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 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: 1 month 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: 9 months 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: 1 year 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: 1 year 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 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: 1 year 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 ; it's a source of joy. If you're a fiddler who's been thinking of improving your playing, or wants to learn more about fiddling in general, you might want to give it a try.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr Sun is now being represented by Myriad Artists.

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

updated: 4 years ago

two thousand and eighteen has got to be better!


It's louder!

more Australia.

updated: 1 year 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: 1 year 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

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:

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!

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

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

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

love to all y'all

updated: 2 years ago

Summer's last lap 2016

around the last corner

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The new recording... You can buy this now.

And I've re-instated my Tune-Of-The Month program and updated it to mostly-weekly, over at
Check out my latest single releases of historical and latest/greatest music, for cheap!
We are back to filling all mail orders and digital orders as usual. Go ahead and order anything. That we actually have. Check out the Store.

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Touring this summer rocketed from Florida through Upstate NY, then Alaska, to Colorado, then West Virginia, Maine, and Seattle.
Above is Vero Beach at Mike Block's String camp... Yes, fiddles were there... we just keep them inside when it's over 99 degrees.

Wagons ho for a gracefully routed trip from Mike&Hanneke's Orlando camp to Fairbanks with that essential stop near Albany, NY, for the lovely Grey Fox Fester.  Emy and Darol premiered their group The Rockin' Furies in Alaska, from Fairbanks to many of the great little towns scattered through the state, including Delta Junction and Cantwell, where we made a nice connection with Tonglen Lake Lodge owner Donna, and received generous offers of air toboggan transport to regions where we were able to stare for long periods at the Northern Hemisphere's highest peak, Denali.  We also ingested enormous quantities of wild Alaskan  Blueberries and Wild Alaskan coffee, courtesy of the amazing Kris Capps, Alkeshnika Air, and Mile 229 up on Parks Road. Thanks to the fabulous folks at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival for making it all happen!
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A wild flight from Fairbanks to Seattle brought us close to my 5 hour overnight layover in Portland, Oregon; a cancelled connection necessitated a 4 hour drive from Seattle to Portland that same night, reducing my layover/liedown time to 20 minutes. Arrived at Rockygrass only slightly bleary, courtesy of Richard Jefferson's shuttle-with-a-smile service. Ah, Rockygrass, where the party never stops! what a great succession of musicians! and lots of friends, especially my Artistworks Teacher colleagues! we had a special Bluegrass set featuring everybody: Yrs Trly, Andy, Mike, Tony, Mike, Michael, Bryan, Missy… did I miss anyone? A BIG band. I'll let you sort out the last names, they are listed on the website at  At the fester, I was also able to video-interview a couple of great fiddlers for my school at RG too: the phenomenal young Alex Hargreaves and the excellent Enion Pelta, of Taarka. One night of all-night jamming was all this old dude could handle, but I was able to trade licks with some of my favorite folks (besides my fellow AW profs):  Bela Fleck, Grant Gordy, David Grier, Wes Corbett,Ethan Jodziewicz, Rayna Gellert, Abigail Washburn, KC Groves, Dominick Leslie, Dave Tiller, Matt Arcara, Kristin ----- Jack Devereux, Sean Trischka, Mike Barnett, John Mailander, Sam Bush's incredible band, Mark O'Connor, and the mighty Thor on Icelandic harmonica!
Sadly bidding farewell to Lyons, we press on…on…on to Bluegrass Week at Augusta, in bucolic Elkins, West Virginia, home of so much of this great American String music we love. I taught and performed all week.... and here is one of those performances!

Just played a great reunion show with my Fiddlin' Brothah Bruce Molsky in Cambridge... what a great way to kick off Summer Touring.
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And did a wonderful Berklee Global String Fling,: what a great faculty!
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Must be some kind of Golden Moment here. Just look at this crowd.

As May arrives and the Berklee College semester ends, I'm saying "farewell" to a lot of great young players who are graduating.
But the Artistworks Fiddle School continues 24/7: All constantly learning more about music.

