Spring may show up any minute!

New years now semi-annual... soon to be weekly.

new track

our west coast tour

The new recording...Buy this now!
As May arrives and the Berklee College semester ends, I'm saying "farewell" to a lot of great young players who are graduatiing.
But the Artistworks Fiddle School continues 24/7: All constantly learning more about music.
In the West...

I just completed a very fun tour of the Pacific Northwest with singer-songwriter Emy Phelps, and managed to do some well-received workshops during that trip as well.

I also had the chance to sit in with some good friends and a sort of musical hero, Sean Watkins, Tristan Clarridge (interviewed on this site!) and the very cool Bill Frisell… in Seattle, of course. We played a bunch of bluegrass fiddle tunes…ha!

danger 419

Lots of fun stuff going on. We have finally finished one of the albums that Emy & I have been working on for the past 3 years, almost. It is here! You can get it! It's called Treasures....
"All Those Treasures In Your Nest; Can You Tell Me Which One Is The Best?"

A crucial line from Emy's original song "The Magpie", written on a life-changing Artist Residency at the famed UCross in rural Wyoming.
It's hard to say what might be the "best" of this collection of songs by Emy Phelps, reaching across 2 decades of songwriting. But the idea of family, love, attachment, separation, and many of the most important issues that humans face are right here, framed in a wide-ranging acoustic palette presided over by one of Acoustic String Music's most wizardly characters, Darol Anger, who contributes not only state-of-the-art pop fiddling, but numerous other memorable instrumental moments on such instruments as Octave Mando-Uke, Left-handed Accordion, electric screwdriver, and Fuzz Octave Mandolin.
A truly epic foundation is laid by two modern bass masters: the spectacular Ethan Jodziewicz, and the heir apparent to Danny Thompson's bass crown: Aidan O'Donnell. The orchestra surrounding and permeating these songs is a Who's Who of modern acoustic music, with rising stars trading licks with celebrated heroes of the genre. Emy's genius is for classic poetic simplicity of lyric, combined with a lush forest of sound rivaling the Pacific Northwest densest gardens. Two great traditional songs made it into this collection, fitting seamlessly into the weave of sound and emotion. Which of these treasures will speak most directly to you?

danger 419

We have another recording cooking: other a collection of our favorite songs from the Sixties. So many incredible musicians on these tracks, I can't wait for folks to hear them. Stay tuned, or at least check out the Angel Gabriel by clicking the above image... more very interesting stuff available on my new Bandcamp page.

I'm also making available charts to all my compositions written over the last 30 years. You can order PDFs of just about any chart of just about every tune I've written... and that is a pile. So far, it's a little ad hoc, but we're getting more organized web-wise. Check the Music/Shop page .

Berklee Semester is rolling to a close, with lots of amazing young players; a whole fabulous crew is graduating this semester... I'm going to miss these kids. A lot of bright wonderful folks. I imagine every one of them will probably move to Nashville, it's where it's at these days.

My wonderful Artistworks Fiddle School online program continues as well, adding interviews and lessons all the time. I have a cool Gypsy Jazz interview & lesson with the amazing Jason Anick, just added.

Trying to find time to compose some music; demands on my time are intense, though. The IRS has discovered me, alas, and hopes that I and other unlucky musicians may be able to single-handedly erase the National Debt... since they can't get Apple or Verizon to pay any taxes, they're going for the relatively undefended. Nice people in the office, but those darn computers... they are cruel. Looks like they'll be auditing me every year for the forseeable future... what a time-waster!

Had a wonderful couple of shows with Matt Flinner and his outfit, and these guys all write a new piece EVERY NIGHT... I got on the bus for that, and 2 new pieces came out, sort of mocked-up anyway. Not so simple to compose this major commission from the great violinist Rachel Barton-Pine, current master of virtuoso violin. I'm going to write... a Rag. But what a rag it must be! Writing music I can't play is sort of surreal, but wonderful. Thanks, Rachel, for your confidence in me.

A wonderful new recording from banjo genius Ron Cody is coming soon, also. Go to http://www.roncody.com/  to find out.

updated: 1 day ago

Spring may show up any minute!

