You Can be a FiddleStar

I post things about fiddling. And how we can all be better at it.

I love waltzes. You know waltzes are my jam. Throughout my life, most of the tunes that made me jump out of my chair, grab my fiddle, and sit down in front of the speaker, not moving for hours until I internalized every note, have been waltzes. This is one of those. It is a French musette of unknown title. I learned it from the fiddling of John Lardinois (from the Lewis and Clark album produced by the North Dakota Arts Council, which is awesome and you should find it immediately) who has always straddled the genres of classical and Texas style, quite beautifully. I learned it in 2001 and can clearly remember sitting cross-legged on my floor in my little rental house in Palo Alto loving every note. I still do. #waltzes #musette #fiddle @johnlardinois (at Fiddlestar)

Posted 12 hours ago
<p>#catsimeetontour is an underserved hashtag but no less valid than #dogsimeetontour so I present to you, this guy. He hung out with me on my evening walk around Dillon, MT and I feel like he had some stories to tell. @mandolin2842 said he had a punk rock vibe and I think that’s right. #montanacats  (at Dillon, Montana)</p>

#catsimeetontour is an underserved hashtag but no less valid than #dogsimeetontour so I present to you, this guy. He hung out with me on my evening walk around Dillon, MT and I feel like he had some stories to tell. @mandolin2842 said he had a punk rock vibe and I think that’s right. #montanacats (at Dillon, Montana)

Posted 1 day ago
<p>Yesterday I took the long way around (on my drive from Dillon, MT to the SLC airport) and managed to see a few things that really mean a lot to me. Like, trains. This is Promontory Point, UT where they drove the Golden Spike to connect the nation’s rail system. I learned from Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley that those of us who live the road life have an obligation to see things along the way. Don’t just go from hotel lobby to hotel lobby and at the end of it all, wonder what it was all about. Take the detours and see the stuff. And when you get there, sit for a moment and think about the people who made it happen. #nationalparks #nationalhistoricsite #promontorypoint #trains #steamengines #goldenspike #trainsimeetontour (at Golden Spike National Historic Site)</p>

Yesterday I took the long way around (on my drive from Dillon, MT to the SLC airport) and managed to see a few things that really mean a lot to me. Like, trains. This is Promontory Point, UT where they drove the Golden Spike to connect the nation’s rail system. I learned from Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley that those of us who live the road life have an obligation to see things along the way. Don’t just go from hotel lobby to hotel lobby and at the end of it all, wonder what it was all about. Take the detours and see the stuff. And when you get there, sit for a moment and think about the people who made it happen. #nationalparks #nationalhistoricsite #promontorypoint #trains #steamengines #goldenspike #trainsimeetontour (at Golden Spike National Historic Site)

Posted 3 days ago

A few years ago I noticed, after it was already in full effect, a trend toward using a bass player as accompaniment in fiddle contests. This time I’m ahead of the curve. Banjo ukes. Mark my words, people. Banjo ukes are coming and they’re coming fast. This was definitely the exciting trend I officially spotted at the contest last weekend. And it’s awesome. #trendspotter #banjouke #fiddle #fiddlecontest #tessadalton #stinkysblues @shelbeerae (at Idaho State University)

Posted 3 days ago
<p>Yesterday I had the privilege of attending my student Maggie Magee’s high school graduation jam, held in downtown Dillon, MT. The kids (and I hung in there most of the way!) played and sang for over three hours and it was such a joyful experience. Maggie is a ray of sunshine and loved by all, as evidenced by the emotional outpouring around her leaving town to go off to college. She even played the banjo tune she learned from @tylerandal last year! It was a very special day for a special young woman and I was honored to have been invited. #graduation #fiddle #montanafiddle #dillonjuniorfiddlers  (at Dillon, Montana)</p>

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending my student Maggie Magee’s high school graduation jam, held in downtown Dillon, MT. The kids (and I hung in there most of the way!) played and sang for over three hours and it was such a joyful experience. Maggie is a ray of sunshine and loved by all, as evidenced by the emotional outpouring around her leaving town to go off to college. She even played the banjo tune she learned from @tylerandal last year! It was a very special day for a special young woman and I was honored to have been invited. #graduation #fiddle #montanafiddle #dillonjuniorfiddlers (at Dillon, Montana)

Posted 4 days ago
<p>You know I wish every day was #nationalpoetryday and when I discovered this on my walk around Pocatello this morning I strongly considered standing in this exact spot all day. #allthreethings #trains #makingalist #vogs_margie #inthegap  (at Old Town Pocatello)</p>

