Album Remarks & Appraisals:
On January 6th,2012 a concert based on the music written about in the Little House on the Prairie series of books by author Laura Ingalls Wilder, was filmed at the Loveless Barn in Franklin, TN before a live audience, for broadcast by the PBS television network. Artists performing on the concert include award-winning musician and musical director Randy Scruggs and an all-star string band featuring Matt Combs, Dennis Crouch, Chad Cromwell, Hoot Hester and Shad Cobb, along with featured artists Randy Travis, Rodney Atkins, Ronnie Milsap, Ashton Shepherd, The Roys, Natalie Grant and Committed (NBC Sing Off Champions). Dean Butler ("Almanzo" on the Little House on the Prairie TV show) and Dale Cockrell (President of Pa's Fiddle Recordings) have teamed up to produce this unique show that will feature these top-level artists performing and giving their best interpretations of the great American songs and tunes loved by Pa and Laura Ingalls during their lifetime. To commemorate the occasion, a brand new album is now released by Pa's Fiddle Recordings titled Pa's Fiddle: American Fiddler The album, which features songs chronicled in the Little House books, helps place Charles Ingalls among the first rank of old-time fiddlers whose influence is foundational to so much of modern American music. It tells of the power of music to transcend the years, as the "old" songs of Pa Ingalls becomes new again through exciting and dynamic performances by some of the today's finest acoustic musicians. Great American songs on the CD include "Buffalo Gals," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Polly Put the Kettle On," "Life Let Us Cherish," "All the Blue Bonnets," "Golden Years Are Passing By," "Boatmen's Dance," "Mary of the Wild Moor," "The Campbells Are Coming," "Haste to the Wedding," and more.
Charles "Pa" Ingalls, an old-time 19th century fiddler and the father of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the popular Little House on the Prairie books, is a central figure in those beloved books, and even though there isn't a single recorded track of his fiddle playing, he is still an influential musician, mostly through the 127 folk songs, fiddle tunes, and dance rounds his daughter portrayed him as playing and then embedded in the books. The Pa's Fiddle label has set out on an ambitious project to release versions of those 127 pieces played by world-class players on multiple CDs, of which this volume is a sort of sampler. How good a fiddler and musician Pa Ingalls actually was may or may not have been enhanced by a daughter's memory, but these facsimile renditions hint at the community utility of music in a time before radio, television, and the Internet exploded it into a whole new world of fast-moving commercial enterprise. Before that, there were local musicians. They played what everyone wanted to hear, transforming a summer evening with the single draw of a fiddle bow. ~ Steve Leggett
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