John Summers was a fiddler from Wabash, Indiana. While he’s not a Missouri fiddler, he’s similar in repertoire and style to the Missouri Valley and north Missouri fiddlers, probably due to shared Scots-Irish influence. Like the Missourians, he plays a variety of tune forms, including reels, schottisches, jigs and waltzes.
He’s got a clean, fascinating solo fiddle style with a slightly Scottish cast, and plays some very unusual (and lovely) tunes as well as some cracking good versions of old favorites like Rye Straw (also known as “The Joke’s on the Puppy”).
Travis Inman, legendary fiddle champion and devoted teacher, released an exciting new album on Voyager Records in June 2012. TRAVIS INMAN: MISSOURI FIDDLER features a cross-section of fiddle tunes played in Inman’s masterful style.
Travis is eleven-time Missouri State Fiddle Champion, and his fiddling is deeply grounded in his Missouri roots. He represents a transition between the dance-dominated fiddle traditions of earlier years and more contest- and performance-oriented traditions of today. Travis has embraced elements of these influences to create a sound that’s firmly traditional, surprisingly contemporary, and uniquely his own. Continue reading
Happy Eighth of January! If old-time has a holiday, this is it.
Long before Jimmy Driftwood made up the words to describe the Battle of New Orleans to his high school history students, or Homer and Jethro camped it up with lyrics about Camp Kookamonga, Eighth of January was a fiddle standard all over the country. Continue reading
Our site had been hosted at fiddle.missouri.org since 2003, through the generous support of the Columbia Online Information Network and the Daniel Boone Regional Library, who offered free web hosting to local nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, with budget cuts to MOREnet, the technology supplier behind COIN and DBRL, those days are over. Thanks go to John Wilbers, who built the original site, and to COIN and DBRL, for thinking nonprofits needed web space and provided it!
I’ve taken the opportunity presented by the move to update the structure of the site a little bit and plan to add quite a bit more content in the weeks to come. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check back for new tunes, profiles of fiddlers and event listings.
Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 2 p.m.–Midnight
Tekamah, Nebraska, City Auditorium (map)
We’re having a party to celebrate the fiddling legacy of Bob Walters as carried on by Dwight Lamb of Onawa, Iowa. Bring your instruments for an afternoon (and evening) of music. Also bring a dish to share for a potluck dinner. Contact Bill Peterson with questions.
UPDATE: The Tekamah newspaper, the Burt County Plaindealer, has published an article about the event, a story and a poem about Bob Walters. The biographical story was written by Harold Walter’s daughter, Alta Wolf.
I regret to report that we have lost another elder statesman of traditional Missouri fiddling.
Roy W. (Bill) Eddy, Sr., died August 2, 2010, in Slater, Missouri, at the age of 95. He had been ill for several years, and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Graveside services will be held at the Slater City Cemetery, Thursday, August 5, at 10:30 a.m. Visitation will be held at Weiker Funeral Home in Slater at 9.30 a.m. Memorials may be presented to the Gilliam Baptist Church.
University of Missouri Journalism School student Erin Schwartz created this excellent photo essay of the Columbia Contra Dance in action. You’ll see some familiar faces in the photos, like Tom Verdot and John White. The music is provided by the F-150 band.
Dancing the Night Away: Contra Dancing in Mid-Missouri from Erin Schwartz on Vimeo.
Dwight Lamb and friends have released a pair of exciting new recordings. The first is “Danish Melodies in America,” a disc featuring Dwight’s unique Danish accordion repetoire, and the second, “Old-Time Fiddle Classics,” re-releases a pair of classic LPs which feature Dwight at the height of his powers as a contest fiddler.
Bill Kearns died February 14, 2010, in Slater, Missouri. Bill had been battling cancer for several years, and his death was not unexpected. He was 86.
One of twelve children, all of them musicians, Bill Kearns (his real name was Bobby H. Kearns) was born on the family farm east of Slater, Saline County. His people were German and Scotch-Irish. Bill was a survivor of the Normandy Invasion in France during World War II and he served with distinction in the Army throughout the war. After the war, he returned to Slater, decided on a career as a railroad brakemen, settled down, and raised a family.
Fred Stoneking, fiddler, guitar and banjo player, son of Lee Stoneking, passed away in October 2009 after a fight with cancer. Fred was a fixture at local festivals at Harrison, Arkansas and Compton Ridge, Missouri, comfortable playing bluegrass, contest fiddle, or the Ozark tunes he learned as a youngster. He will be missed.