August 28, 2011

Branson Fiddle Festival 2011

This weekend we had an extraordinary time at Branson's 23rd annual Fiddle Festival!
People came from all over the United States to enjoy great old time fiddle, guitar and banjo music and to enter the old time fiddle contest.  

Contestants from Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and
of course Missouri competed and entertained large crowds.

Fiddlers waited in the wings for their chance to demonstrate their talent, dedication and hard work.  The young man in the front right of this photo is Trustin.  Click on his name to see his talent, he is an incredible musician.

It was much more than just a contest or a festival, it gave everyone an opportunity to share with each other, meet new people, teach and learn the art of playing great bluegrass music and carrying on the traditions of old that would die if these young children weren't carrying their past into the present and future by teaching it to their children.  The beauty of these get togethers are seeing everyone enjoy spending time with each other and encouraging each other much more than the competing against each other.  Adults are always ready and eager to accompany contestants on stage or simply just practice with them, giving them tips along the way.  You can always see competitors actually back each other up by playing back up on stage for each other.  

Young and old alike were competing and having a great time.

For these two, it was their first year jumping in to get their feet wet.  They just started playing together a few weeks ago, and they were having a great time just being here.  Ricky Boen, Junior Marriott and Dale Morris Jr. were the judges of the contest and held guitar and fiddle workshops for two days before the contest.  They hold titles like the World Fiddle Champion; Texas State Champion; many Missouri State Championships; Kansas State Champion; Arkansas State Champion; Grand Lake Festival Champion for 2006, 2007 and 2010; Grand National Championship; Grand Master's Championship and Fifth Place in Weiser Idaho Nationals.  They are great guys and excited about teaching the art.  You can view Dale Morris Jr. or Junior Marriott by clicking on their names.  It was an incredible experience to see these guys "jam" together and to learn from them during their workshops.

Fiddlers later shared their music on the streets of Branson while others enjoyed square dancing.

If you are wondering what this has to do with homesteading, it is who we are and where our roots come from.  We enjoy hearing fiddle music bounce of the hardwood trees of our forests after a long hard day of work.  We are the Scots Irish of the Ozarks and we get together to sit around and play good music, sip sweet tea and make new friends when its time to take a break from the hard labor of homesteading.  So watch for the fiddle festival in Branson Missouri next year and come join us!!

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