Byron Berline with Ridge Roberts at the newly reopened Double Stop Fiddle Shop – photo by Pamm Tucker
On February 24, 2019, Byron Berline’s Double-Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, OK went up in flames. While devastated, many in the local community as well as throughout the music industry, wondered if Berline could recover from the devastation. Could this be the final chapter of the epic story that has lined the walls of the brick and mortar building known as the Double Stop? But music lovers from across the world stepped up to assist with aid, emotionally, physically, and financially. There were benefits raised to assist Byron and his wife and co-owner, Bette, in recovery.
A mere 3 months after the fire that destroyed the repository of Byron life and music, Berline unlocked the doors to a new shop in a new building. Less than a block away, one cannot miss the charred remains of the original Double Stop Fiddle Shop across the street. The new building officially opened a few weeks ago, and Byron shared that, “I had my first official fiddle customer. He was a salesman for an orange juice company, in town on business. I sold him a book; but he came back twice more. On the third visit, he purchased the first fiddle and two guitars to come out of the new shop.” Although there had been small purchases, this was the first significant one at the new location. The Double Stop rolls on.
Although still a work in progress, The Double Stop Fiddle Shop is recovering. Lining the walls are pictures, albums, and of course, fiddles! Berline has worked diligently, to build another chapter in the life of bluegrass.
Ridge Roberts, 2018 World Champion Fiddler, recently sat in with Byron at one of his jams in the store front. The 16 year old, who calls Granbury, TX home, took it all in stride, as he played Gold Rush along with Berline. Two hours into the jam, Roberts had to force himself to leave the scene, to head to OKC for a gig. It was at that moment, that Berline asked Ridge to come to the Community Church that evening, to play a tune or two. That tune or two, evolved into Ridge accompanying Byron Berline and his band for the evening. You could have heard a pin drop as Byron Berline, Greg Burgess, and Ridge Roberts played triple fiddles on Faded Love.
Faded Love has remained one of the most loved fiddle numbers since Bob Wills recorded it in 1950, and it has left a history that continues today. So will this latest chapter in the long history of Byron’s beloved fiddle shop.