Fiddlin’ Van Kidwell – FRC412


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My father came from Rockcastle County, Kentucky. My mother was born and raised in Madison County. Dad played the fiddle and I picked the banjo with him. He just played a few of the old ones—Soldier’s Joy, Tennessee Wagoner, Black Eyed Susan. We’d play for square dances—just banjo and fiddle. Then I got started on the fiddle and eventually quit the banjo. There used to be a lot of fiddlers around and some of ‘em was pretty fair. I’d catch a lot of these tunes off them. Me and Doc Roberts, I’d say we kinda learned together off old Charlie Walker, a colored fellow. I figure he was about eighty when I was twenty-five or thirty. Dealin’ livestock and farming—that’s what I done all my life, now I’m just fiddlin’ around. – Van Kidwell, 1974