I just completed two fun tours of the West with singer-songwriter Emy Phelps, and managed to do some well-received workshops during that trip too.
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…Great for us, kind of weird for Bill, maybe. He played great.

Speaking of Workshops, I'm gearing up for a summer of five fiddling workshops, down from last year's record of 8, which turned out to be too many. I'm teaching at the Berklee Global String Intensive, then Mike Block's Special Band-Camp-By-the-Sea, then sessions up in Alaska for the Fairbanks Summer Arts Fester, then a quick stop at Rockygrass for's 10th Anniversary Celebration... on to Augusta Bluegrass Week in Elkins, then back to Seattle for the amazing Julie Lyonn Lieberman's Strings Without Boundaries in August....was that five?

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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 Nylonic 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?

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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 our raging version of Angel Gabriel by clicking here... 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.... and I went and did it: A visit to ArtistWorks Central, out in Napa, California...happened. And I recorded something like 40 new lessons, ranging from a slew of new tunes and ideas for arpeggios, the Amazing Fiddle Scale, the long-promised One Dozen Iconic Bluegrass Fiddle Breaks, and a whole new Gypsy Jazz Section.... along with an expanded and much more complete multiple section on Bow Shuffles!

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  to find out.

updated: 2 years ago

can't believe it's That Time Of Year again.

but it is.

on stage

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The normal hustle and bustle of the Northeast is morphing into the Seasonal hustle and bustle... that means gnarly traffic at every hour that you can shop, and pre&post-party traffic bursts between 10 and midnight.... and the same 5 Christmas tunes by every pop musicians who ever lived. But music is essential these days, for what's left of our sanity. Here's what we're liking right now:

• The Fade Out, Duke Levine
• Solas' Anniversary Recording, Solas
• Christopher Parkening Plays Bach
• The Magic Hour, Aoife o'Donovan
• Ceol More, Tony McManus
• Brewed, Våsen

... but most of my listening right now is critical listening, as I edit and mix 3 very exciting new recording projects.

First is a straight-ahead Mike & Darol Duo recording, just playing , the two of us. We tracked most of this in October, at home, in Fiddlistics Studios. It's our Duo thing, just like a house concert. It'll be out in summer, on Adventure Music.

Second is the next Mr Sun release, which we recorded between fantastic meals prepared by our dear friends the Millikens. They also provided a remote cabin in the Maine Woods where I set up all my recording gear and we sparked for 3 days. This will be a beautiful recording, from a unique perspective. Jazz/R&B played by acoustic string instruments, original and standards both: Grant Gordy, Joe K. Walsh, Aidan O'Donnell, and yours truly. Nothing was held back.

Third is a major, huge project that has been dear to my heart for a couple of years now and is finally coming to fruition: Music Of Our People, a collection of some of my favorite pop music of the Sixties, in collaboration with the incredible vocalist and songwriter Emy Phelps. This is some of the music which has stayed with us over decades, interpreted and arranged by us using the acoustic string instruments (mostly) that I've come to know over the last 50 years... working with some of the most amazing young players in Our Genre, whom you know, in our home studio, to give these classics new life.
The music of the Sixties (and Seventies) was one of the two most fruitful and imaginative periods in American Cultural history, and has yielded sounds and styles which are still imitated every day. After decades of thinking about these incredible songs, we offer our own very personal interpretations. I really let my imagination run riot on this stuff, much like my previous large project, Heritage, which was an exploration of the deepest folk songs in my life. This is the kind of project that, after it's completed, one can say: "OK, I could die now, I've said my piece".
....Not that I'm planning to do that any time soon!

Meanwhile, please check out our new single releases and newish albums at our Bandcamp site.

And we hope your holiday season is filled with the serenity and happiness that's so lacking in the world right now... And we hope, through our music, that we can assist with that.

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AND... Yes. For the very first time... I'll be teaching and performing with my group in...A U S T R A L I A. January 2018!  
Finally getting there!

All the information is on the Calendar.

updated: 1 year ago