Paul Warren tribute CD

A Tribute To Fiddlin Paul WarrenPaul Warren has, rightly, been lauded as the greatest "breakdown" fiddler in a career that saw him work with Johnnie & Jack, Kitty Wells, the Wilburn Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs and Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.

Now Paul’s son Johnny – a fiddle player in his father’s style – assisted by banjo ace Charlie Cushman, has reminded us of the finesse that is captured on recordings with those great names in country and bluegrass music by reprising some of the tunes that Warren Sr. played, plus a couple of original compositions.

Johnny Warren shared his observations about A Tribute To Fiddlin’ Paul Warren (no label or number) ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ.

(There are) "17 fiddle tunes on the project, lead instruments being fiddle and banjo only, cut in the old time tradition of my dad and Earl Scruggs. I can tell you that we got the sound we were after. I felt a strong presence of my dad while cutting the tunes, all of which I learned from him. Four of the tunes I learned off a home recording done around 1964 by my dad, Charlie Collins and Larry McNeeley. Seven others from a home recording done in 1977 by dad, with me accompanying him on guitar at our old home-place in Madison, Tennessee, only a short time before his passing in January of 1978.

Charlie Cushman did an awesome job on banjo. We have known each other since our late teenage years and have played a lot of music together. He really captured the Scruggs style on these recordings, probably because he truly loves their sound as much as I do. There are a lot of really good fiddle players out there but nothing stirs me inside like my dads style. The energy and precision in which he played stands alone. Unfortunately, he was never allowed to record on his own while he was still at his best.

However, I hope that some of the new Flatt and Scruggs DVDs that are being released by the Country Music Hall of Fame will help those that never got to see Paul Warren play see that he deserves to be inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

I am very honored that Earl Scruggs helped me on one of the fiddle and banjo tunes. Charlie played banjo on all the other tunes including five other fiddle and banjo tunes. He also doubled on guitar. Curly Seckler (rhythm mandolin) played on one of the tunes. My good friends Marty Stuart (mandolin rhythm on all band tunes except one), Kent Blanton (upright bass) and Uncle Josh’s nephew Tim Graves (dobro riffs on three tunes) round out the musicians."

Eleven of the tracks are with the band, including Sugar Tree Stomp, which features Seckler, and the remaining six tracks are simple banjo/fiddle duets, including Buck Creek Gal, which features Scruggs.

Ten pieces are under two minutes in length.

As well as notes from Cushman and Warren, Marty Stuart and Eddie Stubbs pen their own tributes to Paul Warren.

You can get a taste of the music in a series of videos posted on YouTube. Each features Johnny Warren and Charlie Cushman on one or more banjo/fiddle duets from A Tribute To Fiddlin’ Paul Warren.

The CD is available from popular online resellers who specialize in bluegrass recordings.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.