Vivian Williams

Fiddler

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In 1978, when this album was originally recorded and released on LP, Vivian Williams was already a veteran on the Pacific Northwest's traditional music scene; she had been winning contests and playing dances in the region since 1960. She was also already an acclaimed composer, having won the prize for Best Original Fiddle Tune at the Smithsonian Fiddle Contest in 1973. So it should come as no surprise that these live and studio recordings, though almost 20 years old when reissued on CD, should exhibit maturity and technique that are fully developed. Williams' mastery of multiple genres is in full evidence as well: she plays confidently in a bluegrass vein on "Done Gone" and her own "Burnt River," then shifts effortlessly to more Western-influenced waltzes and stately Canadian tunes with piano accompaniment. Particularly nice are the fiddle and banjo duet numbers, which include exhilarating renditions of the standards "Katy Hill" and "Old Joe Clark." This CD reissue includes four previously unreleased bonus tracks. Strongly recommended.