Wednesday afternoon – and we have a cracking set of tunes for our occasional Tracks sans vocals section. Natalie Padilla is a highly accomplished fiddle player – and also an established classical violinist, holding a bachelor of music from the University of Northern Colorado. She has previously released two full length albums of original music, ‘Paths & Places’ and ‘Fireweed’. She’s steeped in traditional music as well – learning Texan fiddle from her mother Nancy Padilla, and began winning contests on her own at the age of 6. Yes, you read that right, six . She was named Montana State Pee Wee Fiddle Champion and soon went on to become National Small Fry Fiddle Champion at the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest (1994), National Young Adult Fiddle Champion (2015), National Twin Fiddling Champion (2015), Rocky Mountain Regional Grand Champion (2015), RockyGrass Fiddle Champion (2015), and is the current Kentucky State Fiddle champion (2022).
And that’s not all – Natalie Padilla is also a founder member of Colorado bluegrass band Masontown – and has three further albums with them. We’ve got more – her traditional fiddle playing can be found on ‘Fiddle & Flute’ (2011), a traditional Irish music collaboration with Blayne Chastain and Peter Romero, and recently ‘Hell Broke Loose‘ (2023), an Oldtime fiddle album with Nashville natives Casey Campbell and Tyler Andal. She can also be found playing regularly as the newest member of Vermont based band, Low Lily.
Oh and then there’s today’s music which is taken from Natalie Padilla’s latest album ‘Montana Wildflower‘ which features tune sets inspired by – you’re ahead of us aren’t you? Natalie Padilla told Americana UK that “This set of three jigs features a joyous blend of treble-y melodic instruments: fiddles, tremolo harmonic and tenor banjo. It starts off with a traditional Irish slide, Star Above the Garter, then into an original jig of mine, Prairie Flax, and finishes on a more serious note as the bouzouki enters for Sean Ryan’s dark and modal tune, Dooney Rock.”
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