You know I wish every day was #nationalpoetryday and when I discovered this on my walk around Pocatello this morning I strongly considered standing in this exact spot all day. #allthreethings #trains #makingalist #vogs_margie #inthegap (at Old Town Pocatello)

Posted 5 days ago
<p>Happy World Fiddle Day, my friends! I celebrated by listening to and judging dozens of amazing fiddlers at the first annual Idaho State University Fiddle Competition. But in addition to that, I got to say howdy to an old fiddle friend from days gone by - Tim Hodgson of the Bar J Chuckwagon in Jackson Hole, WY. We’ve known each other since we were kids and I’ve always admired his playing. I haven’t seen him since shortly after we appeared together in that photo of the Weiser top 5 I posted with all those boys in hats. 😏 @shelbeerae You should be proud of your event today and thanks for bringing some old friends together. #fiddle #fiddlecontest #worldfiddleday #oldfriends  (at Idaho State University)</p>

Happy World Fiddle Day, my friends! I celebrated by listening to and judging dozens of amazing fiddlers at the first annual Idaho State University Fiddle Competition. But in addition to that, I got to say howdy to an old fiddle friend from days gone by - Tim Hodgson of the Bar J Chuckwagon in Jackson Hole, WY. We’ve known each other since we were kids and I’ve always admired his playing. I haven’t seen him since shortly after we appeared together in that photo of the Weiser top 5 I posted with all those boys in hats. 😏 @shelbeerae You should be proud of your event today and thanks for bringing some old friends together. #fiddle #fiddlecontest #worldfiddleday #oldfriends (at Idaho State University)

Posted 5 days ago
<p>Morning, friends. Headed out this weekend but before I left, I threw a new Megan Set on the ol’ regraduated German shop fiddle. Why, yes! I do have a custom set of @daddarioorchestral strings named after me. Ok, I basically named it myself and only about 14 people call it the Megan Set but still… It’s a magic combo and you can call @theviolinshop and ask for the Megan Set and they’ll ship it to you and you can be as delighted as I am! Helicore heavy gauge A, D, and G and a Kaplan non-whistling E. As Marc Maron would say, do it up! #fiddle #fiddlestrings #strings #whatkindofstringsdoyouuse  (at Fiddlestar)</p>

Morning, friends. Headed out this weekend but before I left, I threw a new Megan Set on the ol’ regraduated German shop fiddle. Why, yes! I do have a custom set of @daddarioorchestral strings named after me. Ok, I basically named it myself and only about 14 people call it the Megan Set but still… It’s a magic combo and you can call @theviolinshop and ask for the Megan Set and they’ll ship it to you and you can be as delighted as I am! Helicore heavy gauge A, D, and G and a Kaplan non-whistling E. As Marc Maron would say, do it up! #fiddle #fiddlestrings #strings #whatkindofstringsdoyouuse (at Fiddlestar)

Posted 1 week ago

I’m headed out to Pocatello, ID tomorrow to judge a brand new fiddle contest (run by the awesome @shelbeerae) and I just thought I’d share one of my favorite waltzes. Written by the legendary Bobby Hicks, Angel’s Waltz is one of the most beautiful there is. That’s not my opinion. That’s a fiddle fact. #fiddle #angelswaltz #bobbyhicksisbae #waltzes #fiddlecontest (at Fiddlestar)

Posted 1 week ago
<p>People. Look over here. We’re hosting our very first vocal camp. You asked for it. Here you go. These folks can SING. And they can teach you how. Registration opens June 1. That’s coming right up. <a href="http://www.nashvillevocalcamp.com">www.nashvillevocalcamp.com</a> #singing #nashville #vocalcamp #bluegrass #country #harmony</p>

People. Look over here. We’re hosting our very first vocal camp. You asked for it. Here you go. These folks can SING. And they can teach you how. Registration opens June 1. That’s coming right up. www.nashvillevocalcamp.com #singing #nashville #vocalcamp #bluegrass #country #harmony

Posted 1 week ago

 1/25/13
I am excited to embark on a new chapter of my working life - I recently gave my notice to the Pam Tillis organization and will no longer be touring with her or Lorrie Morgan (on their awesome Grits and Glamour Tour). I must admit, I'm sad to be leaving. It's been an incredible four years and I have learned so much. Thanks to Pam, her amazing husband/manager Matt Spicher, and my bandmates, especially the lovely and talented Mary Sue Englund, with whom I spent more time over the last few years than I did with my husband. And I wouldn't trade a minute of it...