Click the link above to listen to April being interviewed by Jane O’Donohue at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, ACT, Australia. Thanks to Simon Kravis and Community Radio 2xx-fm for providing this mp3!
April 1, 2012
Click here to read a CD review by Bruce Elder (opens a PDF)
Click here to read a CD review by Bob Buckingham (opens a PDF)
February 12, 2012
Click here to read an amazing article & review by Eric Thom (opens a PDF)
February 2012 Issue
Click here to read an album review of “That’s How We Run” (opens a PDF)
Jan/Feb 2012 Issue
April is featured in the “Shop Talk” section of this issue! Check it out :)
Greg Cahill – January 2012
5 Minutes With Fiddler April Verch
How did you select the fiddle tunes included on the new CD?
I love fiddle tunes. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that I am a bit of a fiddle-tune nerd. I get really, really excited when I hear a tune that gets me going in one way or another. Sometimes it’s the rhythm or crookedness of a tune, sometimes it’s the way the melody twists, sometimes it’s the chord progression. In any case, when something gets me excited like that I can’t stop thinking about it, then learning it, then playing it.
What is it that has attracted you to Southern fiddle music?
I am fascinated by the connections between different fiddle traditions. Even though I grew up in the Ottawa Valley playing music that was unique to that area of Ontario (Canada), I was exploring other regional fiddle styles in Canada before long. Then I started traveling and touring and hearing other fiddle styles I hadn’t imagined before and that passion for fiddling continued to grow. I seem to go through phases where I really connect to musical styles on a deep level and sometimes it’s an artist that will inspire it, sometimes it’s a single tune, and sometimes I just don’t know how it happens. But over the last few years I have loved listening to and trying to play Southern tunes. I’m not a Southern player, nor will I ever be, so respecting the traditions these tunes come from and still making them my own is really important to me. It’s challenging and fun for me to pull those tunes off. I think there are deep connections between Canadian old- time and American old-time fiddle tunes and perhaps that is why I’ve been so drawn to Southern fiddle tunes lately. They’re just such great tunes and there are so many wonderful recordings and versions of those tunes—what’s not to love? I just can’t get enough.
Describe the complexity of the string parts to a classical player who may be inclined to dismiss it.
Fiddling is indeed complex, and each fiddle style has a complexity of its own. It may be the double-stops, drones, bowing patterns, syncopations/rhythms, ornamentation, improvisation, or any combination of these examples that are characteristic to a particular style that makes it complex. Quite often it’s being able to pull off all of those things accurately and still make it feel
good. But if it doesn’t groove or dance, you haven’t accomplished the goal of the music. That’s not as easy as one might think!
What makes a fiddle tune good?
Good fiddle tunes are like good music—it’s extremely subjective—but it should make you feel something. A good fiddle tune might make you want to kick off your shoes and dance, or pull over to the side of the road and have a good cry, or it might make you forget about everything but the tune for the moment. Joy! It might accomplish these feelings with the melody or with one lick in the B part or by being crooked—extra or missing beats—and, of course, it has something to do with the musician who is portraying all of that.
But as far as I’m concerned, there is no list of things that makes a good fiddle tune—it’s what it makes us feel.
How does fiddle music empower you?
I’ve talked a lot about how fiddle music makes me feel, how a fiddle can “say something,” and how I want my fiddle music to evoke feelings in others (whatever that may be for them). I think that string music has empowered me in that way—it’s given me a voice. It’s enabled me to say things I wouldn’t have otherwise known how to say, and consequently it’s led me to places I wouldn’t have seen, people I would not otherwise have met.