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Pa’s Fiddle: The Music of America DVD Review
“If you want to know the spirit of those times, you need to know these old songs.”
--Laura Ingalls Wilder
In 1932, Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first children’s book, “Little House in the Big Woods.” This book opened the door to life on the prairie through Laura’s eyes and was followed by eight more books. In the “Little House” book series music was a big part in Laura’s life. Her Pa played the fiddle for entertainment and was something that was enjoyed by Laura and her family for years.
In January 2012, for the first time, “Pa’s Fiddle: The Music of America” a live concert featuring the music Laura wrote about in her “Little House” books was held in Nashville, Tennessee, which was broadcasted by the PBS television network. This wonderful concert under the music direction of Randy Scruggs was released on DVD by Peak Moore Enterprises on July 31, 2012 that features 14 tracks and one bonus track with performances by modern day country stars: Ashton Shepherd, The Roys, Rodney Atkins, Committed, Randy Travis, The Pa’s Fiddle Band, Ronnie Milsap, Natalie Grant. “Pa’s Fiddle: The Music of America” was co-produced by Dean Butler (“Almanzo” on the NBC “Little House” TV series) and esteemed musicologist Dale Cockrell (President of Pa’s Fiddle Recordings).
The “Pa’s Fiddle: The Music of America” DVD packaging is very standard. The case is a 1-inch cardboard case. The DVD is attached to a plastic piece inside. The menu for the DVD is very user friendly to navigate. The video and audio is superb! The colors and picture quality is really sharp with excellent color and contrast! The audio was very well done. Listening to the concert will make you feel you are right in the audience.
O California - Ashton Shepherd
The Gum Tree Canoe - The Roys
The Gal I Left Behind Me - Rodney Atkins
Roll the Old Chariot Along - Committed
The Sweet By and By - Randy Travis
The Arkansas Traveler / Devil's Dream - Pa's Fiddle Band
Oft in the Stilly Night - Ashton Shepherd
Buffalo Gals - The Roys
Dixie / The Battle Hymn of the Republic - Ronnie Milsap
My Old Kentucky Home - Natalie Grant
Soldier's Joy - Pa's Fiddle Band
Rock of Ages - Randy Travis
The Battle Cry of Freedom - Committed
Ol' Dan Tucker - Ensemble
One of the things I found enjoyable about the DVD was the history about the songs before the performance. I enjoyed seeing the historical photos and learning the background of the song. Personally, this made me appreciate the song more. Michael Landon fans will enjoy the few stills featured of him as well in which this concert was dedicated to a long with Laura Ingalls Wilder.
The extra features has an additional track by Natalie Grant followed by notes on Pa’s Fiddle Music by Dale Cockrell and the highlight feature is the in-depth trailer for “Little House on the Prairie: Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.”
Overall, I give this DVD two-thumbs up and highly recommend it! This is one concert you must see! If you’re a fan of the “Little House” book series or love Bluegrass music from this era you’ll be in for a real treat! The concert is approximately 78 minutes long.
If you would like to see a sample from this concert or if you would like to purchase this DVD or CD click here.
Photo Captions: (Top) Pa's Fiddle group. (Below) Dale Cockrell and Dean Butler.