|From the CD "Fiddler's Festival Live"||
Bringing together the cream of Australia's fiddlers
It was in 1986 that Ray Schloeffel suggested to Marcus Holden the initial idea getting onto a show like Red Faces (a comedy talent quest) and go berserk. With a fairly cheap camera Pixie Jenkins, Andrew Clermont, Ray and Marcus were able to capture some very silly images of what were possibly the shortest, tallest, skinniest and shall we say most rotund fiddlers in Australia.
Not wanting to rush into anything, the guys didn't get back together until ten years later (1996). By that stage everyone's career had taken off a bit. It was in Tamworth 1996 that the first Fiddlers Feast was born. Using a scratch band that included accordionist/pianist Garry Steel, the Fab four took to the stage and the rest is history.
About a month later back in Sydney, by coincidence George Washingmachine, the well-known jazz fiddler put on a night of Fiddle Frenzy at a club called the Basement. George was joined by Ian Cooper, Marcus Holden, Adrian Keating, Wayne Goodwin and Nigel Maclean for a night of lunacy and again the audience went crazy.
It was good.
It was so good something had to be done. Marcus took it on himself to organise, promote, musically direct (if that's possible) the whole thing. Since then the Fiddlers Festival as it became known has produced three CD's, performed at countless festivals around Australia, appeared on National TV and won the hearts and minds of an ever-increasing body of devoted fans.
The repertoire of the Fiddlers Festival ranges from Irish Jigs, Reels and Ballads to Jazz, more Classical pieces and novelty tunes. Even country favourites get the FF treatment.