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JIM SHUMATE 'Pioneering Bluegrass Fiddler' FRC-727-CD

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Born in Wilkes County, NC, Jim Shumate (1921-2013) played with Bill Monroe in the mid-1940s and was the original fiddler for Flatt and Scruggs's band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. The four tracks that he recorded with Lester and Earl are some of the most revered songs in the entire bluegrass repertoire. He also devised many of the standard licks that are still used by bluegrass fiddlers the world over. In 1974, just before I moved to Hickory, NC, a friend advised me that Jim Shumate lived there and strongly suggested that I look him up. Soon after my move I spotted Jim on the street, and he agreed to give me lessons. It didn't take long for us to become fast friends. Even though Jim hadn't been a touring musician in almost thirty years, I found that his fiddling was in fine form and at 56 years old he seemed to be at the top of his game. Jim didn't have a band at that time, so with his blessing I invited banjo player Marc Pruett and guitarist Albert Maples to join a recording session at my house in Hickory. Twenty-five years later, Jim sat down with me for an interview, portions of which are included here. I am beyond excited that this recording is now available. Finally, a new generation of bluegrass fans will get to hear the real deal. - Wayne Erbsen