Journal

 

#Fiddlespiration 1 COMMENTS

 

This month has been huge for me. A debut performance of a solo show, big crowds, huge festivals, my entire family coming out for weekend of performances, and marathon training to boot. But something that really sticks out in my mind was the opportunity to spend time and even make music with two of my musical idols: Eileen Ivers and Liz Carroll.   These are two amazing women who blow my mind overtime with their musicianship as well as their poise  and character as people on the circuit.  I grew up listening to both Eileen and Liz and they we both a huge part of why I got in to fiddling.  If you haven’t heard of them, or you are looking for some new #fiddlespiration check these ladies out.
  • Eileen Ivers: To paraphrase her bio, Grammy awarded, Emmy nominated, and the original fiddler of Riverdance she is  Nine time  All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, and has guested with artists such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Sting, Hall and Oates, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Regina Carter, Patti Smith just to name a few. What I love about her how she brings so much experimentation and creativity to her playing  – and this transcends genres which is a rare talent that I very much try to emulate.  As you listen to her albums across the years you will hear how she can grove along seamlessly with a trad celtic tune, or a latin beat, or even a pop tune by like Michel Jackson. She is also a real showmen (show-women?) on every level a true performer who will thrill you and engage you in every tune she plays.  Check out this video:
  • Liz Carroll: Liz is also has won the prestigious All-Ireland Fiddle Competition. She is also the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadoir TG4, Ireland’s  most significant traditional music prize.  She tours as a solo artist, as well as with Greenfields of America, String Sisters, and Cherish the Ladies.  Her albums have always been an inspiration for me, but her latest titled “On the off Beat” spurred a new and recent bout of creativity in me that got me through this last difficult tour.  If you don’t have it yet, definitely get it!  It is well with a listen. For me, Liz is an inspiration in raw musical talent. The way she plays tunes, the tunes she pics, and the variations she plays are just so good.  But there is something about her sound for me that is unequalled.  She plays so in the string with this thing I can only describe as a “sass.”  That is what I love about her playing.  A real highlight of the weekend for me was getting to do a duet with Liz at the acoustic set I did on Sunday.  Check out this video for some Liz #fiddlespriation
It is hard to say how special it has been for me to get to perform on the same stages as these heroes.  It has been a challenging, but truly remarkable summer tour so far and I think it is always good to take a moment and appreciate where you are.  I am so grateful to be a part of this circuit and I am so lucky to know wonderful women like these two ladies!
  • Tim Olsen

    Fabulous. I was privileged to meet Kiana at Milwaukee Irish Fest this year, and she was so gracious. It was an absolute thrill to meet her. I started playing the Fiddle about 1 year ago, and Kiana was my reason for wanting to try. She is to me what it appears Liz and Eileen are to her.