Sweet Mountain Fiddle
Clark Kessinger was born in Charleston, West Virginia and lived most of his life in Kanawha County. Clark studied classical violin as a young man, but also played the songs he heard along the riverfront. Clark and his nephew, Luches, had been entering contests throughout the area and taking prizes home on a regular basis. In 1928 his violin teacher arranged for a recording session with Brunswick so Clark and Luches headed off to the studios in Ashland, Kentucky. Although they were uncle and nephew they billed themselves as the Kessinger Brothers, and their records sold very well. The two enjoyed a brief moment of fame before the Depression ended their musical career.
During the folk revival of the late 1950s and early 60s, the Kesinger brothers were rediscovered and enjoyed a second brief period of fame.
You’ll hear Clark’s classical training on these tunes. The tunes are definitely Old Time, but Clark’s playing is much more cosmopolitan, more refined, than most rural fiddlers.
Update: links fixed.