winter 2015

here we go

This year039s Xmas shows

This year's Xmas shows are also in the Northeast Dec 4-6- see the Calendar.

Thanksgiving thoughts...
2015 has been a really busy year, especially in the education department. Very thankful for 2 big semesters at Berklee and 7/365 with the Artistworks Online FIddle School, plus a record-for-me 7 music camps including Augusta, Swannanoa, Berklee Global Strings and Berklee Roots equal something like exhaustion, even though it's all been gratifying, inspiring and exciting. I have to keep reminding myself that one can't do everything, even though I feel like I'm at a career peak with my playing & teaching ability, and am at a late stage in my career... the time for most artists when they might be doing their best work, but are no longer pretty, or novel. I feel like I have a limited amount of time remaining, and want to make it all happen before the End Of The Story!

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We did finally release the Mr Sun CD, it's been very well received. I'm proud of it too. Somebody said that they liked the spaces between notes the most, and that resonates with me as I attempt to carve away everything that doesn't sound like me. Mr Sun continues to gain traction, with great reviews and lots of attention at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference, at the Winter Village, Grey Fox and Freshgrass Festivals, and tours of California, the Pacific Northwest, New England and Chicago... a tour of Chicago, yeah, we did that.
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Some great work and great groupings with the Furies all year: Emy & I played Wintergrass with an all-star cast, played some New England dates with the incredible Mairi Chaimbeul and Jenna Moynihan, toured Montana with Maeve Gilchrist and Nat Smith, Colorado  with Ethan Jodziewicz and Tatiana Hargreaves,  
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the amazing Aidan O'Donnell and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, and a special show in Bozeman with violin virtuoso Angella Ahn, whom I worked with on improvisation (she's great), and some local luminaries such as mandolin great Pete Frostic. We had an extremely short-lived country music band: Pothole Hotline, with Charlie Rose, Stash Wyslouch, and Wes Corbett.
We just completed a fall marathon with Clarridge madness: the incredible Tristan Clarridge, mostly playing cello, brilliant Tashina Clarridge, and Simon Chrisman as the Bee eaters. We did a few of those shows introducing the up-and-coming young fiddle Emily Mann.
It's always so exciting working with the younger players... just about everyone I'm working with is younger these days, except for an amazing set at the String Summit with my old boss and mentor David Grisman and Bluegrass Icon Del McCoury; that was a moment.
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We had a great concert with the Community Orchestra of Whidbey Island, also featuring Simon Chrisman. I'd love to do more of those; we now have a good rich repertoire of orchestra material to work with, both featuring me on solo violin and a healthy chunk of songs with Emy.

Concerts at the clinics were full of meaning and great moments as well... Augusta and Swannanoa were great, playing with my original fiddle hero Byron Berline at Augusta and with my colleagues from forever, Mike Marshall, Alison Brown, Joe Craven and Joe Walsh (&more!)
.....etc etc etc etc .

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So it'll be a nice close to a very busy year to get back to the Pacific Northwest in December and watch for rain.

love to all y'all

updated: 3 days ago


Fall cooking


coming up!

Fall is sneaking in up in the Boston Area, not that I'd know it. So much traveling! A nice Freshgrass Festival, the IBMA Convention, trips to the West coast and all over New England are happening right now... watching for Mt Rainier and Mt Hood the last 2 days. "Take it while you can" seems to be the spirit. The next 2015 Fall Semester at Berklee has begun with a record 209 string students enrolled. That's not including guitar and bass students! This  seems to be somewhat of a golden period for string playing in general and certainly for Berklee's Strings department. See the bottom of the page for a report on all the camps last summer.

This last Summer was indeed memorable. Slingshotting back and forth across the country for a record 7 music camps and 5 big festivals.
Before the main Odyssey even started, we had a great trip out to Colorado with The Furies: Emy, Ethan J and Tatiana Hargreaves….a show at the High Mountain Hay Fever Fester was only one of the highlights. The backstage area was especially nice!
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Amazing faces, places and fiddling. First stop was the wonderful Grey Fox Festival
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where I did a couple of workshops and performed with my wonderful band Mr Sun; we have a new CD just out! You can buy it directly from us at our shows, or, now available through the mail, from this site! Go to the Store.
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I'm very proud of it. You can pick up a copy on my website or on the Compass Records website… some of the most hair-raising bass, guitar , and mandolin playing you might ever have heard, plus your ol' buddy DA on Funny Fiddle licks.

Leaving after a 2 AM set to get to a 5 AM plane out to NW String Summit for more fun playing with the Yonder guys and my old bandmate Scott Law, that weekend was truly memorable.. If I could just remember it.
Scooting down to Southern Oregon and California for some wonderful shows with Emy Phelps, Tristan Clarridge, and Emy's old band in an emotional reunion concert, we made it to the Sierra Nevada foothills for a great reunion with the greatest Swedish band ever (not ABBA!) …. yes, Vasen.

slingshotting back across the country to Elkins, West Virginia for the Augusta Bluegrass Week, where I got to pick with my childhood fiddle hero, Byron Berline and my good friends the amazing Joe Walsh and many others, including a remarkable trio of younger fiddlers.

