2020 fall 1

Emy Phelps Memorial

updated: 3 weeks ago

2020 Fall

more changes and more changes.

I've been awarded a Distinguished Achievement award by the International Bluegrass Music Association. This is a real honor, and I'm very gratified. I thought I would include the expanded text of my acceptance speech here. I might expand it even more, if I have time to assemble my thoughts.


First of all, and foremost: Thank you. My most heartfelt and humble thanks to be honored in a special way that so many who might deserve this kind of thing do not receive. Thank you.

You know, it pulls at me a little, that these kind of awards, which seen from another perspective offer an opportunity for almost everyone to lose.
So many people do deserve this award. But I don’t want to seem ungrateful for being singled out so generously. I hope I’ll be able to live up to this honor and contribute as much on the other side of this —I mean, in the future— as whatever I’ve managed to do in the past. I realize also that the point of this award is to help and encourage other musicians—or anyone, really— to pursue their art at the highest level that is enjoyable to them.

I also think about the opportunities that I was given, and the trust that was placed in me to develop as a relatively late musical bloomer. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of a tradition that still depends so much on personal, apprentice-style mentoring to develop your skills. I can trace my most important mentorship perhaps all the way back to Arnold Schulz and Pen Vandever before that trail grows cold… but some of my other trails run back to George Russell, Django Reinhardt, and Stuff Smith. Certainly Tony Rice and David Grisman taught me the most about what it means to adhere to high standards that are always just beyond your reach… and keeping them there.

My affectionate gratitude goes to Byron Berline and Vassar Clements for setting a standard of generosity that I try to live up to every day. And I can’t thank Richard Greene enough for shocking my 13-year-old brain into discovering the fiddle.
I thank the Fiddle Camp Innovators Alasdair Fraser, Mark O’Connor and Jay Ungar for providing a place where I could figure out how to share what I didn’t even know I knew.

Thanks go to so many people. Alison Brown, who may have spearheaded this whole operation, and her partner Garry West.
Thanks to the whole incredible Berklee String Department and my old friend Matt Glaser for giving me an unprecedented opportunity to develop my teaching skills, and the most intellectually and spiritually relevant advice imaginable on every musical subject, which of course includes every subject.  Also thanks to the Artistworks crew for giving me a stable and location-indepentdent platform from which to continue teaching indefinitely.

Thanks to my adopted brother Mike Marshall for helping design and implement our ongoing 40-year self-education program, and
Also thanks to four extraordinary women: Sharon, Barbara, Willa, and Emy, who put up with a lot from me.
Extra thanks to Emy Phelps... for everything.

And thanks to my beloved young friends Brittany Haas and Joe K. Walsh, who surpass all their teachers just the way they’re supposed to.


This is the video that  Brittany Haas and Joe K. Walsh put together for the IBMA presentation on October 2, 2020.






And, most of you know I've got sheet music ( charts & arrangements of my music, that kind of thing) for sale over in the Store section.
As a gesture of sharing, with especially the fiddlers and mandolinists and guitarists stuck at home ...
Well, leaning new music and practicing is probably the best thing we can do right now. Here's a free PDF chart download of my tune The Crooked Road To Buffalo.

updated: 3 weeks ago

2019, 2019, 2019!

Big dystopian year.

Fiddle Intensive
I hope this year gets better for everyone!

Some festival appearances with Mike Marshall coming up in September:
Pickin' In The Pines, Flagstaff, AZ and The Freshgrass Festival, North Adams, MA



And in September, the pre-release of our latest recording. Entitled Da Capo, it celebrates the 41th anniversary of the Duo's musical brotherhood and is our 9th official recording, gathering up duet versions of previous ensemble originals and some brand-new compositions created to commemorate the occasion.

I'll be concentrating more on building up my Online Fiddle School this year, and I'll still be performing at festivals and shows across the nation; a big tour of Australia with the Republic Of Strings, and shows with Mike Marshall, as THE DUO.
I'll continue to drop in at Berklee as a member of the Roots program.
Here's a video I just made outlining some of the plans I have for my Artistworks Fiddle School...



updated: 3 weeks ago

Falling forward fast

finding new friends

players on MOOP
Very cool airplay on our latest recording, MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE. Number 5 in the Folk Radio Airplay Charts!
After a very intense first half of early fall, (see below) it's time to gear up for some shows and teaching in New England, and a Holiday Show tour also in the East. Check the Calendar for more news as to where and when... but I'll be hitting Berklee, the infamous and wonderful Fiddle Hell, and playing some MUSIC Of Our PEOPLE shows with the fabulous FURIES in Vermont and Portland, Maine.


