The Fiddler Who Fiddles With this Site
Neither bragging nor complaining, here is a little bit about me:
My grandfather played fiddle, sang songs and told us stories in upstate New York when I was growing up.
My grandmother played violin and fiddle and had learned from her father, also a fiddler, as well as at school.
My great grandfather also played fiddle and one of the family played for wagon trains traveling out west. One day he got drowned in the Missouri River.
I took classical violin lesson all through elementary school - eight years - in a group lesson at the school. At a point we switched schools. The new school didn't give violin lessons because they only had a marching band. So much for violin lessons. I'm one of seven kids and the money to continue individual private lessons just wasn't there.
Following a brief spell when I taught myself folk guitar by using some books from Mel Bay Company, I took up playing the fiddle and learning from other fiddlers.
I studied writing, art and physics in college in Buffalo, New York. (I bet you're wondering about that "physics" thing. Well, as a writer, artist and musician it seemed I might end up a little flaky unless I studied something good and solid. Hence, physics. Beyond that, I just like to know how things work.)
Greg and I met in 1979 at Grand Central Station in New York City. I was there because I'd just sold a couple of books to a major publisher. Cool, huh?
Greg plays blues, boogies and ballads on the piano and likes jazz. He had wanted me to play fiddle with him on stage way back when we first got married but - now listen up, all you beginning fiddlers - my bow arm would shake so badly that it was impossible for me to perform on stage. So I learned to sing instead. (See? I know where a lot of you beginners are coming from and some of the problems you might have. Believe me, I have had them all.)
We have two kids, and assorted pets and livestock, and live in rural Pennsylvania in Snyder County. There is a lot of Oldtime, country and bluegrass music in this area. Greg and I make our living as musicians and tourguides and manage to pay our bills by doing so. I also tell stories, legends, and ghostly tales, many of which are Pennsylvania and music related.
I can read music enough to get by, but mostly play by ear and have a repertoire of well over 400 tunes that can be played solo, memorized. The tunes are mostly well known American tunes, heavy on the ones that come down to us from the Scots and the Irish, a lot of German tunes (Snyder County is "Dutch Country"), many Civil War and Colonial tunes, and some pop tunes. When Greg and I work as a duo he backs me on my songs and I back him on his songs.
I don't play a whole lot of fancy or impressive bluegrass, but mostly play oldtime style, so that people can either sing along or dance to the music. It works out very well and keeps me working. Yes, I've won and placed in a few fiddle contests.
The area where we live is forty miles from any major city and the ones that it is near are not all that major so finding supplies, music, repair-people etc., is done mailorder or not at all. I even have to ship my bow out to be re-haired.
So there you go. Bev's bio in a nutshell, just in case you were wondering who is spouting all the information on this website.
Oh -- I teach fiddle, too.