There was sad news out of Nashville yesterday as legendary bluegrass violinist Vassar Clements passed away at the age of 77. About 4 years ago I went with my friend Jason to the Station Inn downtown where Mr. Clements was playing fiddle with what was basically a local pickup band that had a German banjo player. They had never practiced together, but Clements would just start playing whatever song they picked seemingly at random. You could tell he was a true master of his chosen instrument.
Speaking of which, the violin he's played in recent years has an interesting history. Its true origins may never be known, but it is at least 300 years old and has been handed down personally from musician to musician. Hopefully this will continue and it won't wind up in a museum somewhere. Whatever musician gets it next will have some big shoes to fill.