2020 solstice and beyond

big, big 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 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.

updated: 2 weeks ago

catching up with 2020

just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder.

on stage

branch from home

April 2020 is Special Expanded Faculty Month at Artistworks Fiddle School.
If this works well, we will extend the event into May.
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Greetings, You Fiddlers!
I’m arranging a treat for everyone: I'm inviting some Super-Special Guest Fiddle Professors help teach this month, folks whose names you know and whose fiddling we love.
I’ve managed to convince fiddle stars Brittany Haas, Alex Hargreaves and Jenna Moynihan to participate in this Special Expanded Faculty Month as we all Shelter-At-Home.
They have each recorded a Special Guest Lesson which will be posted on my Artistworks.com student page (Yes, I am always studying) and then I’ll be soliciting YOUR Subscriber Lesson Videos where you get to ask one of them to help critique your playing.
These folks are all very kind, have taught many classes & clinics, and know a LOT about the ins and outs of their respective styles. And they all have that incredible “X” factor that makes their playing magically musical. And musically magical. And a respite from so many of the unhappy events of this year so far.

2019 was a really tough year. We hope 2020 will be better, but with COVID-19, a California drought year, and Emy's ongoing battle with growth-at-any-cost, it looks like 2020 will be a tough slog for at least some of it.
Bright sides for 2020 are: we have a nice place to come home to, we might finally get rid of Agent Orange, we are releasing a slew of Emy’s wonderful songs through Facebook [go here and search on Emy Phelps] ...and I have a couple of music and other interesting projects on the burner, and we have the best, most loving and helpful friends.

I'm not touring much this year, but COVID-19 has now devastated working mid-level musicians who in the past ten years have gradually been stripped of any income stream BUT touring. Pretty much ALL gigs and events have been cancelled everywhere. If you believe in music, please help. Here is a website that is trying to help.

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: 5 months 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: 1 year ago

December, like a freight train.

Happy Holiday Season to all

our door to perception

updated: 1 year 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: 1 year 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: 1 year 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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updated: 2 years ago

Really... Late... Fall 2017

recording, recording, recordings


can't upload.

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.

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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: 2 years ago

Springing into Summer with Festivals and Camps

Busier than ever

DA039s Big Chill at Rockygrass 2014
Wow... our monumental recording of Songs of the Sixties, MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE, is finally here! You can order either physical CDs or downloads right here, or click on the picture above.

We just did a wonderful Darol & Friends concert at the venerable and much-loved Club Passim, playing a bunch of my favorite music including songs from MUSIC OF OUR PEOPLE, with some of the best musicians in the area: Emy Phelps vocal & guitar, Joe K. Walsh on mandolins, Brittany Karlson on Bass, and our new wonderful musician friend: Kevin Barry on slide guitars. An incredible band!  This was a fund-raiser for the organizations helping the separated families at the southern border , and folks really stepped up, and so did Matt Smith and Club Passim; together we all raised over 2000 dollars for the organization RAICES which provides legal assistance to human beings who come here under various threats to their lives. here's a video that Matt made of the first set! You can also contribute to the venerable ACLU, which is always working hard for ordinary people's rights.

We also  just had to release a download of Emy's fantastic interpretation of Darrell Scott's song CROOKED ROAD, with Darol's brand-new fiddle tune, The Crooked Road To Buffalo.... You can find that here.

Quite an eventful first half of the year! Lots of great concerts all over half the globe, and lots of recordings in the pipeline... the semester at Berklee has wound to a close, and I'm traveling back to California in May to record more Fiddle lessons for my online school at Artistworks, then a couple of shows with a completely special one-time-only band, the Blur-grass Fondue, with my old friends John Jorgenson, Keith Little, Sharon Gilchrist, and Joe K. Walsh.

This is kind of a marker year for me, as I've reached an age which many people think of as retirement age. I'm fortunate enough to not know what to retire from. I never want to stop playing and teaching music with my dear friends, and I am lucky to come from a long line of wiry little people who seem to be pretty tough, if not strong. And I'm surrounded by lovable, beautiful folks who give of themselves freely. I'm not sure if gratitude even begins to approach the appropriate emotion for my situation, but I'll start with that.

2018 Darol’s Summer Music Camp Roundup:

Berklee Global String Intensive: BGSI
Monday, June 25 to Friday, June 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Age range: 15 years and older
Learn from some of the world’s leading string virtuosos and educators. Under the direction of David Wallace, chair of Berklee’s String Department, you’ll explore in-depth a wide variety of string styles, including folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, old-time, and Celtic. Master your technique on violin, viola, cello, mandolin, harp, banjo, and more. You’ll study with instructors in small class settings and explore new musical styles and techniques under expert guidance.

Mike Block String Camp
July 9-14, 2018 | Vero Beach, FL
Mike Block String Camp, in Vero Beach, FL, offers education for string players of all ages and backgrounds in non-Classical traditions and contemporary musical styles, with emphasis on learning by ear, creativity, collaboration, and performance.
Our public concerts comprise The Vero Beach International Music Festival, with performances on July 11, 13, and 14, at the First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach (520 Royal Palm Blvd).

