06 October 2022

Tommy Cordell, 2 Mar. 1957-30 Sept. 2022

The BIB editor writes:

Tommy Cordell, an outstanding bluegrass fiddler, died at the end of last week. Both his own music and the music of the bands in which he played exemplify the combination of toughness, power, and sensitivity that mark bluegrass at its best. Richard Thompson has posted an obituary-cum-discography on Bluegrass Today, with ample contributions from close friends and fellow musicians.

The images above are from the covers of his 1987 solo album and the 1981 Dave Evans album Goin round this world. It was on the latter that I first heard Tommy Cordell's fiddling, and Kevin Williamson's words, as quoted by Richard Thompson, sum up the album perfectly:

Nowadays when I listen to it, I’m struck by the raw energy and emotion of the project. We were all playing as though our lives depended on it, and in some ways they did. Tommy found such joy in playing music and it rubbed off on the rest of us.

Goin round the world was chosen by Daniel Mullins as Album of the Week #36 on Bluegrass Today in 2014. The 1985 album by Big Timber Bluegrass, Bluegrass on my mind, can be heard in full on the BT obituary and on YouTube.

© Richard Hawkins



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