Sweet sounds of tradition
48th annual fiddlers convention remains learning hub for all ages
For Hartselle resident Brad Gurganious, the 48th annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention is more than just a festival. It’s a classroom full of instructors who are happy to teach some rookies the art of bluegrass.
Gurganious, 44, became serious about playing the banjo four years ago, around the same time he started coming to the festival. Underneath a tree in the courtyard of Athens State University, he jumped into a jam session with people who have played for more than 40 years.
The musicians’ fingers gracefully danced along the arms of guitars and fiddles. The lively notes were carried away in the cool, autumn breeze. A small crowd gathered, attracted by the sound.
Gurganious concentrated as he tried to keep up with the musicians he just met. He said it’s common for people to have fun and fellowship with strangers who share a passion for bluegrass.