'American Old-Time Fiddle Tunes'
'American Old Time Fiddle Tunes' (Schott Music, 2010, €17.95)
Well known for his folk collections encompassing Irish, Scottish, old-time, and Eastern European pieces, Pete Cooper’s new album of 98 traditional American fiddle tunes showcases gems from across the United States.
All pieces are grouped by key, as they would normally be in sessions or performances.
In his excellent introduction, Cooper allays any doubts that classical violinists might have when first approaching these old-time fiddle styles. He even explains the whys and wherefors of the different tunings found throughout, and various bowing patterns define the “groove,” the irresistible pulse that gives this music its hypnotic character.
The music continues for as long as anyone can remember a good tune—and there are many.
In the 1730s, American fiddle music evolved from its European roots into a distinctive style whose heartland spanned the southern Appalachians of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, and culminated in such endearing back-porch tunes as “Turkey in the Straw,” “Sweet Marie” and “Beaumont Rag.” Cooper guides the initiate, as well as more experienced players, through an enjoyable style workout.
He also plays all the tunes on the companion CD.