Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Road Trip Music in Illinois: three fiddles

What is the difference between a fiddle and a violin? There isn’t one. It is what you play on it, how it is played, and of course, what you choose to call it. Classical fiddle? Rock violin? The three musicians whose work forms the soundtrack of our Great American Road Trip journey through Illinois will open your ears and mind to new ways of hearing this versatile instrument.



Rachel Barton Pine is a gifted and articulate classical violinist -- and one of her interests is metal music, which she also plays. At a concert celebrating her recent recognition as a Great Performer of Illinois, she played baroque sonatas, Tchaikovsky, and death thrash metal. Her recording Scottish Fantasies is an excellent venture into music of especial interest here along the music road. Alasdair Fraser is a guest on the album.







Alison Krauss grew up in the Champaign Urbana area, where. after a brief foray into classical music lessons -- “not enough to do any real damage,” she jokes -- she found herself drawn to bluegrass, which has led to more than a dozen albums and more than a dozen Grammy awards, as well. A fine place to get an idea of her talent through music, interview, and video is the dvd Alison Krauss: Live from the Tracking Room: A Hundred Miles or More


Andrea Zonn was growing up across town in Champaign Urbana at the same time. She and Krauss became bluegrass fiddle contest competitors and fast friends. Zonn followed her studies in classical music up through college level. When her professors at the University of Illinois wanted her to choose between classical and popular music, though, “ I didn’t want to,” Zonn says. “So I transferred to Vanderbilt, in Nashville. I thought that would be a community where I could do both. I was right.” In the years since receiving her degree from Vanderbilt, she’s toured with Vince Gill, the Alison Brown Quartet and other artists, is in demand as a studio musician, and currently backs up James Taylor on the road. You can hear Zonn’s work on her solo album Love Goes On and, as a producer, on the Celtic Americana album Hands Across the Water-Benefit for the Children. Both are fine choices to add to your soundtrack for our trip through Illinois.


you may also wish to see
Music Road: aidan o'rourke: sirius

Music Road: Three Fiddle CDs for Fall

Music Road: lead and harmony

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. Stop by and see what the Library has in mind to inspire travels through Illinois.
For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins


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