7th Annual Fiddle Hell Gathering in Groton, MA, Nov. 4-6, 2011Friday, July 15th, 2011
It’s just under 4 months until the most amazing Fiddle Hell Massachusetts ever!
This year will bring more sessions and workshops for Southern oldtime, Quebecois, Irish, Cape Breton, bluegrass, New England, Klezmer, and Swedish styles; more opportunities to jam; more Q&A sessions with traditional fiddlers, and even a contra dance!
The Friday night concert is back, as well as the big Saturday night event, both to be held in the spacious Carriage House out back of the Old Groton Inn. Becky Tracy from Wild Asparagus will be teaching, as well as Pete Anick from Fiddler Magazine. I’m even teaching a workshop on how to play Orange Blossom Special (over the top but fun). Guinness on tap, as usual.
The whole event is beginner and advancing beginner friendly, but there is plenty to keep intermediates and advanced players happy. Please reserve your room now (or find a friend to stay with, or just commute), and register for the Pre-Fiddle-Hell Workshops <http://www.reinerfamilyband.com/fiddlehellmassac/pre-fiddle-hell-workshops.html> while there’s space.
Dave Reiner and Andy Reiner, Fiddle Hell Directors
Introduction: Fiddle Hell is an amazing gathering of fiddlers from near and far to meet, jam, learn and have fun.
The term “Fiddle Hell” refers to the Saturday night event when all the fiddlers play a tune each and a bunch of common tunes together. Last year, we had 200+ fiddlers at the 6th Fiddle Hell Massachusetts, from 14 states and 5 foreign countries! There will be lots of different styles represented, by fiddlers with varying experience, including New England, Irish, bluegrass, swing, Cape Breton, Scottish, Southern oldtime, gypsy, French-Canadian, Texas and Western Swing styles. We encourage each fiddler to play a short tune of your choice for the group on Saturday night; and to play along with the common tunes (that you know). Join us for a single day or for the whole weekend!
The 52 Fiddle Hell common tunes are listed at <http://www.reinerfamilyband.com/fiddlehellmassac/common-tune-list.html> , and are available on a 2-CD set played fast and slow. The 2-CD set is just $15 at <http://www.reinerfamilyband.com/store.html> – a great way to prepare, or to learn the tunes even if you can’t make it this year!
Pre-Fiddle-Hell Workshops: Friday, Nov 4, 9AM – 5PM. Pre-registration at <http://www.reinerfamilyband.com/pre-fiddle-hell-workshops.html>
2011 instructors are: Becky Tracy, Kimberley Fraser, David Kaynor, Dave Reiner, Andy Reiner, Clayton March, and Julie Metcalf.
Styles: Irish, New England, Cape Breton, French Canadian, Irish, Swedish, oldtime, bluegrass, and more. Also, workshops on bowing, chords, harmonies, improvising, learning by ear, and more. Fiddlers of any age: $80 Adult accompanying a kid: free (for Pre-Fiddle-Hell only)
These 30 workshops during the day on Friday are a bit more relaxed than Fiddle Hell itself, and a great way to start out your Fiddle Hell weekend. If you’re coming from far away, these will add to your experience and help amortize your travel costs. The seven workshop leaders are excellent traditional fiddlers and very experienced fiddle teachers. This event is for beginners (who know at least 6 tunes, say), for advancing beginners (who know at least 12 tunes), and for intermediates (who know at least 20 tunes, and are comfortable playing and learning at a somewhat faster rate. Pre-registration requested (let Dave know at 781-863-0140).
Fiddle Hell: Friday, 5PM – Sunday 6PM. Register at the event itself; schedule is at <http://www.reinerfamilyband.com/schedule.html>
Over 50 workshops and guided jams; also informal jams and free giveaways. Dozens of instructors! Workshops include bowing patterns, improvisation, bluegrass, backing up a singer, contradance fiddling, gypsy fiddling, French Canadian fiddling, fiddling for kids, and more. We’ve also set up jams in particular styles, like Oldtime, Cape Breton, Scottish, Irish, Bluegrass, Klezmer, and Western Swing, and some beginner jams. There will be several half-speed tune workshops to prepare for the common tunes on Saturday night. We will invite selected local players (guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, etc.) to accompany the jams. The vendor room will have fiddles, fiddle repairs, T-shirts, and CDs. Adult fiddler: $60 [for the weekend] Kid fiddler 18 or under: $40 Senior fiddler 65 or older: $40 Adult accompanying a kid: $20
Friday fiddle concert 7:30PM in Carriage House (free if you’re at Fiddle Hell or Pre-Fiddle-Hell; walk-ins $10). Performers include Becky Tracy, Kimberley Fraser, David Kaynor, Dave Reiner, Andy Reiner, Clayton March, Julie Metcalf, Eric Eid-Reiner, and more.
Saturday contra dance 6:45-7:45PM in Carriage House (David Kaynor will call: dance some very easy contra dances, or you can sit in with the band to play common New England tunes for the dance)
The big Saturday night event 8-10:30PM in Carriage House (Get a chance to play a short tune for the group, and play along with the tunes you know when we play some medleys. Free giveaways and a fine time for all! More jamming afterwards…)
Levels: Fiddle Hell is not for novices who can’t play any tunes yet; it is intended for beginners (who know at least 6 tunes, say) and advancing beginners (who know at least 12 tunes) through intermediates and advanced players. We have very limited space for non-fiddlers; please contact Dave first at 781-863-0140.
Where: The Old Groton Inn, 128 Main Street, Route 119, Groton, MA (978-448-5614), a beautiful old country inn about an hour west of Boston. This year, we will again occupy their large Carriage House, giving us lots more space.
Lodging: The Old Groton Inn has great rooms if you’d like to stay over. Single or double rooms are around $120. To reserve, ask for Vicki at 978-448-5614. If they’re full, call the Westford Regency Inn, 219 Littleton Road, Westford, MA, 01886 (800-543-7801). 12 minutes away, with comparable Fiddle Hell rates.
Food: The Old Groton Inn has a good restaurant for dinner. Lunch and dinner buffets will be available there on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday morning, or you can forage elsewhere.
More Information: <http://www.reinerfamilyband.com> has details on common tunes, schedule, jamming guidelines and Pre-Fiddle-Hell workshops. Join the Fiddle Hell Massachusetts group on Facebook, follow FiddleHell on Twitter, or contact Dave Reiner at 781-863-0140.