On to the Swannanoa Gathering near Asheville, North Carolina where we played more memorable concerts with more fantastic musician friends and met more super-talented picker-students. Sometimes it was hard to tell who were the teachers and who were the students; but the stellar talents of Joe Walsh, Alison Brown, Mike Marshall, Alex Hargreaves, Don Stiernberg, Evan Price, Alan Munde, and Joe Craven stood out.
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Then, Grand Targhee in the Grand Tetons for a Bluegrass Festival with Mr Sun, driving back to Oregon for a visit to a working blueberry farm run by the incredible artist/farmer Willis Ransom.
Then on to The Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City for a Darol & Emy appearance on August 15… Finally, back to Seattle for my LAST fiddle camp of the summer… at Strings Without Boundaries at Seattle Pacific University.

throughout all this, my 24/7 ongoing online Fiddle School at ; it's a source of joy. If you're a fiddler who's been thinking of improving your playing, or wants to learn more about fiddling in general, you might want to give it a try.

Hey...why not see if you can make this website let you purchase one of my many fine recordings... just sayin'.
We've been getting a lot of great comments about the Eanda recording, for instance. And we recently sold a big pile of Emy's recordings in Salt Lake City and Look Up, Look Down up on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, when we performed with the Saratoga Symphony there.

A slew of new and old releases of recordings this year.

Emy Phelps' and my new single is available for download!
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This is our take on one of the greatest Hunter/Garcia songs.
We tried to make it sound like a Zen Garden seen through the imagery of Gary Snyder. Thanks to our friends Terry Longshore on tablas, and Aidan O'Donnell on bass, Grant Gordy on guitar, Mila Phelps-Friedl for the harmony vocals.
You can purchase Ripple right here, right now

AND... re-releases of some of our most-loved Windham Hill recordings, through Adventure. This was a ten year project, trying to get the rights to release this out-of-print music. Thanks to Richard Zirinsky, who just would not give up on this.

Windham Hill's newly empowered Executive Producer Will Ackerman heard my first release "Fiddlistics" in 1979 and liked the lone, lonesome piano and violin duet on that recording. He wanted more of that feeling, and in 1982, Barbara and I managed to give him that and more. Barbara's ear for odd time signatures that sound perfectly normal, her perfectly tilted melodies, and tough, joyful groove fit right in with all the surging, leaping music happening around us. I finally felt ready to sing out my own story on a fiddle borrowed from my best friend. Our total conviction about the music made everything come together for Tideline.
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You can purchase, or re-purchase, the newly-mastered version of this recording right here.

And the other two watershed CDs from that time period are now out! Chiaroscuro and Live At Montreux are now available again in a beautiful package. Write to me and our sales department of One will fix you up.

Here is the rundown of Summer of 2015's fiddle "camps" and clinics all over the continent.

First up was the Yukon Acoustic Music Workshop near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in Alaska, June 7-11. A beautiful camp in a spectacular setting with great food!

Next, Berklee College for the first Berklee Global String Intensive, where we compressed a year's worth of the Berklee String Department experience into one week, with the entire faculty, which includes luminaries such as Matt Glaser, Bruce Molsky, Doc Wallace, Eugene Friesen, Mike Block, Maeve Gilchrist, Joe K. Walsh, Mimi Rabson, Rob Thomas, and others. an incredible experience in every possible string style.
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It all morphed into Berklee Roots Weekend. What a faculty!... What a blast!

That following weekend was the Berklee Roots Music Weekend, a shorter but no less intense series of sessions focusing on traditional music: Blues, Fiddle music from all over, band dynamics, Bluegrass, and everything in between.

Moving into July, Darol was at the oldest Roots Summer program in the nation, the venerable Augusta Heritage Bluegrass Week in Elkins, West Virginia July 26-31. A stellar lineup including Byron Berlin, Herschel Sizemore, Joe K. Walsh, and Ned Luberecki.

From there, moving on to the heavenly Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC for Swannanoa Fiddle Week, running concurrently with Mandolin, Banjo and Jazz Week-- what a great combination of talent assembled for this event, in a gorgeous setting.

Finally the West Coast! from August 17-21, Seattle's SPU University hosted Julie Lyonn Lieberman's eclectic Strings Without Boundaries program, featuring the legendary swing fiddler Paul Anastasio and others. Julie is an inspiring player & educator who has been working to free up classical string players this way longer than almost anyone. This will be a steady event, much needed and very successful.

Throughout all this, my 24/7 ongoing online Fiddle School runs constantly at ; it's a source of joy. If you're a fiddler who's been thinking of improving your playing, or wants to learn more about fiddling in general, you might want to give it a try.

Recent history:

If you caught us in Bozeman, Montana at the glorious Ellen Theatre on May 30, do you have any photos?

Mr Sun was up in the wilds of Yukon Territory, mushin' dogs and cheering on ambitious string band pickers in the second week of June.

We had some wonderful spring Furies shows in New England with Emy Phelps, Jenna Moynihan, Aidan O'Donnell and Mairi Chaimbeul.

An amazing concert up on Whidbey Island with the Saratoga Orchestra!

Our 2nd Annual Keepin' it In The Fam Holiday show in the Pacific Northwest was a big hit last season.

We had Freshgrass, IBMA, the Celtic Colours Festival, another fantastic Orchestra concert in the Flint Hills, and shows in November with Mr Sun.

Mr Sun is now being represented by Myriad Artists.

I'm still plugging away on my Online Fiddle School at ; it's a source of joy. If you're a fiddler who's been thinking of improving your playing, or wants to learn more about fiddling in general, you might want to give it a try.

updated: 1 month ago

updated: 1 year ago

updated: 1 year ago