Another year, happening semi-annually.

Barcelona in February

the future

The Berkelee semester started up, and a record number of new fiddle students  signed up on my  Artistworks Online FIddle School site.
I've got some interesting composing commissions to produce, and two new recordings with The Furies due out:
one of them a wild collection of 60's covers, and the other the latest batch of Emy Phelps original songs, all with the great musicians you know and love. Plus the usual collection of festival appearances (Alaska) and  Fiddle Camps all year.
Should be quite a year!

Emy Phelps and I played at one of our favorite festivals, the Winter Village Bluegrass Festival, in Ithaca, New York.
A  highlight was the Tasting Event downtown, Saturday, Jan 30.
danger 406

I was in Barcelona at the beginning of February for an International Fiddle Festival where I taught and performed.
Check the Facebook postings for more stuff than you'd want to know about all that.
danger 406

Mr Sun will be touring the Southeast in March: Somehow I'll find out the dates and get them  up on the site.

Difference between a violin and a fiddle:
There are some jokes about this. My late friend, the celebrated jazz violinist/fiddler Johnny Frigo, said that the difference between a violin and a fiddle "is about $500 a week"… Spoken like a true professional.  Also, nobody cares if you spill beer on a fiddle.  You hear folks such as Itzhak Perlman occasionally refer to their instrument as a fiddle. It's an interchangeable term often conveyed with affection.  That said, the word "fiddle" is also a cultural flag waving over a vast vernacular nation of violinists encompassing Celtic, Skandinavian, Canadian and North American dance music, including Jazz and Blues.  You're liable to see subtle differences in the physical "setup" of the instrument.  A fiddle might have a flatter bridge than a violin set up for Western European Art Music. It might have steel-core strings rather than gut or nylon. Or it might not.  Fiddles also are somewhat more likely to be set up for mellow, rich tone rather than for maximum loudness and brightness, as many fiddlers play into microphones, which solve the volume challenge but tend to over-accentuate the intrinsic brightness of a bowed string instrument.

updated: 1 month ago

winter 2015

Happy Solstice!

This year039s Xmas shows

Still Keepin- It In The Fam!

Video of The Keepin'It-In-The-Fam Band, courtesy Vicki Ambinder: https://www.facebook.com/vickiambinder/videos/1003637543013480/?theater


Here is a recent press interview I did with the writer Chis Hislop.
It's about the holiday shows, so I thought I'd share it with you this week:

Anger fiddles up some holiday spiritBy Christopher Hislop 
Posted Dec. 3, 2015 at 3:15 AM

Darol Anger has been making music for more than five decades. His resume is vast – from David Grisman and Tony Rice, to Chris Thile and Bela Fleck, and so much in-between, before and after. Anger has made his mark as a violin player, but dabbles in mandolin as well. On Sunday, Dec. 6, he’ll bring his band The Furies to The Dance Hall in Kittery for a holiday concert of sorts. A celebration of life, seasonal change, and world-class musicianship from seasoned vets to up-and-coming, soon-to-be giants.

EDGE: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it?

Anger: Ah, the big questions. Why not music? Remember the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm. Music helps people feel stuff, and puts us in touch with our bodies. It reminds people who they are and where they’re from. It gets me close to other people and we have fun together while making beauty, which vanishes. It’s miraculous: we make something out of basically nothing.

EDGE: More specifically, why fiddle?

Anger: I have been playing violin since the age of 10, a few months after failing to learn the acoustic guitar. I wanted to be a musician because of the Beatles, but the guitar was a lost cause so I switched to violin, just to be playing anything. I discovered fiddling at the age of 15 and never looked back after that – moving from Rock and Blues into Jug Band and then Bluegrass; Texas and Western styles, Hot Club Jazz; then Dawg music, Modern Jazz, my own music … 52 years and counting. (Exhales.)

EDGE: Was there a moment or experience that led you to choose fiddlin’ as a profession?

Anger: I remember the feeling of dropping out of university to play bluegrass music in pizza parlors. … I don’t think that was a real career decision though. When the band with David Grisman and Tony Rice gelled in 1975, I knew I’d found my calling.

