Fiddle/Sticks is a collaborative exploration of rhythm which pairs GRAMMY nominated fiddler Casey Driessen – the leading voice in percussive fiddle/violin technique (AKA The Chop) – with a list of the landmark drummers and percussionists of our time. Cutting across all genres and traditions, the project documents these rhythmic explorations through recordings, videos, photos and journals. It serves as an inspirational and instructional resource for drummers, percussionists, fiddlers and everyone in the music community interested in pushing the boundaries of their instruments and their music.
The first video from Fiddle/Sticks features celebrated Nashville session player Kenny Malone. With a background in jazz, classical and military bands, Malone quickly became known as Nashville’s “musical” drummer, and was hired for his ability to not just pound away, but to lay back and infuse heart. Since the 1970’s he has been one of the most called upon drummers in country, bluegrass and roots music, and has played on albums for Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks, Waylon Jennings, the late John Hartford, and literally hundreds more. As country music expanded to include more Americana, folk, and jazz players, Casey and Kenny connected on the road and in the studio. The deeper connection lies in the unique approach they bring to their instrument & of course, signature fashion pieces: Casey’s red shoes, Kenny’s headbands.
“Five and a Fiddle” (referring to Kenny’s five djembes) turns the typical studio process of prepared perfection into a true collaborative and experimental musical experience. Kenny taps a miked standalone fiddle with a single chopstick, then switches over to Casey’s fiddle, dancing around his fingers. They discuss finding the right key, djembe resonance, emotion, phrasing; Casey chats with Kenny about his history, and why he asks for lyrics. A musical conversation unfolds and a rare window into the creative process opens.
Fiddler Casey Driessen is a bold genre crosser who listens for inspiration from Tennessee to Tibet. A GRAMMY nominee, Casey regularly tours as a solo performer & with Béla Fleck and The Flecktones. He has released two albums and his new fiddle/percussion video project, Fiddle/Sticks, successfully raised $15,000 via Kickstarter in June 2012.