Everything you wanted to know about Fiddlinda
I am a fiddler. I started playing when I was about 10 and a half, and jumped right into old-time fiddling. The first contest I played in was 1977, and still have the trophy! Then in 1979, we went to Ireland, and everything changed...
This is kinda long...you've been warned...
My father was an English professor, and was offered a chance to take part in an exchange program to Ireland. Luckily, the entire family was able to go as well - this was after I had been playing the violin only five years or so, and that trip irrevocably influenced my taste in music. I played Texas style fiddling throughout the 1980s, and it was a successful decade for me: I was the California States Ladies' Champion four different times, and also placed in the top five at the National Oldtime Fidders' Contest in Weiser, ID - twice! I also made lots of friends, and after graduating from college at Chico State (CSU Chico), I traveled to Texas back in 1990 to visit one of those friends.
After that trip I decided to leave my hometown of Chico, CA, and moved to Dallas, where I began performing with Waifs-n-Strays. This would be the first of several bands with whom I've enjoyed stage time. I also performed with Pegasus Project, Moveable Feast, Cuckoo's Nest, and then in 1996 hooked up with Tim Smith and Jesse Owsley to form The Killdares, a Celtic Rock band that still performs to this day. I met Chris during that time, and we got married in 2000.
I left The Killdares in 2002 and moved back to California, where Chris and I lived in Sacramento. Chris picked up the bodhrán (Irish frame drum), and we formed another band called Nine-8ths Irish. However the economic downturn in 2010 convinced us it would be best to move back to Texas, which we did in April 2011. We played our last official show with Nine-8ths Irish in September 2012, but all of us remain great friends.
After moving back to Texas, from late 2011 to May 2013, I had the great opportunity to play with NEEDFIRE, a Celtic Rock band founded in 2004 by one of my former KDs' bandmates, Ed Walewski. I had the chance to travel with the band to Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and even back to California!
Chris and I are both members of the "TIMES Session Players," a rotating group of players who get to perform on Sundays at both Trinity Hall in Dallas and The Celt in McKinney. We may be found at the weekly sessions in Arlington at J. Gilligan's Pub, or in McKinney at THE CELT. In mid-2013, we joined forces with John Burleson, a mainstay of DFW Celtic music and a great guitar player to form an acoustic trio we call COOLIN. Visit our website at www.coolinirishmusic.com
I joined the great band JIGGERNAUT in late 2013, and my first show with them was at the North Texas Irish Festival in March 2014, at Fair Park in Dallas!! A new Jiggernaut album, recorded LIVE at the in Fort Worth, TX in May 2014, will be the next project, hopefully to be available soon.
In early 2014, I finally completed a solo CD. I spent nearly 60 hours in the recording studio, brought in quite a few friends to help me out with it, and received it just before the North Texas Irish Festival, which coincided with my debut with Jiggernaut. I am still very happy with the CD - check out the REVIEWS page for a couple of great write-ups - or visit the FIDDLINDACD page to read about it and get one!
Back in July 2014 I traveled to Missouri and took part in a fiddle contest, and won First Place!! Check my Blog for a small essay about that experience... I also competed in Weiser for the first time in about 20 years!! In 2018, I placed 8th in the Adult Division in Weiser - that's 8th in the country!!
Since early 2013, I have truly been a "Mercenary Fiddler." On any given evening or at any festival, I can be found sitting in with a variety of local or regional bands - whether it's with a singer/songwriter, or a full band - typically temporarily taking the place of a fiddler who can't make the show. In no certain order, I've been called on to play with these bands:
Jigsaw, my old friends Ken & Peggy Fleming and KevinAlewine (Irish, )
Emerald Accent (Irish, based in southern Mississippi)
Jed Marum (Americana/Irish singer-songwriter - I'm included in a movie due to Jed!!)
Don Gabbert (Americana/Irish/Blues singer-songwriter)
The Quibble Brothers (bluegrass)
The Bodarks (Americana/Folk)
Ed Rogers a great singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist from Fort Worth
NO CLASS, with my buddies Ed Rogers (yes, the same one above), Steve Long, and Steve Harrison
5 Second Rule (fun mashup of Irish/Jazz/Classic Rock/Eclectic)
King George: A Tribute to George Strait (uhhh....George Strait songs!!)
I was contacted in late summer 2015 about playing with a George Strait Tribute Band. I hesitated, as that's not my best style of playing (I am no Johnny Gimble!) But I said yes, played with them from late August 2015, until around April of 2018. With them I was able to play many venues all across Texas, including a big show at the House of Blues, Dallas - Check it out some of the video above, taken at the HOUSE OF BLUES in September of 2015.