy of Matt and Greg’s album.  Neat stuff!  You can find it at CDbaby.com, and elsewhere.  Matt’s website is HERE, and Greg’s is HERE.

I hope some of you caught the live segment and got out to their workshops at the Passim School, and to the concert last Sunday night. /CL


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