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Roses in Winter

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About the author:

BrĂ­d Nowlan

One morning, about five years ago, I woke up convinced that it was time to learn to play the fiddle. My fiddle had spent some time in a wardrobe, back in Ireland, so it needed some work done on it when I brought it to Seattle.

A few months later, I ventured across two bridges into the shadows of the old VA hospital on Beacon Hill in south Seattle, to begin learning from Stuart Williams. He introduced me to the world of American fiddle music, which I knew nothing about, and to the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association: their annual workshop in the little town of Kittitas was the first fiddle workshop I attended. It was there I first heard Gil Kiesecker play. Late at night, perched on a stool alongside an RV parked outside the school, a cowboy hat balanced on his head, Gil played tune after tune, loudly and vigorously enough for some of us to brave the concrete and dance.

Whenever I come across a new idea I always look for books to read about it. But my search for books about fiddling in Washington State was stymied early on because there simply aren't any. So, I decided to write a book about local fiddlers, and enlisted Stuart as a co-author, as I knew next to nothing about the topic at the time. As Washington is home to many great fiddlers, the only problem was where to begin and end. It made sense to me to write about the older fiddlers (first) and the workshop series seemed like the best place to start.

Stuart Williams

Soon after I arrived in the Pacific Northwest in the early nineteen-seventies I was lucky enough to connect with a thriving community of fiddlers and other musicians. Some were carrying on age-old traditions brought with them from 'the old country;' others played a more recent brew of stylistic influences and repertoire learned from family and at community dances or fiddlers' gatherings around the region.

I have done my best to learn the details of fiddle style and technique first hand from these masters of the art and to pass their legacy on, both through my teaching and recording the fiddlers themselves. This community has sustained and inspired me over the past thirty years. It has been a real delight to work on this project with this group of fiddlers, all dear friends. I am honored, and a little surprised, to find myself sharing space with them in this publication. I little knew that this would be the outcome of agreeing to teach a workshop.

Roses in Winter

A Celebration of Old-Time Fiddling in Washington State - The Book

Authored by Brid Nowlan
Authored with Stuart Williams

Roses in Winter is a compilation of 24 fiddle tune transcriptions, as played by 12 of the Pacific Northwest's most beloved and respected fiddlers.

Included are profiles and photos of the 12, with stories of their first fiddles, of how they learned to play, of dances they had played and other fiddlers they had met.

Representing some of the very best in old time fiddling, they all learned directly from other fiddlers in their local communities; absorbing the nuances of style, technique, and physical approach central to old time music.

This book is a companion to the Roses in Winter CD, which features recordings of these 12 esteemed artists, in performance of these 24 classic tunes.

Carthy Sisco
  1. Turkey in the Straw
  2. Carthy's Waltz
Lee Stripling
  3. Bigfooted Man in the Sandy Lot
      / In the Sweet Bye and Bye
  4. Kennedy Rag
Jim Ketterman
  5. Green Green Grass of Ireland
  6. Pretty Little Shoes
Jim Evans
  7. Little Betty Brown
  8. Sacramento Rag
Glenn Berry
  9. Hell Among the Yearlings
  10. Stone's Rag
Harry Johnson
  11. Bavarian Waltz
  12. Johnny Nelson's Reel
Jeff Anderson
  13. Raccoon Has a Great Big Tail
  14. Lofotingen
Marilyn Scott
  15. Duck's Eyeballs
  16. Canterbury Waltz
Gil Kiesecker
  17. Devil's Dream
  18. Soppin the Gravy
Floyd Engstrom
  19. Arkansas Traveler
  20. Mexican Waltz
Stuart Williams
  21. Roses in Winter
  22. Paddy on the Handcar
Vivian Williams
  23. Honest John
  24. Red River Cart Polka

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Publication Date:
1547257075 / 9781547257072
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Music / Ethnomusicology

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