Best fiddle players in your opinion
Who in your opinion is the best fiddle player and why?
Who in your opinion is the best fiddle player and why?
This one has been tried before 😉 but *really* its all down to taste, with the exception of Liz Carroll, of course, who is the best. 🙂
…but there’s dozens more I love too……
Stephane Grappelli if we’re not talking strictly trad…
Who in *your* opinion is the best player and why?
The one that doesn’t start two sets in a row during a session. 🙂
My vote is for Liz Carroll but I agree there are dozens more that are top-notch and I like for different reasons. Liz can play anything in ITM and do it well with a considerable amount of originality. Of course, she’s contributed her own very excellent tunes to the ITM cause. I’ve heard other fiddlers (highly respected fiddlers themselves) point to Liz as one of their top choices. She plays slow tunes beautifully, as beautifully as the best classical violinists. She plays fast tunes with the clarity and accuracy that only very few others can do, if any. Her tunes are done with considerable analysis and thought behind them, which results in great arrangements. To top it all off, she writes her own tunes and makes many of them freely available for other fiddlers. She shares what she knows freely and truly wants to carry the ITM torch to move the ITM tradition into the future. From my limited experience and from things I’ve read that support this, she has a great personality. I think it would be hard to come up with another fiddler who has all of these great assets and qualities.
This was done only a last week. Why not try different instruments like banjo,concertina or flute ?
There are too many good players to say who is "best". Does it really matter anyway?
In order to answer this in any meaningful way, you would have to have,
1. Heard all fiddle players
2. Have some definition/clue of what ‘best’ means (Most dextrous? Most soulful? fastest? Most creative?…)
Looking just at professional fiddlers, what criteria would you use to judge between Liz Carroll and Tommy Peoples, say?
How can you decide if you have only heard commercial recxordings of said fiddlers? No recording is reproduced without SOME sort of tweaking.
And why don’t you tell us YOUR favourite, as Dow suggests - are you going to wait until us lesser mortals have made fools of ourselves before stunning us by revealing the one true master that we should have chosen if we hadn’t been so dumb?
I like many fiddle players who have a wide variety of styles being a fiddle player myself
The late Johnny Cunningham.
Best known for his lightening fast reels but I loved his slow airs. You could tell he truly loved and felt the music.
Kevin Burke. He’s firey without being acrobatic and I love his sad, complaining triplets.
… Now, what was the question?
Well, of course Ron P is quite correct & there can’t possibly be such a thing as a ‘BEST’ fiddle player! One can have favourites of course, but that’s not the same thing at all, ….. at all!
If I had to name one it would probably be Mark O’Connor but if you are talking Irish Fiddle player, then I’m afraid my list would be at least as long as Ottery’s - but then of course length is not important 😉
My favourite fiddler is Kevin Burke - so that mean’s I find him best to listen to.
Kevin Burke’s cd’s are better than all the rest. i like martin hayes’ live cd too.
I seem to have a touch of the apostrophe virus. Sorry. Hope it’s only the 24 hour version!
Ottery - Obviously, Cathal Hayden is the best fiddler, since he appears twice in your list, whilst all the others appear only once.
So he does!
I do believe you are right - this is God’s mysterious way of enlightening us wastrels….
Well while we appear to be on the topic of just "fiddle players" I might just have to add my four favourite fiddlers:
but then if I add these four I have to add two mandolin/guitar players that double as pretty good fiddlers:
But I seem to be very biased towards these american persuasions of fiddle playing. Steph was good, but more gypsy and if we are strictly speaking "fiddle" then he was jazz violin so he don’t count. And I was going to add Joshua Bell but he is Classical base, although Mark O’Connor is, O’Connor dables in various styles and sounds as displayed on his "heros" albulm.
I can’t think of any more right this second as i am at work but I’ll be back to read and maybe add more on this topic.
I will have to look those fiddlers up Ottery, I am but a humble Australian youngster, whom is not familiar with 85% of that list you left us. My Deepest Apologies, if I have offended anyone here with this imparted knowledge and ignorance.
