Bart BakerI hope everyone is having a good summer. The Belton contest over 4th of July came and went with hardly a notice. I was very disappointed in member turnout for one of our longest running contests. Adding money to the pot didn’t have the result that I had hoped it would. Of the $500 withdrawn to add to the contest, I deposited $410 back into the bank account. I had asked the Belton organizers for more money in the future, but with a turnout of 11 members this year, I don’t see that happening. A big thanks to the 10 of you who came out to support the TOTFA and the contest.

We have upcoming contests in October to support. Bowie seems to always have a successful turnout, due mainly to the hard work that Marty Elmore puts into the contest. Gilmer and Seguin are suffering in attendance. I have heard recently from the Seguin organizers, and they are concerned about losing funding in the future if attendance doesn’t pick up. Please come out and support these communities that are making an investment in our organization. It is going to take more than a few directors and a handful of members to keep this organization

Stay in tune,
Bart Baker

TOTFA Balance Sheet...

Opening TOTFA Account Balance as of 07/01/2014 $4789.51
Membership Revenue   + 360.00
T-Shirt Sale Revenue + 55.00
Belton Deposit + 410.00
Subtotal $5614.51
August Newsletter Printing & Mailing - 106.59
Bank Service Fee - 12.00
Ending TOTFA Account Balance as of 07/25/2014 $5495.92

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 love to publish your TOTFA contest photos on this web site? Send photos to

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!

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