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Week of May 31, 2010
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Montana singer, songwriter, musician, storyteller, writer, auctioneer, Model T authority, and fiddle expert Stan Howe shares photos and commentary in some special "pictures of the West":
We had our big spring fiddlers show in Pony, Montana last night [May 8, 2010], workshops all day, jam sessions all day, potluck dinner and a big night show at the Pony Opera House.
I'm president of the fiddlers. We had a lot of kids show up. We have a hundred or so who play fiddle; our youngest is four and they go all the way up to high school kids.
We had a good showing of kids. Brigid Reedy* was there... Totally unrehearsed, I got her up on the night show to play twin fiddle with me on "Faded Love" and we brought down the house. She played backup while I sang and then we twinned and played the harmony back and forth...
These next two girls are sisters. The one in the doorway with the big hat is six! She can play and sing far better than her age—has a nice voice and is unerringly on pitch. She is going to be a great fiddle player in a few years and already is placing in contests.
She and her sister always wear pink, because, as she told me when she was just four, "Every day is a good day to wear pink when you're a girl!"
Brigid and the girls were instant friends. They talked horses, played some tunes together and giggled until they were red in the face. It was a great day and night.
This is cowboy country. Notice the little western shirt and the boots. This is the youngest player we had yesterday. She was six about two weeks ago.
This sister and brother play very well; she is ten, he is twelve.
This fiddler is also twelve.
Old time music is alive and well in Montana. At least this part of Montana.
*Watch a delightful video, "Carrying it Forward" here at YouTube from the 2010