Just another sub category to add: - inovator
hmm by the looks of it, I might be listening to the wrong kind of music to be part of this site. 8( Don’t get me wrong, although I like Eileen Ivers, and Kevin Burke is only ok (personally he is not a violinist i would look up to), Sean Keane is good, Ashley MacIsaac is a Rocker, Peter Knight from Steeleye Span is a good innovator, Sean Smyth ain’t too bad, although I think that Kevin Crawford (the flute player) is the highlight of this innovative and skillful bunch of musos known as Lúnasa,
… who else do I have in my collection, oh yes the Corrs’ chick ain’t too bad (but not someone I would be trying to style my playing from),
I know a fiddler called Randall Mathews here in Australia who is pretty good at the ITM, I’m not too shabby myself, but am not up with all the tunes, and some of the finer techniques are a little without practise at the moment and need work. But what am I thinking I am not a "best fiddler" type……. yet…. yeah, I got high hopes and dreams.
If you want to know a few great mandolin players, which I haven’t mentioned already, Chris Thile is great, and Radim Zenkl is different sort of music all together and it is worth a listen.
Ok I’ve had my two cents worth….and you can keep the change…
Donnell Leahy in pretty much all catagories!
Calvin Vollrath is the best fiddle player in the world… Anyone who can capture the mood of a song and not just play the notes has the gift and Calvin certainly has that gift…Calvinvollrath.com from traditional to swing he just has great melodies and plays so well in tune….then there is Shanecook.com . Both of these guys are Canadian players and are just great…
By far - Dave Garner from Bristol: (fiddle player with Choonz): check out www.myspace.com/choonzmusic
After him: Martin Hayes
or if you are thinking trad music in general, whichever one of Haugaard/Hoirup is the fiddle player…)
Then, Sean Smyth (Lunasa)
That’s my top 5. Eileen Ivers is damn good but sometimes lacks taste, Dezi Donnelly is a very complete musician, but Sean Smyth just about edges it: better ornamentation and energy. Martin Hayes stands apart of these guys as he can do everything aND more, and his playing is soulful. But I think Dave is better, because his energy levels are through the roof and he has more technique… And is just 22!. Having seen all these guys play live all I can say is you have to look for Choonz’s new album (being released this August) or get yourself to a Choonz gig. … and the rest of the band aren’t sh*t either! Okay, you probably won’t of heard of this band yet - but you have now!
… oh and that Australian fella was right about mandolin players, Chris Thile is sh*t hot. There’s a video saomewhere on youtube of him covering a radiohead tune which is my favourite.
No, Tommy Peoples?
No, wait, … Oh, I give up! Who is it?!
It does say "in your opinion" so as far as I’m concerned it has to be Tommy Peoples for his unique style and his fantastic compositions.
Siohban Peoples..is my opinion of course
I don´t know if Kevin Burke is " the best " (whatever that may mean) but I get more pleasure listening to his music than that of any other fiddle player - and I´ve heard quite a few !
Stuart Duncan is hands down the best on earth, no one even comes close. His tone is enough for me. He also fits perfectly in any musical situation. And when it comes to improving he really proves he’s in a league of his own
If you ever get a chance to listen to him live, you’ll understand why.
"They were all good." Padraig O’Keefe.
My fav Irish players are Cathal Hayden, Martin Hayes and Caoimhin O’ Raghallaigh and my fav Scottish player is Eilidh Steel who also composes great tunes
James Kelly. FLORIDA REPRESENT!!!!!!
Kevin Burke, Frankie Gavin and Dezi Donnelly (in the order I heard them). I also enjoy listening to Cathal Hayden and John Carty a lot. And of course Gerry "Fiddle" O’ Connor (how could I forget him!).
Along with Kelly, I’d throw in Tony DeMarco, Brian Conway, Hayes belongs on any short list. Peoples at the top, I think. Been listening to "Waiting for a Call" and loving it.
Thinking beyond traditional Irish I think you have to include Mark O’Connor. Just the sheer versatility is mind-blowing. Grappelli. How about Federico Britos!?
And among violin players, in general, I nominate Hilary Hahn, who may well be or is fast on her way to becoming the finest overall musician in the world.
Duncan Chisholm 🙂
Oh, I forgot someone. Two people, actually. Rachel Barton Pine, who enjoys playing in the Scottish fidl piobrach tradition, in addition to her very successful classical career (and heavy metal, too!). And Andre Brunet!
Cathal Haydn for his overall sound, Mark O’Connor for his phenomenal technique, Alasdair Fraser for his beautiful tone, Kenny Baker for his choice of lovely and lively tunes, Casey Driessen for his amazing innovativeness.
Alasdair White wins hands down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7BSIrb9nbc