A country fiddler who swings

Although the profile of B.B. King in today’s Times is worth reading, the best critical piece in the paper today is Terry Teachout’s on country fiddler Mark O’Connor: “A country fiddler who swings.” As an addled college student, my idea of “heavy metal” in music was the sound made by headbanger electric guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia. As the aging process has taken hold, my idea of heavy metal has shifted to the sound made by the virtuoso acoustic string players in bluegrass/country/jazz such as Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, David Grisman, and Mark O’Connor. Teachout does a great job of sketching the musicianship O’Connor brings to his craft.

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