From the Prez

I have served on the Board of Directors several years now, and I have been a member of the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association even longer. This association is near and dear to my heart, and fiddle music is even closer. I want to see this association get better and more involved, but I need to know what our members want to see, hear, and experience from Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association. What brings you to TOTFA events? What keeps you away? What aspects do you like? What suggestions do you have? Let me hear your voice! Call me or any other director at their numbers on the Contact Us page. We are here to represent you and all members. Feel free to email us as well. I want to know what you want from TOTFA!!!!

The Groesbeck contest is coming up on May 6th. This is one of my favorite small town contests. It has a long-running history with TOTFA and has always drawn a great local crowd. In the past few years, Groesbeck has moved the contest to the Civic Center and has become an indoor contest. There is no admission fee to get in, and the city also brings in a local club to sell a great lunch to the fiddlers and crowd. I hope everyone can attend this great little contest.

April started off with a great contest in Llano, Texas. Although this contest is not new to us, I have been unable to attend in previous years. I was finally able to make the scenic, wildflower-filled drive down to the Lantex Theater for the Llano Fiddle Fest. John Caballero coordinates a fantastic event. The theater was full throughout the entire day of the contest and the number of contestants was phenomenal. I encourage everyone to visit this contest in the years to come.

May 6: 49th Annual Fiddle Fest & Southwest Fiddle
Championship in Groesbeck

It’s time for Groesbeck again! The contest was moved to the newly built Groesbeck Convention Center in 2015 due to threatening weather and new location was well-received, so now for the 3rd year in a row, it will be there again.

Details for the contest are:

Location: Groesbeck Convention Center, 106 E. Navasota St. Groesbeck, Texas (Right across the street from Steel Fitness Gym)

Divisions: 0-15, 16-35, 36-64, 65+, accompanist, & championship (top 2 from each fiddler division). This is not necessarily the order in which the divisions will compete.

Registration: 10 a.m.
Contest starts: 11 a.m.

All TOTFA members are encouraged to turn out to support this long-running contest.

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 146 members
Bank balance, as of March 5: $4,688.97

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!

SAVE THESE 2017 DATES

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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Want to contact The Texas Fiddler newsletter? Email:

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You can also mail content through the postal service by sending to:

TOTFA Newsletter
c/o John Crawford
277 Diamond Ln N
Burleson, TX 76028-6729


DID YOU KNOW?

That you can now pay your TOTFA dues online? Check out our membership page.

That you can advertise in the TOTFA newsletter and pay online? Check out our newsletter page.

That TOTFA members receive the monthly newsletter by email or USPS by the 1st of each month and that the web site newsletters are posted with a month's delay?

That the TOTFA newsletters contain additional information about contests, birthdays, photos, teacher information, transcriptions, etc.?

That we would enjoy publishing your TOTFA photos on Facebook, our web site, and in our newsletters.