Who-Knews?-Letter #11

Fiddle Safari


In 1995 I acquired my first 5-string fiddle. My life and playing direction changed forever. It was #3 made by John Silakowski. In my senior year of college (2000), I “graduated” to his new-and-improved model — #22 if you’re counting. That’s been my main axe ever since, but I didn’t have an equivalent stunt double. This summer, I took a pilgrimage to see John and a batch of new fiddles. Luke Bulla joined me and America’s Next Top Fiddle was born.


This Knewsletter shares photos from Rockygrass, Telluride, my crop circle, 4th O’ July light experiments, an aircraft carrier, New Orleans, and my Grandmotherinlaw’s garden. Follow the thumbnails below:


This summer, just about every gig has yielded a new-used tie from a local thrift store in the city of the gig. The Colorfools have been religious about it. I’ve expanded to include my shows with other folks as well. Here’s a picture of most of them. Once the rest trickle in, I’ll take pictures of all my ties, Matt’s ties, and TommyG’s ties.


It was a busy year for camps: Sore Fingers, Mark O’Connor, Rockygrass Academy, Targhee Bluegrass Academy, and Bluegrass Week at Augusta. For all but Sore Fingers (because I hadn’t the idea yet), I held an open jam (daily if possible). For each day at camp, I blogged the tunes, their keys, and provided links to good versions on iTunes. I also gave a synopsis of the days teaching. There’s a new Rambles Archive page on my site. You can easily navigate to any day at any camp…


I’ll be up to something a little different this winter. For November and December (see right) I’m taking a gig with Béla Fleck & the Flecktones — on the crew. They needed an extra hand setting up the stage and this new dad will take some cool music work in an often dry part of the touring year. The Flecktones were influential to me at an early age, particuarily the years when harmonica/piano monster Howard Levy was in the band. Well, for the first 3 weeks, Howard rejoins after 15yrs. For the second 3 weeks, saxophonist Jeff Coffin (now in the Dave Matthews Band) will jump back on board for holiday repertoire. I never leave home without my fiddle, so perhaps a few opportunities to pick will creep up.


While out on these 6 weeks of Flecktones dates, I’d like to have some sort of photographic theme – something that I can document from place to place, gig to gig, something that will change from night to night….but I’m not sure what. Dressing rooms? Facade of the venue? Hotel room? Hotel carpet? View out hotel room? The chandelier (if there is one)? Venue ceiling? I welcome ideas. What would you be interested in seeing? Keep in mind that the first 2 weeks will be in Europe. You can send me ideas by replying to this email or to info@caseydriessen.com.


Oog Store Oog has embarked on its world travels. Perhaps it will become your soundtrack for a few moments – wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Have a listen online right now, or send yourself one today.

You can learn more by watching the Making of Oog and the Meaning of Oog, or read some words about it by others at Pop Matters and Blog Critics.

If you haven’t stopped by my website cASEYdRIESSEN.com or my Myspace recently, they’ve both been re-brained and redesigned.


The Colorfools (Matt Mangano, bass / Tom Giampeitro, drums) had a great run in the western mountains. We started up in the Grand Targhee and ended up in Denver. The big surprise for us was the state of Utah. Until this trip, I’d only played shows in Salt Lake City, for which I’ve flown in and out. This time we drove from the north and worked our way down to mid-Colorado. UT is packed with beautiful terrain that I’ve never seen before. We had one day off and spent it at Arches National Park. (Excuse me, but is this another planet?). Upon recommendation, we caught the sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park. The next morning we went back to Arches for the sunrise. I highly encourage any who haven’t been to either to go. I will revisit.

The Colorfools last show of the year is Oct. 11 at the Shakori Hills Festival in Silk Hope, NC. Thanks to all for your support. We’ll be back with more in ’10.

I hope you had a great summer. Enjoy the changing of the season and colors. Be well and travel safe,


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