Busy Days for Freestyle Fiddler Darol Anger
Darol Anger is on a roll. The award-winning freestyle fiddler has several new projects in the works, leaving one to wonder where he finds the time to complete them all. In January, Anger started lining up players for Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster's next album, a big-name Nashville session for which Anger was serving as producer this spring.
In February, he marked 23 years of collaboration with mandolinist and guitarist Mike Marshall (with whom he played in the David Grisman Quintet) with the release of the acoustic-concert CD At Home and on the Range (Compass). In March, the roots music super group Fiddlers 4—fiddlers Anger, Michael Doucet of Beausoleil, and Bruce Molsky, plus cello phenom Rushad Eggleston—released its much-anticipated eponymous debut disc on the Compass label, featuring tracks that range from Appalachian folk tunes to chamber music.
Fiddlers 4 hit the road in April. In the midst of that flurry of activity, Anger also is performing concert dates (including stops at Merlefest and Wintergrass) with the Duo, Psychograss, the Rice/Anger/Marshall/Phillips Quartet, and the red-hot American Fiddle Ensemble (also known as Darol's "laboratory band"), featuring Eggleston, fiddler Brittany Haas, and flatpicking guitar virtuoso Scott Nygaard.
"That latter band blends folk, jazz, and classical styles into what Anger promises will be "a new frontier of American music."
A new recording of piano and violin duets with Newgrange pianist Phillip Aaberg is due later this year and Anger's next jazz CD should be available in the fall. Add to that list youth concerts, clinics, and fiddle camp. Phew!