Scheckenburger is a Vermont fiddler steeped in the Yankee fiddle tradition. This is a collection of northern fiddle tunes drawn from that rich well and often heard at contra dances throughout the land. Matter of fact, the cues for each dance are written below each tune title so it’s possible for a budding fiddler to study how each tune links to the different dance moves. The CD liner notes also provide more information on the sources for the dance cues (or calls). As often is the case with dances, there are sets or medleys of tunes to match the specific dance. The motion of the tunes is matched to the motion of the dance, and this project is full of motion.
The accompanying musicians are all well versed in the genre and include Jeremiah McLane on piano accordion, Bethany Waickman on guitar, and Corey DiMarco on bass. The arrangements are very contemporary with a smooth professional quality to the final mix.
The tunes range from contemporary (Bob McQuillen’s “Eugenia’s Waltz”) to tunes as old as the hills (“Lamplighter’s Hornpipe,” “Money Musk,” “Huntsman’s Chorus,” and “Fisher’s Hornpipe”). Sheckenburger’s command of the fiddle and attention to melodic detail make for a most rewarding listen. Along with her assembled musicians, we are treated to a stirring set of tunes, arranged and performed with a depth of talent that nutures repeated listening. The subtle use of percussion and brass add to the vigor and texture of the recording. This is an exquisite program from a promising young fiddler. (Footprint Records, 311 S. Main St., Brattleboro, VT 05301, www.lissafiddle.com.) RCB