Fiddlestar Fiddle Camp 2009

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I just returned from the Fiddlestar Fiddle Camp in Goodlettsville, Tennessee - just outside of Nashville. It was hosted by Megan Lynch, a fiddler and teacher extraordinaire. I had a great time. My trip began on Wednesday, April 29, 2009. I flew from San Jose to Nashville and was picked up by Megan Lynch’s mom (yes, they pick you up from the airport) who brought me to their home where the camp was held. There were 20 students total. Most of us stayed on the lower level of their home in dorm type accommodations.

Breakfasts were prepared by Jana Mougin, who did the catering. She is a singer and bass player in the Czech bluegrass band Fragment. Each morning Bobby Hicks taught my core class, which was the intermediate to advanced level. Beginners went in another room with Megan Lynch. I attended Bobby’s class at the Augusta Heritage Camp in West Virginia last year and enjoyed it so much that I came back for more! In my opinion he is king of the double stops. He plays melodies embellished with beautiful moving harmonies all the way through, and does it effortlessly and perfectly. It is magical to observe in person and up close. I was so inspired that I tried to copy everything he did. He taught us Katy Hill, Twinkle Little Star, his break to Footprints in the Snow, and some of his licks and fills.

In the afternoons and evenings we had various activities. The first afternoon, we had a jam led by Casey Henry and Jon Weisberger. In the evening we went to a local jam. The next afternoon we had singing with Stephen Mougin of the Sam Bush Band, and a hot licks workshop with Jeremy Garrett of the Infamous Stringdusters, which I really enjoyed. He showed us a cool break to the song Someone Took my Place with You, with lots of parallel fifths. In the evening we went to another local jam at the community center, but there was a power outage so we didn’t stay very long. On Saturday afternoon I took a workshop with Megan on improvising. Megan is an excellent teacher. She also did a Master class where each person in the class plays for the class and is critiqued. After that we had a band scramble.

That evening was our big field trip to the Station Inn, where I attended the CD release party of the Paul Warren Tribute CD. Paul was the fiddler for Flatt and Scruggs. The CD was recorded and produced by his son Johnny Warren and Charlie Cushman, a banjo player. It was a great show. Curly Seckler, the tenor singer in Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ band The Foggy Mountain Boys, made a guest appearance. He sang and played the guitar with the band and he sounded pretty strong for being 89 years old.

On Sunday we had a nice brunch followed by Bobby and Megan playing together for awhile. It was fun to observe them learning and playing each other’s tunes. They sounded amazing together. After that there were only a few hours left to pick Bobby’s brain and try to get a little more. Then it was off to the airport and home.

I loved the Fiddlestar Fiddle Camp! I had a fabulous time. I’ll never forget it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.



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