This project is a labor of love by two of the greatest fiddle players of modern times, Vassar Clements and Buddy Spicher. On Runaway Fiddle (OMS-25170) these two legends record a satchel of old tunes they grew up loving, playing, and internalizing, but for the most part, never recording. In other words, if you are a serious fan of the fiddle, this is sure to be a rare treat for you.
Buddy & VassarThe songs are indeed diverse. There is the classic Charmaine, composed in 1926 by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack for the Motion Picture “What Price Glory”. And another show tune, Dardanella, was a huge hit and a staple of 1920s jazz bands and the obvious uniqueness of this 21st century version is in the harmony. Just Because has been recorded in many different styles by many artists including Elvis Pressley and The Beatles. It became the first polka record to sell in excess of one million copies, and earned a gold record for America’s Polka King, Frank Yankovic. The Dill Pickle Rag was a ragtime jazz composition by Charles Johnson in 1906. It became wildly popular after being performed as a brass band piece by John Phillips Sousa, in fact it became the first ragtime tune to sell over 1 million copies of sheet music.
There are also several songs on here by the legendary Bob Wills. He created a new art form called western swing and for over fourty years he influenced American popular music in general and country and western in particular. Buddy and Vassar have always admired the music of Wills. The fact that his music appealed to both the age of jazz and swing era and continues to be popular in these times of rock and country and western shows just how far ahead of his time he really was. Buddy notes that the twin and triple fiddle arrangements that Bill Monroe introduced to bluegrass music can be attributed largely to the music of Bob Wills.
Over one full year was spent in Buddy Spicher’s studio creating this project. Sure, there were days where either Buddy or Vassar would be on the road or tied up in another session, but during that time period the project remained their primary focus. Throughout it all, one overriding goal prevailed: have fun while creating without musical constraints. They will consider this project a resounding success if they succeed in making you love these old tunes as much as they do.