2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Blues and the Fiddle
Alex McKamie
Dr. Clifton Kreps, Faculty Mentor

When people think of traditional blues music, the guitar and harmonica are usually the first two instruments that come to mind. However, in the early history of the blues the fiddle played just as important of a role. In the 1920s, performers such as "Blind Ed" Haley, Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson, and Alexander "Eck" Robertson were all blues musicians who were either successful solo fiddlers or played fiddle as part of a blues ensemble. Although the fiddle was mostly reserved for bluegrass or old-time country music during that period, these musicians pioneered a new blues style of playing. My research considers not only how they came to learn to play the fiddle in this way, but also how their unique playing style has had an important role in Blues history.

Keywords: fiddle, blues history, 1920s popular music, "Blind Ed" Haley, Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson, Alexander "Eck" Robertson

American Studies

Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 4-2
Location: OP Performance Hall
Time: 8:15

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