Dan Carwile knows fiddle contests
Coming to you Wednesday afternoon from the Mark O’Connor/Berklee Summer String Program… fiddle cases are everywhere!
Fiddler Dan Carwile is so detail-oriented he has a spreadsheet ranking brands of rosin. He told a dozen students he wanted them to learn past masters’ fiddle tunes so well that they could name every lick they stole. “I’m a fossil,” he said. But not a fogey: “I like to go for something different every time… it’s controlled improvisation.”
The program’s “contest-style” or “Texas-style” teacher, Dan ran the class through a classic fiddle breakdown and shared tips from his experiences judging (among other competitions) the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho. That’s “Weiser,” pronounced “weezer,” to insiders.
Please imagine this all in a soft Alabama drawl.