by Peter Twitchell
Retirement after 50 years of working with and for people, leaves you kinda numb and lost feeling, just like I lost a good friend. I may have to find a part-time job, just to get my head level. Although, I’m with and closer to my family in a long time.
I still miss the company of my friends like Jack Hopstad, and 6 years of fiddling and traveling to the Yukon villages of Russian Mission, Marshall, Pilot Station, Mountain Village, Kwethluk, Napakiak, Tuntutuliak, and Bethel where I played bass for Joe Green and the Delta Boyz and Joe Andrew’s Northern Lights fiddle band.
Those were good times because music brought us together and we were one. I’m finding that Anchorage doesn’t afford fiddle bands to make enough money to support them because you get paid twenty-five dollars to play a couple hours, and at times it hardly seems worth it because, by the time you’re warmed us and playing at your best, it’s time to put the instruments away and go home.
And, the band I was playing in never had a practice session. If we played a couple hours we only played songs that they ‘ve been playing for the last twenty years. Then when we go to play people we practiced with aren’t there and someone else is sitting in who has no idea the songs we worked on. We go up to the stage to play for an hour or two and we sound un-rehearsed at best.
My college friend Nick Dull and I have been getting together on a regular basis and playing new material, and good ole Rock – N – Roll! We are ready to find a nightspot to play one or two nights a week, and that will come eventually.
We will see to that, because all the ole Fiddler’s are dying off, and Nick and I still have a lot to contribute before we play our last song! We are marketable right now and have enough songs on our list to take it to Bethel and play a good playing gig with Mutt Jung! And, with some notice and planning I’m sure we’ll get on a circuit here and give the people a good show. We’re just getting started so some gigs will materialize eventually.
If you know someone in Chikaloon or somewhere like Kodiak we can go and fiddle for please put in a good word for us. Any idea’s too on a good fiddle band name be sure to pass that on to me at (907) 545-0103. Let the music Play!