CD-193 Nate Grower
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Nate Grower grew up in Western New York. After hearing gospel bluegrass band Crosspoint String Band perform at his school he endeavored to take up the fiddle, taking lessons from the band's fiddler Sarah Kosiorek. In his high school years Nate diversified his talents, taking classical lessons from Jennifer Mombrea. Shortly after moving to Delaware in 2006, Nate won first place in the fiddle contest in Westminster Maryland, where Nate met Patuxent Music producer Tom Mindte. It was that meeting that brought us this record.
Not many records will give you both a refined rendition of Texas Swing fiddle king Benny Thomasson's "Kansas City Kitty" and a gnarly explosion of unapologetic old time like Jenes Cottrell's "Cherry River Line". This one does. You get a taste of the composer in Mr. Grower with the joyful opener "New Fall Reel" and the simply exquisite closer "Cedarwood." A further sense of Grower's creativity is evident in the inventive arrangements of the underrated fiddle tunes "Big Sciota" and "Cattle in the Cane."
But don't worry, you still get a satisfying dose of fiddle standards, as Nate rocks out on an impossibly fast "Fire on the Mountain", goes old school with a fiddle and banjo duet of "Grey Eagle", and references Buddy Spicher on "Uptown Blues." You'll have to clean the moss out of your CD player after the fiddle kick on Flatt and Scruggs' "Why Did You Wander", but Nate will cleanse your soul for you with his kick on "I've Just Seen the Rock of Ages"
Nate has been seen and heard playing with the likes of David Bromberg Angel Band, Chester River Runoff, Eastman String Band and The Shormen. No doubt all have benefited from his poignant stylings. Nate Grower is a fiddler of depth and dexterity, of subtlety and evocation. And of good taste, when it comes to fiddle tunes and how to play them. If you're reading this now, you are too.
- Joseph Scott