hitting it hard


The Berklee String Department

Late Spring and Early Spring crashed into each other and switched places in the Boston Area, and I got out to take some trips to the Seattle area, Montana, and later, the Yukon.  doing some exciting recording at home and playing the odd remote fester here and there.

over one month on the road in July-August: Grey Fox with Mr Sun, then dates at String Summit, stuff on the west coast, and many fiddle camps and clinics all over the nation until late in August. Check the Calendar for appearances near you, or the bottom of this page for my clinics.

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We inaugurated the First Annual Berklee Global String Week, which morphed into Berklee Roots Weekend. What a faculty!... What a blast!
The amazing and weather-beset 2015 Spring Semester at Berklee ended, but not 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.

Here's a recent-ish performance with me and the incredible Stuart Duncan.

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 just sold a huge pile of Emy's recording 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 spring!
Since we will be on the road most of this summer, orders will only be able to be filled at the end of July and after the 20th of August.
Anything ordered before July 5th will be sent out the 6th. After that, the above applies.

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the new Mr Sun CD will be officially released on Compass Records on July 31!!!! Meanwhile, you can buy it directly from us at our shows, or, now available through the mail, from this site! Go to the  Store.

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.

Once upon a summer in 1978, two young Bay Area musicians met in Paris, a coincidence that seems fated. He was on tour with a hotshot post-Bluegrass band. She was bumming around the Continent for the summer, busking on fiddle and living life to the fullest. Their return to the Bay Area resulted in a musical marriage of two highly individual worlds, tied together by a love of the groove. Her world easily encompassed thorny mid-century composers to the High-Life rhythms of West Africa. There was nothing that that girl could not do with a piano, a fiddle or drum. Hers was the magic touch that turned every sound to music. The boy was carving out a sound on his violin, struggling to swim in the rapid currents of a turbulent post-folk and proto-jazz music community that was battling its way to a larger harmonic and rhythmic awareness; virtuosity was the order of the day, and innovation was demanded. His ability was not that of the virtuoso, but much value lay in his inability to play anything but emotional truth on the violin. Together, they created a landscape that connected everywhere, but utterly theirs.

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.

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More cool stuff is happening in Fiddlistics-Land:

Summer of 2015 will be a busy time for me: I'll be teaching at a number of fiddle "camps" and clinics all over the continent.

First up will be the Yukon Acoustic Music Workshop near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in Alaska, June 7-11.

Next I'll be back at the incredible Berklee College for the first Berklee Global String Intensive, where we basically try to compress 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.

That following weekend will be 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 will be at the oldest Roots Summer program in the nation, the venerable Augusta Heritage Bluegrass Week in Elkins, West Virginia July 26-31. This will be fantastic for Bluegras enthusiasts, with a stellar lineup including Byron Berline and Tammy Rogers.

From there, moving on to the heavenly Warren Wilson College near Ashville, 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 will host 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.

Check some of these events out this summer, for a rocket-assist to your fiddling!... and say hello in person to Yours Truly.

Recent history:

A fascinating year with shows all over the country in many different formats. If variety is the spice of life, it's extremely piquant.

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.
And Wintergrass was fantastic for us.  
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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: 2 days ago

updated: 12 months ago