Fiddlin' My Life Away
A review from Fiddler Magazine When fiddlers find a style of music that suits them, they tend to stick with it and play little else, which is what makes Bill Thurman's new release, Fiddlin' My Life Away, so unusual. Thurman is a musician who is comfortable playing in just about every style and the selections on his CD include examples of swing, Celtic, Appalachian, Gypsy, and even Venezuelan fiddling. And even though he plays such a wide variety of music, he finds the thread that ties the styles together and turns what could have been a hodgepodge of mismatched tunes into a cohesive musical statement. The selections include a sweetly swinging version of the Reinhardt/Grappelli classic 'Minor Swing,' the Scottish reel 'Flowers of Edinburgh,' and a very nice take on 'Blackberry Blossom,' which begins with a lovely slow duet with dulcimer player Lloyd Wright. Thurman is a tasteful fiddler who seems to be incapaple of playing an inelegant note. Even when he plays 'Listen to the Mockingbird' and 'Orange Blossom Special,' he resists the temptation to let the music degenerate into a mess of birdcall and train whistle effects like many other fiddlers do. Bill Thurman may be fiddling his life away, as he put it in the title track of this CD, but there are surely worse ways to spend your time. Michael Simmons.