Then back in December for some more teaching and some really fun Holiday Shows with Emy Phelps and the intrepid Matt Flinner Trio.

so... after a couple of great New England shows in August with Artistworks Bluegrass Vocal Instructor Michael Daves, I found myself packing and managing a household move across the country in a trailer truck! We’ve made a huge change in lifestyle which is still reverberating. I’m intrigued that I’ll have more time to devote to building up my Artistworks Fiddle School Lessons and finding more cool ways to think about teaching, and maybe do some more composing and serious violin recordings.



But the second weekend in September found us right back in Massachusetts, performing songs from MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE: Songs of the Roaring Sixties, at Freshgrass Festival at Mass/MoCA. You can purchase that recording here.


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A lovely trip to Wichita, Kansas, for Duo music with the Woodfest’s great string orchestra…and a beautiful Duo show near Winfield. Mike Marshall is playing me edits of our next Duo recording! Over the weekend of October 5-7, I had my Fiddle Retreat in Benicia, California... see below.

The next week, an amazing trip to Muscle Shoals, Alabama
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had me in front of another orchestra with Eugene Friesen, with Daniel Brent-Lewis conducting…. In a cave!!!  
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Then on to Fiddle Hell, run by the intrepid Reiner Family up in Massachusetts, and a run of Holiday Shows in New England will round out the year, plus some wonderful teaching days back at Berklee; but I am glad to be living out West again. Or at least to have my stuff there!

If you are a fiddler, maybe you'd like to subscribe to my Artistworks Fiddle School and watch some of the interviews and lessons there.

updated: 3 weeks ago

Falling into Autumn

Time, Time, Time.... flying or falling?... a year of milestones

DA039s Big Chill at Rockygrass 2014
Our monumental recording of Songs of the Sixties, MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE, is out, and getting all kinds of airplay all over the country! This week it's number 5 on the Folk Radio charts!
You can order either physical CDs or downloads right here, or click on the picture above.

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We had a great Festival performance of the MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE recording at Freshgrass Festival, with a mostly Berklee band!
Ethan Setiawan, Louise Bichan, DA, Emy Phelps, Brittany Karlson, Mike Block, Mairi Chaimbeul... wow.
Plus our special guests: Keith Little, Bruce Molsky, Mila Phelps-Friedl, Happy & Adam Traum... cube-ular wow!


October has already been an amazing month: Two Orchestra solo appearances, MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE getting into the top 5 in airplay on American Folk Radio, my first month living back in the West, and this new venture: my first foray into the scary and exciting world of Fiddle Camp-World.
Yes folks, I threw my own darn fiddle party, and just as with any party, you don’t know if anyone will come, or enjoy. But… it worked!

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The first ever Darol Anger Global Fiddle Retreat is history, and folks seemed to really have a great time! It was small and very cozy, but we also had the incredible award-winning youthful fiddler Annie Staninec and Singer-Songwriter-Creativity Guru Emy Phelps to coach the participants.Thanks also to the generosity of Jim Dunlop and D’Addario Strings for providing great gift bags stuffed with super-useful goodies!

We held it in the gorgeous little town of Benicia, tucked into a warm corner of the San Francisco Bay, close to Wine Country and various State Parks. It was perfect weather, and the town is totally walkable and charming, with more than three great restaurants and coffee shops. We had a relaxing yet focused program with lots of fantastic amenities, and many inspirations for an even more enjoyable curriculum next year… and it’s already underway!

We have reserved the weekend of Oct 11-13, Columbus Day Weekend 2019, for our next long Fiddlers’ Weekend… dovetailing nicely with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in SF the previous weekend. We are again limiting the attendance to 25 folks ( with a special deal for couples) to keep this event friendly, focused, and intimate, with lots of personal attention. We’re even working on starting a small Scholarship Program.
We’ll send out an email around the end of the year to invite Fiddlers to attend!

updated: 3 weeks ago

Summer to Fall 2018

travel & teach, repeat

on stage
A fantastic summer of festivals, shows, and music camps is now winding down.

