VIRTUOSO- Acclaimed fiddler Scott Woods

‘Swingin’ Fiddles’ land in Red Deer May 23

Scott Woods Band present range of fiddling styles

The Scott Woods Show – Swingin’ Fiddles is making its way across Canada and lands in Red Deer on May 23.

Multiple winner of the Canadian Open and Grand Masters Fiddle Contests, Woods’ tour is in support of his latest CD Swingin’ Fiddles.

The concert takes place at Sunnybrook United Church, starting at 7 p.m.

“Basically what we’ve done is taken old swing music from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s and we’ve re-written the arrangements for three fiddles in three-part harmony and for a back-up band as well,” he explains. “We also mix it up with some gospel, traditional country and western swing and a little bit of Don Messer music in there, too,” he explains. “It’s certainly a very unique sound to have the three fiddles in three-part harmony.

“It’s a very different sound for us. We’ve always played a little bit of that stuff, but it’s more the focus this time of the CD and of the show itself.”

Woods hails from Fergus, Ontario and is a sixth generation fiddler.

“My exposure to old-time music literally came from the time I was born,” he explains. “I would listen to my brother and sisters practicing and learning from mom and dad. I would often go with the family to play for a dance and end up falling asleep behind the piano on a pile of coats.”

He was the musical director and played the part of Don Messer in Memories of Don Messer’s Jubilee that toured throughout Canada for eight years. He now travels across the country continuing his own family tradition of old-time music started by his father and The Merv Woods Orchestra back in 1950. Scott’s mother Carolyn still plays the piano and travels with the band.

“Officially joining the family band at age eight as a fiddler and drummer, I soon learned what tempo was needed for different types of dances and of course the way to turn ‘straight’ into ‘swing’. We played a wide variety from big band to fiddle tunes and anything else the folks asked for.

“At the dances, you always got immediate feedback on your performance – if the floor filled with dancers swishing around the old hardwood, you had succeeded.”

Also joining him in Red Deer will be Wes Dymond, Emily Yarascavitch and Ben Norris.

Other show highlights include sensational step dancing, home spun family humour and Woods’ famous trick fiddling that earned him the Canadian Novelty Fiddle Championship title and ‘The Flippin’ Fiddler’ nickname. His stage presence is consistently entertaining and downright incredible — Woods can turn somersaults and step dance while playing the fiddle, plus play it behind his back.

Woods is indeed a mesmerizing genius when it comes to offering up all kinds of fiddling styles, and he’s garnered loads of awards to prove it. He is known for his skills in a multitude of styles from traditional country to step dancing and gospel. He also plays several other instruments, but his favourite is fiddle – whether it’s classical, jazz, big band, country, swing, Celtic, or old-time music.

There’s no question he’s found the most ideal path in life. Music is his passion and even a heavy touring schedule doesn’t even slightly put a dent in his enthusiasm and the pure joy he receives from performing. “Any musician will tell you that the high they live for is when they are on that stage.”

It’s also fun to craft a new show each year – Woods is committed to keeping loyal fans fully entertained with a diverse, updated show every time they drop in town.

“It’s probably the toughest challenge we have – coming up with something that is unique and different because a lot of our crowd are very loyal. They come every year. So I try to give them something new. It’s a challenge to stay in the realm of what we’re known for and what we do but yet keep it fresh.”

Advance tickets are available by calling 403-347-6073 or 403-347-6539.

Funds raised through the concert will help benefit Kasota Youth Camp at Sylvan Lake and youth ministry.

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