RockyGrass Academy | July 23-27, 2017 in Lyons, CO
For a week before the RockyGrass festival begins, immerse yourself as an active participant in the world of bluegrass. From small classes with world-class professional musicians, to sessions on group jamming, vocal coaching, songwriting, one-on-one instruction, and a variety of electives including practice techniques, writing instrumentals, accompaniment, improvisation, and music history. Evenings feature band scrambles, BBQs, and plenty of jamming for novice through advanced ability levels. Many Academy students return year after year, creating long-term relationships with fellow musicians from all over the world.

The Swannanoa Gathering :: Fiddle Week JULY 29-August 4, 2018
Fiddle Week at the Swannanoa Gathering celebrates that universality with classes in traditional and contemporary styles ranging from Irish to Brazilian to blues, from old-time to cajun to swing. This summer we are emphasizing playing by ear, developing a personal style and improvising in various genres. The week also includes classes in guitar, focusing on accompaniment in various styles, and there are related offerings for the fiddle’s bigger siblings, the cello and bass. The class schedule has been structured in such a way as to allow students to explore a rich variety of fiddle styles each day.

Augusta heritage Bluegrass Week August 5 - 10, 2018
The staff of well-known bluegrass figures will share their talents with participants in workshops, demonstrations, special presentations, concerts, and jam sessions throughout the week. Informal picking sessions at all levels go on ’til the wee hours all over campus as participants and staff get together with old friends and make new ones. Evening performances feature exciting combinations of master bluegrass artists with special guests. While workshops are geared for adults, young folks able to maintain an adult level of participation are welcome. All workshops (except Vocals) are intended for those who can already play their instrument to some extent and are ready to start learning bluegrass style, technique, and repertoire.

Marshall Mandolin Summit
A four-day mandolin experience held in Marshall, Michigan
August 9-12, 2018 – Marshall, MI
The weekend will feature personalized instruction from world-renowned mandolin players including Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg, Don Stiernberg, Darol Anger, and Don Julin as well as once in a lifetime performances from the artists.
It promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience featuring music, fine foods, community, and musical education led by some of the very best mandolin players in the world ‑ in one of the most beautiful and historic settings in the Midwest.

... Plus an array of festivals and shows all over this great country of ours.

updated: 2 years ago

2017.... off on tour

Summer, ready or not

2017 off on tour
OK, Summer has hit, and it's time to travel.
A wild panoply/mix of festers, weddings, a good long car trip, big and little shows, a SOLAR ECLIPSE, ski lodges, fishponds, famous buses, mountains, valleys, stages, fields, streams and asphalt jungles. Wow.

Check the calendar and my String Camp Roundup (below) for a pretty good idea of what's happening, if you dare.

a Tour Of Ireland!
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The Republic Of Strings in Ireland, click here to hear an Interview on Carl Corcoran's radio show:
Darol, Emy, Tristan, John.
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Also see the CALENDAR page for details about the tour... So far. we have experienced fantastically rare, wonderful weather and not-rare-at-all, wonderful folks in Ireland.

Haven't approached a year with this much trepidation since 2001. Still subbornly hopeful though. Music is supposed to bring people togther, and the job is especially important now when certain interests want to pull people apart.

Sort-of-almost Spring happenings:
presenting and playing at The American String Teachers' Conference
Trip to Spain and France (check)
Finish the Pete Seeger song recording (done!)
finish my tax prep,
a new String Quartet arrangement for Aoife, (done & performed! Berklee filmed it, some day it will come out)
program notes for Rachel's Partita, (finished! played!!!)
get my Artistworks Video Responses done, (never done!)
a last-moment trip to Charlottesville, West Virginia to teach and perform (just finished)
A Tour of Colorado!  
prepare lesson plans for the Berklee students (done in May)
get the car washed, 3x so far this spring, too much gluck out here in Boston
a Tour Of Ireland!

Colorado is joining the list of cool places I'll get to play music this spring! Check the Concerts page for mid-April!

I'll be traveling out of the US (Spain, France & Ireland) a bit this spring, and checking in at music festivals in Montana, Pennsylvania and Washington in addition to my work at the ever-wonderful Berklee College. Always trying to get a read on people's mood... Music is just about the only thing bringing people together; seems like a more important job than ever.

I've added a couple of new projects to my Projects page, one of which is my work with and for orchestras. Also, I'll be available to remotely overdub violin parts on people's recording projects... this is something I've been doing for years, but it seems to be a bit of a secret.
We keep adding stuff to the Store pages-- please check that out. All the music in there is really good. I'm not a bit embarrassed about any of it.
A fantastic, fun Live Recording of Mr Sun is available here!  
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My wonderful Artistworks Fiddle School online program continues, adding interviews (newest: Alex Hargreaves) and lessons all the time. We went and did it: My recent visit to ArtistWorks Central in Napa, California, has produced something like 25 new lessons, ranging from a slew of new tunes and ideas for arpeggios, the Amazing Fiddle Scale, the long-promised Fifteen Iconic Bluegrass Fiddle Breaks is here. and a whole new Gypsy Jazz Section including an interview & lesson with the amazing Jason Anick,.... along with an expanded and much more complete multiple section on Bow Shuffles!