A couple of Long Island and Brooklyn shows with Bluegrass guitarist and singer extraordinaire Michael Daves coming up in August,

and then in September the East coast premier of MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE at Freshgrass Music Festival...
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And summer 2018 .... it's been a fantastic, music-filled season full of emotional highs and musical fun.

A great week at Mike Block's String camp in Florida,

The Rockin' Furies rocked the West coast and the Northwest String Summit,
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An intense David Grisman Quintet Reunion at Rockygrass
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and a fantastic Artistworks All-star set at the same festival... a lot of rehearsal involved with that!


Check my ARTISTWORKS Fiddle School for more info.

And amazing, wonderful times at both the Swannanoa Gathering and at Augusta Bluegrass Week. Up top is a shot of my Blues Class from Swannanoa!
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Emy

updated: 3 weeks ago

Really... Late... Fall 2017

recording, recording, recordings

freshgrass

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Back in the saddle teaching at Berklee, whipping out for a few short tours, Republic Of Strings redux at the amazing Freshgrass Festival, the IBMA conference, and very fun weekend Fiddle Workshops in Michigan and New Hampshire...
And a new Duo recording is in the "can", so to speak.
And so is a new Mr Sun recording...
Our Holiday Music live recording is available on Bandcamp and on CDBaby.
and Darol and Emy's reording of Songs of the Sixties, Music Of Our People, is in the final stages of production!... more about that later.



Speraking of recordings, Mr Sun, Darol's band of youthful string virtuosos, spent a November week in a remote cabin in the Maine Woods recording their 3rd release, for 2018.
This recording will remedy a veritable logjam of new material that the band constantly insists on creating. Featured on the recording will be one rarely-heard epic composition of Darols, "A Real Dragon", which has seldom been played live in the 20 years it's been written. There are two brand-new Darol compositions on this release too: One of them is a fiddling tribute to Bluegrass giant Kenny Baker, called "Breakers' Bakedown", The other is a expression of one of the band's unique musical strengths, an soul/R&B instrumental called 'The Amen Corner".
Also there will be ambitious and startlingly beautiful new tunes and songs from guitarist Grant Gordy and mandolinist Joe K.Walsh, and a couple of much-loved tunes from the repertoires of Charles Mingus ( Better Get It In Your Soul) and Ray Charles (Just A Little Lovin').

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And..... we have for sale downloads of our 2015 Holiday show! It was so beautiful , and the recording was so good, that we decided to release it! This was our first concert of the tour, right there in Portland, Oregon, with many dear ones in the audience. It was recorded by the amazing Mark Burgin, who donated his services because he believes in the power of Music. We salute you, Mark!
The band was all string virtuosos, all longtime friends and family: Champion fiddler, educator and cellist Tristan Clarridge, hammer dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman, and string bass phenomenon Ethan Jodziewicz, with guesting by composer-violist Kenji Bunch, and percussionist Jacob Ransom. All are musicians not afraid to tap deep emotions and create far-ranging soundscapes which inspire reverie and good digestion.
Emy took the picture last winter, right down the block at our local pond. The sun was just about to come out.
We'll be bringing these music download cards to our concerts, but you can just download it right here wherever you are.

And of course this last September, when we had a couple of beautiful concerts in the Northeast:
The Republic Of Strings made a return engagement at the amazing Freshgrass Festival at the MassMOCA museum in North Adams on the west coast of Massachusetts.

AND... Yes. For the very first time... I'll be teaching and performing with my group in...AUSTRALIA.
https://www.sunshinefiddlecamp.com/darol-anger





That CRAZY SUMMER
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My goodness, but I thought that July 2017 was a monumental month, but it was chopped liver next to the magnificent and memorable August... We went on a road trip in our new(ish) car that lasted all month and took us from Boston to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and points between; a music camp on a Grand Teton Ridge and then a festival, some Rockin' Furies shows in the Rockies, a full-on Historic Solar Eclipse, and family and friends, and a LOT of time starin' straight ahead goin' 70.




Whew! Just July was an incredible adventure of fiddling, teaching and performing all over the place; with a Fiddle Academy Week in Grand Targhee and a full-on Solar Eclipse in August, I don't know if I can stand the thrills. But today I was back in the Artistworks studio, responding to some very interesting videos from my beloved students here... so challenging and fun!


