Fiddling session plucks at heartstrings of musicians

Feb 28, 2022

MATTAPOISETT — Local musicians and music lovers spent their Sunday afternoon fiddling around at the Mattapoisett Museum.

The Old Time Fiddle Session, presented by Southcoast Lessons, is held the fourth Sunday of every month. Musicians are invited to perform traditional tunes and create a sense of musical community.

The event is organized by Jeff Angeley, the programming director and founder of Southcoast Lessons. 

He is also an instructor with the organization and many of the musicians who performed Sunday are fellow instructors or students, said Jessica DeCicco-Carey, a board member at the museum.

The traditional gathering of musicians marked a special milestone at their Feb. 27 event. They were celebrating five years of performing. 

Angeley is no stranger to the museum: He has also hosted open mic events and silent movie nights, when performers play music to accompany the silent action on screen.

The museum was happy to welcome the fiddling session, DeCicco-Carey said, because the event “brings people into the museum, which is great.’’

The museum’s “great acoustics’’ don’t hurt either, she said. 

The session was not limited to fiddles. Musicians also played guitar and banjo to complement the sound. Banjo player Bob Packard said the instrument he plays adds a background sound to the fiddle.

“I just love being here,’’ he said.

Tom Murphy traveled from Centerville in search of a chance to play along with traditional music. “I’m a student of the fiddle,’’ he said. “I’ve been trying to find music of this type.’’

Traditional songs performed included “Five Miles from Town,’’ “Dry and Dusty’’ and “Cumberland Gap.’’ 

Musicians called out the songs to be performed, which many of the entertainers knew but others learned by the end of the seven minutes or so that the songs ran.

As the sounds of fiddle reverberated through the building, DeCicco-Carey smiled. 

“It’s a community gathering,’’ she said. “It’s something fun to do on a Sunday.’’