Lake Travis Fiddlers

Fiddlers Fischer

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Lake Travis Fiddlers CD “Keep On The Sunny Side” is now offered on CDBaby.com

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The Lake Travis Fiddlers, founded in 2000 by Orchestra director Anna Macias, is a group of talented Lake Travis middle and high school students who meet before, after, and sometimes during school to learn and play Western swing music. As the primary fundraising performance group for the LTHS Orchestras, they play around the Texas hill country at public events such as festivals and grand openings. The Fiddlers also perform at private events such as birthday parties, banquets, and weddings.

In the fall of 2013 the Fiddlers released their debut album, Keep on the Sunny Side, featuring 14 of the best songs that the Fiddlers had performed during the previous 12 years. Recorded at Bismeaux Studio in South Austin, the album is a grab bag of tunes from various music genres. The album contains traditional fiddle tunes, Western swing songs, a popular jazz piece, a Mexican bolero, a Beatles tune, a couple of gospel songs, a Texas waltz, a contemporary pop song, a Honky Tonk tune, and an Israeli folk song has been thrown in for good measure. “Some of the songs we play don’t fall into the fiddle or Western swing categories but what they all have in common is that they lend themselves to a strong fiddle-based approach,” said Anna Macias, director of the group. “We chose Bismeaux Studio because they know how to record fiddles.” On the second day of recording band members were excited to see studio owner, Ray Benson, walking towards them in the parking lot. Unfortunately, it was to ask someone to move their car. One of the students had blocked him in. Ray was kind enough to let the student park in his empty space. And he showed even more generosity when he agreed to sing “Milk Cow Blues” on the album!

The album is a celebration of the 12-year musical journey taken by the Fiddlers which has been somewhat of a road trip all over the musical map. The CD starts with a medley of traditional old-time fiddle tunes, “Old Joe Clark” and “Devil’s Dream.” The next three tracks are classic Western swing tunes, the popular “San Antonio Rose” and “Milk Cow Blues” followed by the lesser-known Bob Wills tune “Bring It On Down To My House,” arranged for the fiddle group by J.D. Pendley. The album changes gears slightly with the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s jazz classic “Take Five” which was arranged for the Fiddlers by Erik Hokkanen. Next, we travel south of the border with a famous bolero, and one of the most sung and recorded Mexican songs in the world, “Besame Mucho.” An instrumental version of “Eleanor Rigby” follows. “I’ll Fly Away” is the sing-along song on the album. We tried to keep it traditional by leaving out the drums, using the upright bass, rhythm guitar and tenor banjo. And we tried to get a “congregational” feel with the vocals which we hope will encourage folks to sing along with us. “Westphalia Waltz” is an historic Texas waltz. The musical journey takes an interesting turn, perhaps a leap back in time and far away, with “Zemer Atik,” a traditional Israeli folk song that Erik Hokkanen introduced to the group. “I Love You, Honey” is our Honky Tonk tune, also arranged by Hokkanen. We return to Texas with the Bob Wills’ classics “Faded Love” and “Maiden’s Prayer.” A fiddle group needs to have at least one contemporary pop song on their debut album; ours is “Sweet Pea,” arranged for fiddles by J.D. Pendley. Our journey ends with the overall message and namesake of the album, “Keep on the Sunny Side.”

“The album is a good representation of how the group has evolved over the years,” said Macias. “We started out playing mostly fiddle tunes with just electric bass and rhythm guitars backing up the fiddles. In time, as the group grew, we were able to add drums and electric guitars, and we found that we could play some Western swing tunes. At some point along the way we began to realize that we enjoyed playing tunes from other closely-related genres. Although our focus is usually fiddle-heavy Western swing tunes, any tune which lends itself to a strong fiddle-based approach is fair game.”

As to why it took 12 years to produce an album? Ms. Macias said, “Well, we were probably ready to record a few years ago but we never could come up with the money. So, recording and producing an album sort of stayed in the dream stage. We finally broke down and asked for funding and thanks to a generous grant from the Lake Travis Education Foundation and some financial assistance from the Lake Travis Orchestra Parents we were able to make this dream come true.”

For more information or to book the Fiddlers, please contact Ms. Anna Macias at 512-533-6161 or send an email to maciasa@ltisdschools.org.

If you would like a taste of our talent, click on the video below. It will blow your socks off!

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Past Performances of the Lake Travis Fiddlers (click on linked gigs to view videos)

The Midwest Clinic, Chicago Dec 2015

360 Chicago – Hancock Building Observation Deck Dec 2015

Old Town School of Music, Chicago Dec 2015

Lone Star Farmers Market, Bee Cave 2014, 2015, 2016

Rexanna’s Foundation “Lone Star Huddle Up” A Fundraiser for Fighting Lung Cancer – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

HEB Feast of Sharing 2012 , 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Opening band for Mark Wood “Electrify Your Strings” 2015, 2016

KOOP Radio Station with Ted Branson 2012, 2013, 2014

Round Up for Hope Chuck Wagon Cook Off, Marble Falls – 2012, 2013

Lakeway 50th Birthday Celebration

Lakeway 4th of July Parade 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

“Do The Write Thing” Event 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

LTHS Baseball Banquet 2013

Cinco de Mayo 2013 – Fiesta Gardens – Austin, TX, 2014, 2015

Lakeway Activity Center/Lakeway Players Show Alamo, during the Travis Letter’s Display at the Alamo 2013

HEB at Bee Cave, Independence Day Celebration

Texas Independence Day Celebration at Texas State Capitol  2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Concert for a Cause : A Benefit for N. Korean Orphans, First Evangelical Free Church

Boss Hogs Kitchen, Hwy 620 (Across from Target)

Rosie’s Tamale House, Holiday Show 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

CD Release Party 2013- Iguana Grille

KTBC Fox – Good Day Austin Nov 8, 1012

KOOP Radio with Rod Moag

Opening for Concert with The Eggmen KXAN News Nov 4, 2012

LTMS Bookfair, LTMS Library

The Grille at Rough Hollow Fall Festival

Spicewood Arts Society “Arts Round-Up” at La Cabana Grill, Spicewood, TX 2012 LT Fiddlers with special guest “Banana Jack,” Eleanor Rigby, Old Joe Clark, Milk Cow Blues

Longhorn Village, Steiner Ranch

Whole Foods Market Bee Cave “Welcome Back Weekend”

LTISD 2012, 2013 New Teacher Breakfast

HEB Bee Cave, Back to School event

Lakeway Resort and Spa

Whole Foods Market Bee Cave Grand Opening

Lakeway Regional Medical Center Open House

Rough Hollow Grille Crawfish Boil Party 

La Cabana Grill, Spicewood End of Year Celebration

HEB Bee Cave, TX “Celebrate Texas”  Texas Western Swing Showcase 2012, Belton, TX

Rosie’s Tamale House, Mother’s Day celebration 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

“Celebrate Texas” Texas Independence Day at the Capitol

Exxon/Mobil Retiree Party

TMEA Texas Music Educators Association Convention

Opener Band for Barrage

Opener Band for The Eggmen

Fox News in the Morning

Pan Am Thanksgiving Dinner

Texas State Senate Holiday Party

Relay for Life in Lake Travis

Cole Pittman Scholarship Fundraiser

Lake Pointe Elementary Carnival

Barnes and Noble Lake Travis High School “Parade of Champions”

Bee Cave Farmers Market

Pioneer Farms

Teens 4 Autism Benefit

Stubb’s

Nutty Brown Café

 

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