Where to begin? Well, how about July 5, with my fellow AW Perfesser Mike Block's Incredible String Camp held in Florida (if you only do one camp all year, it should be this!)
  
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From there on to Oregon and the amazing Northwest String Summit, playing with Yonder Mountain and the amazing fiddle Allie Kral,
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also sitting in on a Chuck Berry tribute with some scary-good guitarists, a whole set with fellow AW Guitar perfesser Scott Law, and sets with dobro master Sally Van Meter and songwriter Benny Galloway.
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and the unbelievable cellist Rushad Eggleston, which continued as a mini-tour of the Pacific Northwest with Rushad, ending up at the
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Guild Of American Luthier's big convention in Washington this year.
I got to satisfy some of my instrument-making joneses there,  
and learn more about improvising with Rushad, a true Mad Genius….  
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and get up on some furniture. Maybe I should do a lesson on that… or how not to!

We also encountered some really great youngsters who are tearing it up on their respective instruments: The Reds!


After a beautiful day at a family wedding in Lake Tahoe, I headed back to the Ossippee Valley String Camp in rural Maine, and taught with Brittany Haas and Lauren Rioux,
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with guests Paul Kowert, Carolyn Kendrick, Isa Burke, Joe Walsh, and the wonderful guitarist Avril Smith. We had a great mid-week performance in an old renovated theatre in Kezar, Maine.









…Then zooming down to the celebrated Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island for a couple of incredible sets with the Berklee Instant Strings, a group I founded to provide much-needed strings to Pop Stars With Acoustic Guitars...
the Instant Strings included such youthful geniuses as Wan-Ching Chou, super-fiddle-talent Carolyn Kendrick(again!), my Musical Partner and Golden-Voiced Emy Phelps, Thai Jazz violinist Volt Witchuporn, and the exciting young Colorado fiddler Joanna Hyde.
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We played with Emy and also backed up a true Star: Suzanne Vega!
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Here we are with Volt.






Catch the Berklee Instant Strings with singer-songwriting genius Aoife O'Donovan in this wonderful new video, of a song of hers that I arranged:  


updated: 3 weeks ago

I've been awarded a Distinguished Achievement award by the International Bluegrass Music Association. This is a real honor, and I'm very gratified. I thought I would include the expanded text of my acceptance speech here. I might expand it even more, if I have time to assemble my thoughts.
First of all, and foremost: Thank you. My most heartfelt and humble thanks to be honored in a special way that so many who might deserve this kind of thing do not receive. Thank you.

It pulls at me a little, these kind of awards, which seen from another perspective offer an opportunity for almost everyone to lose.
So many people do deserve this award. But I don’t want to seem ungrateful for being singled out so generously. I hope I’ll be able to live up to this honor and contribute as much on the other side of this —I mean, in the future— as whatever I’ve managed to do in the past. I realize also that the point of this award is to help and encourage other musicians—or anyone, really— to pursue their art at the highest level that is enjoyable to them.

I also think about the opportunities that I was given, and the trust that was placed in me to develop as a relatively late musical bloomer. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of a tradition that still depends so much on personal, apprentice-style mentoring to develop your skills. I can trace my most important mentorship perhaps all the way back to Arnold Schulz and Pen Vandever before that trail grows cold… but some of my other trails run back to George Russell, Django Reinhardt, and Stuff Smith. Certainly Tony Rice and David Grisman taught me the most about what it means to adhere to high standards that are always just beyond your reach… and keeping them there.

My affectionate gratitude goes to Byron Berline and Vassar Clements for setting a standard of generosity that I try to live up to every day. And I can’t thank Richard Greene enough for shocking my 13-year-old brain into discovering the fiddle. I thank the Fiddle Camp Innovators Alasdair Fraser, Mark O’Connor and Jay Ungar for providing a place where I could figure out how to share what I didn’t even know I knew. Thanks to my adopted brother Mike Marshall for helping design and implement our ongoing self-education program, and four extraordinary women: Sharon, Barbara, Willa, and Emy, who have put up with a lot from me.
And thanks to my beloved young friends Brittany and Joe, who surpass all their teachers just the way they’re supposed to.




In April, Mr Sun will be in Colorado! See the Calendar.
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updated: 3 weeks ago