Bruce Molsky
Recent Reviews
No Depression Review

Welcome to the new Tree Frog Music website!

Star web designer Paul Fox has succeeded in dragging me out of the 20th Century and into the cyber-present. (He dragged me into the late 2000s as well with the previous site design). Huge thanks to Audrey Molsky for coordinating everything, making sure we all did what we were supposed to (uh, actually I'm not quite done yet), and for lending her technical expertise and vision to the project.

The main thoughts behind the new site are to make things easy to find, to create a space where interesting things can live, and of course to make you want to visit. We've added links for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube where you'll often find me anyway. Once we're rolling, there will be music segments, videos, road photos and links to other people and places of interest.

In the end, of course, it's all about the music. I do hope you'll check in with my tour schedule and come to a show when you can. If you're interested in learning to play old-time fiddle or banjo, I offer workshops and participate in organized music camps and programs throughout the year. I also love working in the studio, and we have a wonderful, updated on-line store here featuring solo and collaborative projects, and instructional recordings.

Please push the big old 'Contact Bruce' button and let us know what you think. Like everything in life, this is a work in progress. We want to make it as good as it can be and appreciate your input. Thanks a lot for visiting, and we'll see you soon!

- Bruce

Bruce Molsky, Edinburgh Folk Club

It's tempting to describe Bruce Molsky as a human iPod, but while that would convey his ability to draw, at random, from a repertoire as large as it is impressively diverse, it fails to appreciate how all that music managed to get into his memory without the luxury of downloads.

Just how a city boy from the Bronx became so fluent in old-time Appalachian fiddling as to sound like a North Carolina native who's never set foot beyond Surry County would be a story worth telling in itself. Molsky, though, has assimilated much more of American – and Scandinavian, and Balkan – folklore in the process of developing into the 21st century equivalent of those Southern States roadhouse players who could make people dance to any one instrument.

If no-one was doing any steps here, that's no reflection on Molsky's musicianship. His opening pair of fiddle tunes had vigour, drive and wild Virginia flavour enough to make any joint jump and his Johnson City Rag, played on his newly restored guitar, probably had too much style and note-bending subtlety to be reduced to a mere vehicle for lost inhibitions.

Across a panorama of empathetically observed cowboy ballads, honestly delivered a cappella gospel songs, exuberant dance tunes magically transposed from Balkan brass band onto just six strings and – you don't read this phrase very often – soothing banjo rounds, Molsky cast his self-effacing spell.

I particularly enjoyed his celebration of Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence, whose relaxed, calypso-imbued blues sounds like Big Bill Broonzy reclining in a hammock, but that was the apple pie in a gig that, as a whole, justified the notion of music as soul food.

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