Swing Fiddler, Justin Branum is featured in the
December issue of iFiddle Magazine
Nashville fiddler Justin Branum is one of the best Swing fiddlers I’ve heard. His style is a amazing and his licks are flawless. Starting on the fiddle at the late age of 12, Justin immediately had a passion for music and entered his first fiddle contest after having played for only 8 months. Though he did not place high in the contest, it was enough for the music bug to take a hold and lead him down the path towards a musical career. After initially being exposed to the music of Texas fiddle legend Benny Thomasson and bluegrass fiddle legend Kenny Baker, Justin learned to emulate the sounds he was hearing directly from recordings. Soon after entering into the world of contest fiddling, Justin was exposed to other great Texas fiddlers like Major Franklin, Louis Franklin, Norman Soloman, Vernon Soloman, and Terry Morris just to name a few. Through this exposure to Texas fiddling, Justin found out about swing fiddler extraordinaire Johnny Gimble and was soon after changing his focus from contest fiddling to western swing, country, and jazz. Now modeling his style after swing fiddlers like Johnny Gimble, Buddy Spicher, J.R. Chatwell, and Svend Asmussen, Justin began playing in swing combos and late night jam sessions to learn how to play western swing and jazz.
Classically trained with a degree in music education, Tom Morley’s career spans nearly thirty years and a host of genres. He’s played Celtic, bluegrass, classical, swing, Americana, and country honky tonk, earning a gold album for his work with “new traditionalist” country artist John Anderson. If you ask him what he enjoys the most, he’ll tell you that it’s whatever he’s playing at that moment. But it is with Irish music—his focus for the past 15 years—where Tom has truly found his passion, both as a performer and a teacher.
Following 12 years of performing while teaching public school orchestra and working with pre-service teachers, Annie realized that had to be a way to bring all of these skills to my students and that they too might be well served by this regardless of whether they enjoyed making music or were conservatory bound professionals. I call this combination of playing by ear first, learning to read next and jamming with others the whole time the Savage Fiddler Method. I think that it will serve any string player well to be aware of these skills that are offered here and hope you enjoy your journey as much as I have mine.