BUDDY PENDLETON & FRIENDS
GEMS FROM A MASTER FIDDLER
Summer Sky Prod.
No Label, No Number
This is a regional all-star project honoring Patrick County, Va., fiddler Buddy Pendleton. Buddy can be seen at local fiddle contests walking around carrying his fiddle case, wearing a cowboy hat that makes him look a bit taller than he really is, and looking for a welcoming jam. Once that fiddle comes out of the case, you’re in for a treat. Here the music is much like a jam. Fifteen cuts featuring fiddle tunes, old bluegrass gems, and some old-time songs, sparkle with decisive picking and singing and, of course, fine fiddling. With the likes of Sammy Shelor, the impeccable Hershel Sizemore, Johnny and Jeanette Williams to name a few, gathering around the mics and spicing up the proceedings we get a joyous collection with many musical highlights.
Pendleton is a veteran of many bands including Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, the Greenbriar Boys, and bands that featured many of the artists here. His fiddling is known for its quicksilver fluidity. There is no letdown here. He glides through each break, often putting in more notes than one can imagine as on “Tennessee Waltz.” He tackles traditional tunes with ease and glides through Vassar Clements’ “Lonesome Fiddle Blues.” His fills on the vocal cuts are spot on and his sweet take on old favorites such as “The Old Spinning Wheel In The Parlor” are textbook examples of notable fiddling.
The cast of singers and fellow pickers is large. Hershel Sizemore’s mandolin is a wonderful plus, as are the Williams’ fine vocals on lead and harmony throughout. There are too many musicians to name here, but their roles all add up to a great tribute to a great fiddler. It’s great to hear this collection of fine music and have the privilege to hear the great fiddling of this master fiddler in such a warm context. (Summer Sky Prod., 1017 Falls Ave., Madison, TN 37115, www.summerskyproductions.com.) RCB