May 18, 2021
Episode 169: He's known worldwide as a consummate virtuoso on the fiddle and the violin, but Mark O'Connor's first instrument was actually the guitar. After starting his music life with classical and flamenco style lessons, the Seattle teen branched into traditional fiddle and acoustic guitar. After making the groundbreaking Markology when he was 16, O'Connor realized he had bursitis in his elbow and he gave up the guitar to save his fiddling. After more than 40 years winning Grammy Awards and making waves in country, bluegrass, jazz and classical music, O'Connor picked up the guitar again and made a series of recordings that became the new Markology II. We talk about the long journey back. Also, mandolinist Joe K. Walsh, one of the many alums of O'Connor's famed, scene-making fiddle camps, talks about the new acoustic scene today and his new quartet album.