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Fiddle Fever

Fiddle Fever was one of the most eclectic groups in string band history. Paced by the three fiddles of Matt Glaser, Evan Stover and Jay Unger, the virtuosic acoustic guitar flatpicking of Russ Barenberg, and the upright bass playing of Molly Mason, the quintet incorporated everything from bluegrass and traditional folk music to Cajun two-steps and Western swing. Their third and final album, Waltz of the Wind, even included an heavily atmospheric instrumental, "Icelandic Hymn," based on a melodic theme by Icelandic composer Thorkell Sigurbjornsson.

The impetus for Fiddle Fever was sparked when the five musicians came together in New York's Greenwich Village. The band represented the meeting of five top-ranked modern bluegrass players. Unger (fiddle, mandolin) and Stover (fiddle, viola) had been members of David Bromberg's late-1970s band. Glaser (fiddle, piano), who was equally as skilled at Bill Monroe-style bluegrass as he was at Django Reinhardt-inspired swing, had played with the Central Park Sheiks. Barenberg (guitar, fiddle, percussion, mandolin), had played with Country Cooking, and had previously worked with Glaser in the New York All-Stars and Breakfast Special. Joined by banjo player Tony Trischka, Barenberg and Glaser formed a short-lived newgrass group, Heartlands, in 1977.

Despite its potential, Fiddle Fever was together for a brief four years, disbanding shortly after Barenberg moved to Nashville. Glaser went on to become the chairman of the string department of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Unger and Mason, who later married, continued to perform together as a duo.

Fiddle Fever had its greatest exposure seven years after they split up, when their recording of Unger's instrumental "Ashokan Farewell," from their second album Waltz of the Wind, was featured as the theme song of the Ken Burns PBS documentary The Civil War in 1991. The tune was inspired by the fiddle and dance workshops conducted by members of the group at the Ashokan camp in New York's Catskill Mountains. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Classic Bluegrass Instrumentals

1. Foggy Mountain Breakdown

2. Clinch Mountain Backstep

3. Cluck Old Hen

4. Ashokan Farewell

5. Jerusalem Ridge

6. Get Up John

7. Black Mountain Rag

8. Nashville Skyline Rag

9. Feudin' Banjos

12. Orange Blossom Special

13. Wheel Hoss

14. Charlotte Breakdown

16. Nine Pound Hammer

17. Turkey In The Straw

18. Gold Rush

x

Track List: Come To The Mountain: Old Time Music For Modern Times

1. Come To The Mountain

2. Hop High My Lulu Gal

3. Willow

4. Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground

5. Winter

6. A Sweet Goodbye

7. Perilous Journey

8. Down At Mylow's House

9. Station Blues

10. Chicken In The Snowbank

11. Black Jack Davey

12. Your Heart Has Found A Home

13. River Of Sorrow

14. Midnight On The Water

15. Long Journey

16. Walking Back To Richmond

17. Bane's Grave

18. When Sorrows Encompass Me Round

19. Ashokan Farewell

20. Help Me Climb That Mountain

21. Amazing Grace

22. There Is A Reason

Comments

Report as inappropriate
madysontomli n s o n 2 3 2 8 commented on iLoveMemphis
Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky. But if you read this and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name appear in big letters on the screen. This is so creepy because it actually worksLeave a comment...
Report as inappropriate
madysontomli n s o n 2 3 2 8 commented on iLoveMemphis
Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky. But if you read this and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name appear in big letters on the screen. This is so creepy because it actually worksLeave a comment...
Report as inappropriate
Like Coplands Saturday night waltz, a song that can make you weep out of pure beauty and simplicity
Report as inappropriate
brendan.hall i g a n
Jay Unger wrote this piece and Ken Burns used it in his PBS documentary of the Civil War
Report as inappropriate
janemeekins
Definitely Ken Burns. Such an recognizable theme woven through his stories...lo v e it
Report as inappropriate
Touches that certain something in our hearts, minds, and souls
Report as inappropriate
imaprepmom5
Such a lilting and emotional piece. You can really feel the era. It's just beautiful
Report as inappropriate
Absolutely LOVE Ashoken Farewell...s o relaxing
Report as inappropriate
it resounds on my own heartstrings . so uplifting! Seems to touch the entire span of human emotion.
Report as inappropriate
Some beautiful music indeed. Love it!
Report as inappropriate
This sound works. No soaring s toy strings or synthesized garbage. Just pure sounds evoking a better time in our musical journey.
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful and touching
P
Report as inappropriate
Why is this coming up on my Mozart playlist? Nice tune but doesn't fit
Report as inappropriate
This music always makes me weep. It's so simple and beautiful.
Report as inappropriate
jillrosanne
Hearts melody in music. Lovely. Anointed.
Report as inappropriate
steve2205
Ken Burns Civil War FTW!
Report as inappropriate
beautiful! thank you!

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