Fiddlin' Arthur Smith

Rare Old Time Fiddle Tunes

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This is late-period material from the kingpin Tennessee fiddlin' man, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, accompanied here solely by his son on guitar in a program strictly dedicated to old-time fiddle tunes, Rare Old Time Fiddle Tunes. This narrows Smith's usual range of subjects considerably and some listeners may miss the sentimentality or cornpone humor that livens up some of his other recordings. And some may miss his singing, although others may wish his old cohorts the McGee Brothers had never gotten him started singing and be grateful for the relief. What it here is marvelous, a completely clear recording of guitar and fiddle, father and son, engaged in a retelling of story after story in that uncanny fiddle tune language. Smith's instrument has a different voice suited to each tune rich with sharply edgy shadings and pitch so perfectly between the cracks that it would send a piano tuner scrambling for cover. Avant-garde violinists or fans of their playing should check out the performance of "Cumberland Waltz."

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