Scott Prouty and I really started playing music together in Elkins, West Virginia after a chance meeting in the late 1990’s. We had both been away, out of the area and though we had met years before, we hadn’t played much. One evening we happened to run into one another and struck up a conversation and eventually the topic turned to fiddle playing so we decided to get out the music and have a few tunes. I think we were both pleasantly surprised to find that we knew a lot of the same music. It turned out that we shared an appreciation for the older fiddle styles as well as an admiration of the older musicians that we knew in West Virginia.
Some of our common repertory was also from field recordings of people now gone, made earlier in the 1900s. They‘ve always inspired us musically and seemed like a window into another time that had more in common with past centuries than this one. What made that evening great was the musical affinity, often elusive but always an essential element to enjoyable music. We played often over the next year while we were both in Elkins and during that time learned a lot from each other.
What we are attempting with this recording is what we’ve always done over the years: playing the music that grabbed us and has never let go. This music is largely from West Virginia and Kentucky with North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia also represented.
It is regional music tempered by the insights and sensibilities of local musicians who always played in unique, beautiful and sometimes startling ways around their homes and communities.
It is certain that this recording would have never happened or would have been much delayed without Chris Coole. The idea for the project was his and his steady encouragement and enthusiasm has been crucial to seeing it through. We are grateful for his help, knowledge and great sense of humor.
It’s funny that Chris and I happened to meet Scott about the same time, in the early 1990s, though it wasn’t until about ten years later that we got to know each other when the three of us played together in Elkins...ten years after that, we got around to making this recording.