"Bruce Molsky is one of those great players who 'gets it': has all the links to the past but is happy not to be chained to it" - Mark Knopfler
"Molsky is easily one of the nation's most talented fiddlers...he transports you ... geographically, historically, and most of all emotionally" - Mother Jones
"It is no exaggeration to say that Bruce Molsky is one of the greatest American fiddlers of all time. His playing is mesmerizing and transporting, and best experienced live" - WBUR (Boston NPR)
"An absolute master" - No Depression
"An incredible power of history and tradition in his vocal" - Linda Ronstadt
"One of the world's premier Appalachian-style fiddlers" - Bloomberg News
"A mystical awareness of how to bring out the new in something that is old" - Mark O'Connor
He’s a self-described “street kid” from the Bronx who bailed on college and big city life for a cold-water cabin in Virginia in the 1970s. His mission? To soak up the passion that was dramatically upending his parent’s life plan for him – authentic Appalachian mountain music – at the feet of its legendary pioneers, old masters who are now long gone.
Today, Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer, ethnomusicologist and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations. He’s also the classic “musician’s musician” – a man who’s received high praise from diverse fans and collaborators like Linda Ronstadt, Mark Knopfler, Celtic giants Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine, jazzer Bill Frisell and dobro master Jerry Douglas, a true country gentleman by way of the Big Apple aptly dubbed “the Rembrandt of Appalachian fiddlers” by virtuoso violinist and sometimes bandmate Darol Anger.
Molsky digs deep to transport audiences to another time and place, with his authentic feel for and the unearthing of almost-forgotten rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook. His foils are not only his well-regarded fiddle work, but banjo, guitar and his distinctly resonant vocals. From tiny folk taverns in the British Isles to huge festival stages to his ongoing workshops at the renowned Berklee College of Music, Molsky seduces audiences with a combination of rhythmic and melodic virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit – a uniquely humanistic, downhome approach that can make Carnegie Hall feel like a front porch or parlor jam session.
As 2016 unfolds, the ever-busy Molsky continues to pioneer new ground on several fronts. Summer will bring the debut disc by Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, the first band the legendary fiddler has fronted. In Bruce’s words, this release will “point to the future of traditional, rural music” powered by the far-ranging musical palates of his two youthful bandmates. Banjo virtuoso Allison de Groot of “The Goodbye Girls” and “Oh My Darling” met Molsky at one of his workshops at Berklee, where his interest was piqued when “she played Lester Young solos on claw hammer banjo.” The band’s third member, guitarist Stash Wyslouch, is one of bluegrass music’s true genre benders, a high-energy performer who cut his teeth in punk and metal bands before immersing himself in roots music with The Deadly Gentlemen.
The new Can’t Stay Here This a-Way is a unique CD/DVD collection recorded in Los Angeles for Dave Bragger’s Tiki Parlour series. Not a recording session in the traditional sense, Bruce just showed up, sat on a couch while the camera and recording device rolled – capturing all the spontaneity as he casually reeled off and provided insightful comments on traditional favorites and some new offerings. Also on the slate is, “Rauland Rambles” from Molsky and his Norwegian collaborators, Arto Järvelä and Anon Egeland. This distinctive recording, which fuses traditional American roots with Scandinavian folk, comes from an impromptu session set after Bruce performed at this year’s Rauland International Winter Festival in Norway.
In addition to his many live performances as a solo and with Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, Bruce will be kept away from his home in Beacon, New York, by his work as a Visiting Scholar at the old American Roots Music Program at the Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and through fiddling workshops and summer music camps he conducts for devotees here and abroad.