Posts Tagged ‘Leonard Rutherford’

Leonard Rutherford

March 19, 2012

from the notes to “Monticello: Tough Mountain Music”

It’s been said that no smoother fiddler ever wielded a bow than Leonard Rutherford. Asked to comment on the “smooth” style he learned from Rutherford, W.L. Gregory said. “A regular fiddler will use what you call round notes, try to hit every note in the tune; we used a lot of slide notes, maybe cut out a note or two and put a slur on it. What a singing school teacher would call a circle note, that’s what we use. The main thing is the touch of your fingers, how you dab it to the note. You shove the bow – – the speed the bow goes makes it have the right tone. You have to be a man who uses all the bow for this style – – too many people play with the heel of it, and you have to keep the bow on the strings. You sort of roll off from one note to the other instead of jumping. Lot of the other fiddlers play a zig-zag note. A lot of times in order to get the pretty tone you have to leave off one or two notes and make a long slide – – that’ll make it taste good to you.”