Llano Fiddle Fest Weekend Approaches

Time is growing short and you need to make your plans to spend the weekend of March 31–April 2 in Llano if you haven’t already done so! This is the first contest of the year for TOTFA and it starts with a bang. If you read John Caballero’s article in last month’s Texas Fiddler, you’ll know that this contest has a rich history and this year is celebrating its 40th birthday.

Llano Divisions & Prizes

Legends Division (age 65+)

1st place – Custom belt buckle & $200
2nd place – $90
3rd place – $75
4th place – $60
5th place – $50

Youth Division (0-15)

1st place – 3rd place winners will receive a custom wooden box crafted by Gary Green
All participants in this division will receive prizes and gifts

Open Division (no age limit)

Grand Champion – $1,000
1st runner-up – $600
2nd runner-up – $400
3rd runner-up – $250
4th runner-up – $200
6th – 10th place – $150
11th – 15th place – $75

Accompanist Division (all ages)

1st place – $200
2nd place – $125
3rd place – $80
4th place – $50
5th place – $25

Llano Schedule

What When Where
History/Instrument Exhibit Llano County Museum Fri Mar 31, 12–5 pm
Sat Apr 1, 10 am–5 pm Sun Apr 2, 9 am–1 pm
Air Fiddle & Anything Goes - Tricks & Licks Contests Badu Wine Pub Fri Mar 31, 6 pm
40th Llano Open Fiddle Contest LanTex Theater Sat Apr 1, 10 am–5 pm
In Concert: Elana James with special guests Whit Smith & Jake Erwin from the Hot Club of Cowtown LanTex Theater Sat Apr 1, 7:30 pm
Tix $15 at Llano Visitor Center and at the door.
Ph. 325-247-5354 for info
Sunday Service & Cowboy Breakfast with music by the Wilson String Band Llano County Museum Park Sun Apr 2, 8:30 am–12 pm
All fiddlers are invited to join group play of “Amazing Grace” in the key of G.

Llano Lodging

If you’re planning on a weekend stay in Llano, here is information on lodging:

  • Best Western, 800-346-1578 or 325-247-4104. 7 rooms available for Sat night. Fiddler’s rate is $103.50 per night.
  • Days Inn & Suites, 325-247-1141. Currently remodeling so capacity is unknown.
  • Other options, including bed & breakfasts, are available at http://www.llanolodging.com.

Live Oak Fiddle Camp

The first Live Oak Fiddle Camp occurred in 2011. It focuses on advanced fiddle and guitar instruction from a variety of master instructors. This year marks the 7th annual camp, and its instructors include Brittany Haas, Tatiana Hargreaves, Jeremy Kittel and Wes Westmoreland. It will be located at the TR Ranch just outside Hallettsville, Texas. Several musical styles will be covered, including bluegrass, Texas-style, old-time, swing, jazz and Celtic. Attendance is for advanced players, 16 years or older, and this year’s camp will be May 28–June 1. Registration is limited to 30 students. The fee is $450, which covers housing and meals. Email Heidi Ludiker at info@liveoakfiddlecamp.com for registration information. You can visit the Live Oak Fiddle Camp website http://www.liveoakfiddlecamp.com for more information.

Limited Quantities TOTFA 2014 “Silhouette” Series
T-Shirts Available

Cleaning out our garage on a recent warm winter day, Marsha and I discovered two boxes that looked familiar. Upon opening them we realized we had found hidden treasure! A total of 30 unsold TOTFA T-shirts were inside. These are the 2014 “Silhouette” T-shirts that became a very successful fund raiser. In today’s modern world where things change so suddenly, a 2014 T-shirt is a CLASSIC! Yet here they are, 3 years old, but still brand new and in mint condition.

These will be offered up for sale at the still-unbelievably-low price of $15 at the 40th Llano Open in Llano TX on April 1. After April 1, they’ll be available for purchase online at the TOTFA website via PayPal for $20 (the extra $5 is to cover shipping costs). Let me repeat: quantities are limited and these are the last of their kind! Don’t wait until they’re “Done Gone” or your spirits will B flat.
At the time of this writing, here are the colors, sizes and quantities available:

Size Green Yellow
S 4 2
M 2 2
L 9 2
XL 3 1
2XL 2 2
3XL 1 0

TOTFA, By The Numbers

TOTFA currently has 123 members
Bank balance, as of March 5: $4,308.51

The Devil's Box

The Devil's Box available for purchase here!The Devil's Box is a fast paced jam-packed look at the world of contest fiddling. Every year contestants from all over the United States flock to the town of Hallettsville, Texas, to compete for the title of best Texas-style fiddler. Featuring performances from some of the greatest legends of American roots music, The Devil’s Box explores the beginnings of the art form and showcases the rising talents that will dominate the traditional music scene for years to come. The Devil’s Box is an instant classic, filled with fantastic music and great family fun. The 3-disc set includes:

Disc 1: The Devil's Box documentary, an 84-minute look at the world of contest fiddling and all of the major players involved. Bonus features include an extended history section of Texas-style, a four-minute movie of the Hallettsville Bar-BQ Cook-Off, Song Writers Serenade featurette, and an interview with the director Jason Hammond and producer Beth Jasper

Disc 2: The Devil's Box Bonus Disc features 42 complete fiddle tunes played by contestants from around the country as well as performances by Larry Franklin, Texas Shorty, and many, many more.

Disc 3 The Lost Benny Thomasson Tapes: This disc is a wonderful hour-long interview with the master himself, Benny Thomasson. Benny tells the story of Texas-style as only he knows it and plays 19 tunes like only he can. This interview from 1976 has been cleaned up and remastered and is the ideal tutorial for any fiddler who wants to hear the tunes exactly as Benny played them and learn some fascinating fiddle history along the way.

To buy the 3-disc set, click the "Buy Now" button below. You may pay with a credit card or a PayPal account. Thank you for your support! And spread the word about The Devil's Box - the happy documentary!


March 31-April 2: Llano
April 21-23: Hallettsville*
May 6: Groesbeck
May 27: Athens*
September 8: Alvarado
October 7: Bowie
October 14: Seguin
October 21: Gilmer
October 28: Crockett*
November 11: Glen Rose

*non-association contest


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