Forte - Golden Fiddlers
An album of strung-out mayhem featuring Four Play, Marcy Taylor, CODA, Fiddlers Feast, Cin Cin, Mykl Lozin, Dirty Lucy and more.
Hey diddle diddle - these folks can sure play the fiddle!
The violin or fiddle has a lengthy relationship with Australian music. I'm not sure if the versatile stringed instrument journeyed on the First Fleet but I'd take a healthy wager that one of the officers or crew had had one at the ready, for fiddle music was intrinsically linked to seafaring music. There was definitely an early convict, John Ayres, who had a passion for music since this shoemaker was transported to Botany Bay in 1794 for stealing 'musical instruments to the value of fifty shillings'. Captain Bligh, later to be Governor of New South Wales, reputedly instructed the fiddler on the 'HMAS Bounty' to play for his daily callisthenic’s exercise program!
Whatever the case the violin appeared early enough to be mentioned in early broadsides, newspapers and memories. It fiddled in the convict quarters with jigs and reels to remind of better times and separated love; it heralded the gold rush era when thousands traveled the bush in search of the elusive metal, and were soothed at night by its melancholy airs; it was also there in the shearing stations and drover's camps. It was also in grander environments including Government receptions, military march-pasts and in polite squatter's homes where young ladies were encouraged to play sonatas and parlor songs. It also traveled into the twentieth century joining country crooners, orchestras, radio quartets, jazz dance bands and, later, even rock bands. The second half of that century saw the older styles revived as we re-discovered our traditional music, especially the music of our rich Anglo Celtic heritage.
Released in conjunction with the Golden Fiddle Awards, the first awards which focus on nurturing, supporting and rewarding the wealth of violin playing, performing and composing talent in Australian and New Zealand, each and every particpant on this unique and entertaining collection belongs to a select group with acknowledged credentials. There's the new generation fiddling as displayed by Migel MacLean, Peter O'Shea and the 'family' bands of The Bostocks and the Davidson Brothers. Jenny Thomas breathes new life into a fiddle-centric version of 'Waltzing Matilda' and Ian Cooper makes his 'Brazil' really swing. Original compositions are also featured, especially with the music of Sean O'Boyle, Marcela Taylor (nominated for this year's CMAA Golden Guitar Instrumental of the Year) anMykl Lozin. There are some wonderful ensemble tracks too where the fiddle jumps out and dances - Four Play, Cin Cin, CODA, Dirty Lucy and of course, Rouseabout's Fiddlers Feast.