In older versions of the diddley-diddley blog I’ve written some about my own history in music, meaning how it happened that I became so interested in music.
I’m not sure why I became this music geek, because nobody else in my nearest family is particularly interested in music. But, my grandpa used to play the fiddle, and his ancestors did too. I’ve heard some stories from an uncle about my grandpa’s grandpa’s brother who was some kind of travelling fiddler in North America, but I haven’t really found any evidence for it when I’ve done some family research. However, I do know that my grandpa was a fiddler, and my aunt plays the fiddle too. My dad’s side of the family comes from a part of Sweden where traditional fiddle music is important and has deep traditions.
I was never interested in playing the fiddle when I was a kid, or really, I think I actually was, but didn’t have the courage, because we didn’t own a fiddle, and also because of those silly attitudes out there that “only very especially gifted people can learn to play the fiddle”. I wonder how many have been scared off from trying by those stupid lies? One of my favourite quotes these days is “LIBERATE THE FIDDLE!” simply because the fiddle should be considered just like any other instrument, it’s fabulous just like any other musical instrument and it isn’t harder to learn to play than any other instrument, and you can do anything if you have the interest in it. Every musical instrument is unique and has its own difficulties and things that make it unique and fabulous. Anyone who is interested in learning to play the fiddle should do that, no matter what limitations, the opportunities to take lessons, or whatever. Especially today with modern technology that allows you to do more or less anything with the help of a computer and internet access.
However, as a kid I actually had an interest in playing an instrument but was too coward and did the recorder. Now today I really despise that instrument… it’s beautiful in its own way but… there is so much more out there.
I played the recorder for 2 or 3 years, then I quit. I didn’t have interest enough, my family didn’t support me, and my teacher made me play boring stuff. After that I didn’t bother about playing music for many years.
When I was a teen or so, I started liking simple country music. I don’t remember how it started but I think it was that my dad had some country music in his car, and I really liked listening to it. The music had a special “feel” that the typical radio music didn’t. A few years later I heard a CD with Buck Owens being played at a street market, and I just knew I loved the music. I bought some CDs, and after the release of “Absolute Country” in 1993? I got some more, and I was lost.
My dad had a guitar, so when he died, the only thing I really wanted was his guitar. I didn’t start to play it until 1995 though, but I loved it, I played some chords and sang some simple country songs. I remember singing “Take me home, country roads”. A friend of mine also started playing the guitar, and she was all about Joan Baez. After a while, and after listening to more country music, I realised that I liked a more traditional, genuine sound, without electrics, drums and pianos. I started looking for CDs with only guitars, basses, fiddles and the likes, and that’s how I ran into Alison Krauss and the Cox family. I had my first encounter with bluegrass music :). This was in the spring of 1995.