EDGE: You’ve collaborated with so many fantastic people over the years. Some that jump out (to me) include (the aforementioned) David Grisman, Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, etc. There’s no shortage of people. What’s the ride been like? What do you enjoy about collaborating? How do these collaborations inform your work?

Anger: The great thing about music is that you have to collaborate – and not only with other musicians. As artists, we depend so much on presenters, radio people, writers such as yourself and, of course, an audience to create these intense experiences that people love.

EDGE: What’s the state of acoustic music today? What keeps you truckin’ and inspired to keep creating?

Anger: Acoustic music has once again exploded, perhaps even more intensely than the big folk scare of 1964! Even the big pop musicians are playing “folk” music now: basically acoustic guitar with no reverb.
But there is a real, interest in traditional music, especially acoustic instruments with their beauty and immediacy. So many people play an instrument at home for fun, and we, the so-called pros, are just like research and development people for a very large community of folks who might just as likely be on stage themselves, somewhere in the same month, at church or the local coffee shop. It’s an activity that has never gone away. So many great musicians all around, from Sweden to Brazil to Canada to right here that are worth getting excited about.

EDGE: What are you hoping people take with them when they experience your music?

Anger: One of our CDs! Seriously, we are trying to help create a moment when we all together are right in touch with our feelings, right in the moment, and combine that with an awareness of all that we can do as human beings. Especially for this holiday time when it’s important to take a moment to just feel our humanity. I know that when I go see an artist like Bobby McFerrin or Del McCoury or James Taylor, I get such a charge of inspiration and “can-do-ness” that I feel physically lighter for days and days.

EDGE: I wanted to touch on your role as an educator for a moment. What’s the importance of music education? What do you enjoy about the dynamic of being a world-class performer one moment, and in an intimate classroom setting the next?

Anger: The things you learn from being on stages all over the world, for decades, with truly great musicians, are tough to pass on through anything but direct experiential playing sessions. It’s how I learned my craft, by being up there, being as prepared as possible, and holding back nothing. It’s a thing I really like to do with the students – just getting in there and playing as if our lives depended on it. Which they sort of do.

EDGE: You’re headed to Portland, Eugene and Seattle Dec 17-19 for night of holiday music with Emy Phelps, Tristan Clarridge, Ehthan Jodziewicz and Simon Chrisman. Tell us about the show? What’s it all about? What can folks expect?

Anger: Emy and I will be performing somewhat seasonal material, drawing from all traditions hinging on the turning of the year. Astronomically, we in the Northern Hemisphere are at the low point of the year, when everything seems dead and we have to trust that everything will rise again. For most humans, this seems to be a time for reflection, for spiritual questioning and renewal, and family-oriented thoughts and feelings, and celebration of what we have gained throughout the previous year. We’re going to support that frame of mind in our concert, with some really beautiful songs and the incredible, magisterial playing of our young musical guests: the amazing Ethan Jodziewicz on the string bass, who plays it like a great cellist – really something to see! And the equally wonderful Tristan Clarridge, one of the most brilliant violinists and cellists in the world. We'll also have the unique Simon Chrisman, who plays the hammer dulcimer like a great jazz pianist. Of course, my partner Emy Phelps is a great singer-songwriter with one of those voices that you want to just listen to forever: a grown-up woman’s voice that feels everything and holds back nothing. I’ll be playing mostly the 5-string violin at this show, though I’ll also pick up a beast called the Octave Mandolin. … I didn’t spend 10 years with David Grisman and 25 years with Mike Marshall and not learn a thing or two about the mandolin family! I’d just say prepare to hear some really world-class singing and playing from some folks who are going to amaze and inspire!

thanks to Christoper Hislop and the Kittery/Portmouth Community News service.

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!

danger 403

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.
danger 403

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,  
danger 403

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.
danger 403

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 .

danger 403

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: 1 month 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!
danger 309

Amazing faces, places and fiddling. First stop was the wonderful Grey Fox Festival
danger 309
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.
danger 309

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.
danger 309

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 Artistworks.com ; 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!
danger 309

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.
danger 309

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.
danger 309
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 Artistworks.com ; 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 www.Artistworks.com ; 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