joe-filiJOE FILI

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Fili is a fiddle repairman in New Jersey. He has gathered a group of solid musicians around him to present this program of well-known tunes peppered with originals. Carl Baron handles the banjo parts with skill, while Travis Wetzel’s mandolin and fiddle add a depth to the proceedings. Bob Harris shines on lead guitar, Harry Chadwick plays rhythm guitar, and Dave MacDonald plays bass. Jason Treadwell adds twin fiddle on the original “Susquehanna County.”

Kenny Baker once said he could identify a fiddler by his note choice, his doublestops, and his tone. Fili has a distinct style that stands out. He sneaks notes in and comes at his tunes from a unique perspective. His “Red Apple Rag,” “Panhandle Rag,” or “Angeline The Baker” all have his stamp on them. His originals, especially his waltzes, have very interesting twists and turns. Once you’ve heard his style, it’s evident that no one else fiddles quite like he does.

Throughout, his supporting cast gives him room to work and plenty of hot licks ensue. This instrumental outing of fiddle tunes is peppered with great guitar, banjo, and mandolin breaks, all in a bluegrass setting. In fact, in red letters, it says on the CD: “This recording has been approved by the Bluegrass Police.” So there you have it. (

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