In tandem with the release of Coming Home, their recent album for O’Connor Band, Rounder Records has reached back into the vault and issued digital re-releases of three Mark O’Connor albums from the 1970s.
These were recorded and released as LPs while Mark was a pre-teen and teenager, running from just before he won the Grand Masters Fiddler Championship in 1975, to the time when he started touring with the David Grisman Quintet.
Four Time National Junior Fiddle Champion came out in 1974, and features Mark on fiddle accompanied by Norman Blake and Charlie Collins. It’s a collection of fiddle and contest tunes showing the young prodigy’s amazing command of his instrument.
Pickin’ in the Wind is from ’76 with Nashville session players Sam Bush, Norman Blake, Charlie Collins, John Hartford, and Roy Husky. This is the album that really make people sit up and pay attention to O’Connor, who at 14 years of age played with an authority few experienced adult fiddlers could command.
On The Rampage finds Mark on both guitar and fiddle, experimenting a bit with overdubbing on some of his own original material. He is backed by Bill Amatneek, Sam Bush, John Cowan, David Grisman and Tony Rice.
O’Connor looks back fondly on these projects from his youth.
“I’m excited to announce the reissue of my early albums on Rounder Records from 40 years ago. I recorded these LPs beginning at age 12, documenting my burgeoning career as a young national fiddle champion and national flatpick guitar champion. As the O’Connor Band travels the country performing music from our new number one bluegrass album on Rounder, Coming Home, I am always reminded by many fans that they still treasure my first recordings as some of the best in the genre.”
These reissues are only available for sale as digital downloads, and can be found now wherever you buy music online.