Valencia's Berklee Extension Campus is amazing! We visited my Fiddlin' Colleague Casey Driessen there in March, and had a fantastic time in a truly... fantastic... landscape.
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Hard to believe right now, but Spring is a-coming, and then Summer, and I’ll be peregrinating around the US (and a few other countries) sharing information and music with fiddlers, violinists, and other string players.

The first week of March held a trip to the American String Teachers’ annual convention, where string teachers from every tradition gather to celebrate and share new and old ideas on how and what to teach. That happened in Pittsburgh, PA this year and presented some of my teaching ideas and discovered amazing new ideas from other brilliant and dedicated teachers.

Also in March, I conducted workshops in Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, Charlotteville, Virginia, and in Toulouse, France on Contemporary American Music Idioms and how fiddles fit into that (Answer: everywhere!)… and I did that in France with the great Casey Driessen, as part of a concert series.
Saturday, 25st of March 2017 at Le Lherm, Toulouse, France

May 12-13
Fiddle workshops in Ireland, TBA

A feast of the entire Berklee String experience condensed into one week, with most of the faculty: large and small ensembles in every style, clinics, theory classes and hands-on technique from this monumentally unique faculty!

This is the “advanced” week for the Mike Block string camp in gorgeous Vero Beach, Florida.
Lots of fun, wonderful video of these camps:

July 24-28: Ossippee Bluegrass Academy, Ossippee Valley, Maine
One of the most fun and relaxed bluegrass camps in the East, with lots of summer recreation, tunes, and jamming jamming jamming!

August 7-10: GRAND TARGHEE Bluegrass Academy
With the Grand Tetons for a backdrop, the scenic splendor of this camp is unbeatable, segueing into the legendary Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival all at the Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Idaho. Great instruction & group coaching from Darol, Grant Gordy, Joe K. Walsh and Danny Barnes, and more.

… Is that it?

updated: 2 years ago

Marching forth

on March 4th

celtic colours band 2014 DA Kimberley Fraser the Haas sisters Nic Gareiss
February rocked, as seen below. Wintergrass, Mr Sun, etc.

Attended the American String Teachers' Association big national convention in Atlanta... A great hang with amazing string teachers. I always learn a lot.

Other things such as further mixing, fixing, and production on 3 forthcoming recordings, recording  stuff for others, and teaching at Berklee and Artistworks.com is filling up the plate.

Hope everyone is hanging in there.

Here's a tune from the Wintergrass Duo + Vasen set!... and you can purchase the CD in the Shop on this website!

In April, Mr Sun will be in Colorado! See the Calendar.
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updated: 2 years ago

OK, Winter, right.

Inspiration is when one realizes what is really going on... we hardly ever know what is really going on.

2016 Holiday Shows

Our Holiday Tour: December 2-4 and 9-10

Everything just keeps moving faster and faster around here. Could this mean I'm slowing down?  But I'm doing all these composing commissions, shows all over the place, making 3 recordings at once, the miserable election and climate change, shorter days, all these amazing string players at Berklee, IBMA, my Online School, and the Nashville contingent, I barely know what to do... except face forward and move the bow back and forth and wiggle my fingers.

Our Holiday shows in New England with Emy Phelps , banjo genius Tony Trischka, Ethan Jodziewicz and guitar wizard was a great success... the interesting combination of instruments worked in unlikely ways, and we had a huge amount of fun. and some bonus shows showed up at the last minute, with some really nice moments in Woodstock, and with some of the original Windham Hill artists such as the amazing Liz Story.
Here's a picture of our all-star benefit show in Woodstock, organized by the great Happy Traum, and featuring John Sebastian, Cindy Cashdollar, and other great luminaries.
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And..... we have for sale downloads of our 2015 Holiday show! It was so beautiful ,
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.

I had a fantastic time arranging a version of Moondance for Bob Childs' large fiddle orchestra, Childsplay, this fall, with the amazing vocalist Karan Casey. And yesterday i just finished arranging the Hank Jones/Charlie Haden piece "Spiritual" for Mr Sun, to be played by Mr Sun and the Wintergrass Orchestra  coming up next February 2017... we'll need all the inspiration and spirituality we can muster to get through the next few years, but that is the job of musicians, and we are ready to do the job.

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Mr Sun at Freshgrass Festival, North Adams, MA Sept 2016...  

updated: 2 years 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 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!
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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 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: 4 years ago

two thousand and eighteen has got to be better!


It's louder!

more Australia.

updated: 2 years ago

OK, it's already February. Coming to a town sort of near some of you, maybe

a bit of touring in February, with Mr Sun!

DAampMr Sun
My insanely funny and jaw-dropping band Mr Sun regaled many of you with goofy musical conversation & stories, wow you with hot licks,and moved you with beautiful gorgeous acoustic sounds in Northern California (see the Calendar)...and you came out!

We're working hard on our new recording, with tons of originals, and covers of Charles Mingus, McCartney, and William Butler Yeats.

And we saw you at Wintergrass, where the DUO held forth with old & new friends.

updated: 2 years 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.
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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.
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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: 2 years ago