The pride of Surry County
Tommy Jarrell married Nina Lowe and later they moved to the community of Toast, North Carolina, where Tommy got a job operating a road grader for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. He worked for the NCDOT for 41 years, beginning work in April of 1925 and retiring in 1966.
Tommy Jarrell's fiddle playing sounds deceptively simple upon first listen. Aside from unique tunings (EAEA or EADA - open key of E or D, instead of the usual EADG), his bowing is quite complex if you give a good listen.
Mount Airy, North Carolina celebrates the musical talents and influences of their native son with the Tommy Jarrell Festival.
He is joined on these tunes by another Surry County native and old family friend, Fred Cockerham on fretless banjo.
County Records has a good supply of Tommy Jarrell's recordings.