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Listen to Vivian’s music
Old Joe Clark
Bile Them Cabbage Down
Whiskey Before Breakfast
Paddy on the Turnpike
Fiddling suddenly seemed vitally important, even necessary, for me to learn. Perhaps it had to do with grief for my mom’s death, and with the fact that I was just starting to feel the inklings of a midlife crisis coming on. All I knew consciously, though, was that I had to learn it.
After a chance encounter with fiddle music, Vivian Wagner discovered something she never knew she had lacked. The fiddle had reawakened not only her passion for music, but for life itself. From the remote workshop of a wizened master fiddle maker in the Blue Ridge Mountains to a klezmer band in Cleveland, from Cajun fiddle music in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans to a fiddle camp in Tennessee, Vivian’s quest to master the instrument becomes a journey populated by teachers and artisans—and ultimately creates a community that fortifies her through an emotionally crushing loss.
Intimate and enlightening, this is a story about the unique gifts of the fiddle, the redeeming power of music, the freedom of improvisation—and the importance of knowing that even though a song may reach its end, there’s always a new tune to learn….
"Charming, smart, lyrical and surprising. I recommend it to anyone—savage beast or not—who needs their soul soothed." —Suzanne Finnamore, international bestselling author of Split