Thursday, June 6th, 2002
at 7:30 PM
Chapel in the Hills
Texas String Drive brought an eclectic mix of acoustic music
to the WCA concert in 2002. Their music reflects a broad range of influences...Texas style and Irish fiddling, country and western, bluegrass, swing music, and even a few originals. The
diverse music of Texas String Drive ranges from slow waltzes to fast breakdowns.
For many years Jimmie Don Bates, bandleader and the current Texas State Fiddle Champion, wanted to create a band that incorporated contest-style fiddling with music for twin fiddles and banjo. The seeds of the band were planted when Jimmie Don met banjo player Rolf Sieker at a fiddler's jam session hosted by
Artz' Rib House in Austin and began to jam. Roberta Rast, Bob Pool, and James Wright joined the group shortly thereafter, adding twin fiddle and rhythm to the music. The band's name, Texas String Drive, represents acoustic string music from Texas and the drive or groove that fiddlers try to achieve when they are jamming and competing in fiddle contests.
Music runs deep on both sides of Jimmie Don Bate's family, he has studied with many music legends such as Major Franklin, Benny Thomason, and Kenny Baker. Texas old-time fiddling has traditionally been passed down from one fiddler to another from one generation to the next, and Jimmie Don is committed to passing this knowledge to the next generation by giving performances and instruction on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, tenor guitar, and banjo. He is also a songwriter for the band. Some of his many accomplishments include fourteen-time State Champion and two-time National Champion, and he is the only living five-time World Champion fiddler. In 1997 he was inducted into the Texas Fiddlers Hall of Fame.
The other band members are no slouches, either. Roberta Rast is a six-time National Old-Time Fiddler's Contest Champion and has performed on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. She has played fiddle for twenty years and has taught for eight years. Rolf Sieker was one of the first 5-string banjo players in Europe. Now living in the US, he won 1st place at the Texas State Banjo Championship in 2001. Bob Pool's first instrument was the cello, but by the age of fifteen, he was playing bass with his family, backing up his parent's country western band. Since then he has toured, recorded, and performed with many fine musicians - he has even performed on Austin City Limits. James Wright began playing the fiddle several years ago when his son started taking fiddle lessons. Then he picked up the guitar in order to accompany his son on the fiddle. Since then he has participated in many Texas fiddle contests, and he is dedicated to keeping the Texas old-time fiddling tradition alive.
Wimberley Concert Association is a not-for-profit organization that has presented music of many kinds to Wimberley audiences for over 25 years. Proceeds from their Summer Series of concerts benefit Wimberley arts organizations.
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