Ron Cody

$15 (s&h incl.)

Buy from CDbaby

Listen on Music



Just Released June, 2016!

Cody may curate, but in the true homespun spirit of roots music, all fiddlers and players contribute to the arrangements of these spellbinding instrumental gems.

~Pat Moran, Strings Magazine

Congratulations to Ron on this Epic CD project!

~Bruce Molsky

Personnel, Liner notes & more

Ron Cody has produced a new record for banjo and fiddle offering a wonderful collection of explorations in acoustic string-band music tied together by the common thread of Jonathan Cooper's exceptional violins. Ron's inventive banjo playing and production comes along with an assemblage of many of the northeast's finest string players. The album features fiddling greats Darol Anger, Matt Glaser, Bruce Molsky, Brittany Haas, Alex Hargreaves and many more, while showcasing a supportive lineup of the highest caliber. The album contains an interesting variety of tunes that takes the listener on a musical journey with homage to various American folk music idioms. Ron's banjo playing walks a fine line of peering over the horizon while remaining routed in tradition which makes for an exciting and pleasing musical experience. Check it out!

~Dominick Leslie

  1. Amanda's Reel

    (Kenny Smith)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle)
    • Matt Witler (mandolin)
    • Matthew Arcara (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  2. The New Five Cents

    (Traditional)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Mike Barnett (fiddle)
    • Roland White (mandolin)
    • Lincoln Meyers (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  3. Stompin' Time

    (Ron Cody)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Darol Anger (fiddle)
    • Jesse Brock (mandolin)
    • Lincoln Meyers (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  4. This Can't Be Love

    (Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Alex Hargeaves (fiddle)
    • Dominick Leslie (mandolin)
    • Grant Gordy (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  5. Backstreet

    (Ron Cody)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Brittany Haas (fiddle)
    • Jesse Brock (mandolin)
    • Lincoln Meyers (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  6. Tommy Jarrell's Bonaparte's

    (Traditional)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Darol Anger (fiddle)
    • Jesse Brock (mandolin)
    • Lincoln Meyers (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  7. Golden Eagle Hornpipe

    (Traditional)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Alex Hargreaves (fiddle)
    • Dominick Leslie (mandolin)
    • Grant Gordy (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  8. Cattle in the Cane

    (Traditional)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Matt Glaser (fiddle)
  9. Crazy Creek

    (Tommy Jackson)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Matt Glaser (fiddle)
    • Joe Walsh (mandolin)
    • Frank Varela (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  10. Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine

    (Traditional)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Jonathan Cooper (violin)
    • Brittany Haas (violin)
    • Jesse Brock (mandolin)
    • Lincoln Meyers (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
  11. The Cowboy's Life Is A Very Dreary Life / Snake Chapman's Tune

    (Traditional / Owen Chapman)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Bruce Molsky (fiddle)
    • Joe Walsh (mandolin)
    • Matthew Arcara (guitar)
  12. Acorn Stomp / High Level Hornpipe

    (Traditional / James Hill)

    • Ron Cody (banjo)
    • Tashina Clarridge (fiddle)
    • Tristan Clarridge (fiddle and tenor guitar)
    • Lincoln Meyers (guitar)
    • Wendy Cody (bass)
Jonathon Cooper and Ron Cody

Produced by Ron Cody

Featuring:

  • Darol Anger - fiddle
  • Mike Barnett - fiddle
  • Jonathan Cooper - violin
  • Tashina Clarridge - fiddle
  • Tristan Clarridge - fiddle and tenor guitar
  • Matt Glaser - fiddle
  • Brittany Haas - fiddle
  • Alex Hargreaves - fiddle
  • Bronwyn Keith-Hynes - fiddle
  • Bruce Molsky - fiddle
  • Matthew Arcara - guitar
  • Jesse Brock - mandolin
  • Wendy Cody - bass
  • Grant Gordy - guitar
  • Dominick Leslie - mandolin
  • Lincoln Meyers - guitar
  • Frank Varela - guitar
  • Joe Walsh - mandolin
  • Matt Witler - mandolin
  • Roland White - mandolin

Wasn't too many years ago... a banjo and a fiddle made a band. The classic duet has been celebrated just as long as there have been fiddlers and banjoists together. Banjo master Ron Cody has created an album that explores this deep connection; an album full of grace, mystery, humor, and abandon. When I say album, I think of a collection of vignettes, perhaps a book of photos from a particular time and place. And that's exactly what this recording is: a snapshot of a time and place in fiddling today, a group portrait. A tightly woven spread of generations of fiddlers, all representing a musical movement whose growth shows no signs of stopping.

Make no mistake; in spite of all the fiddlers a-fiddling here, this is finally a banjo record, and Ron continues as one of the most accomplished and wide-ranging of contemporary banjoists in the Bill Keith mold, able to leap tall genres in a single bound, inhabiting many styles, always with the Cody touch. His versatility enables him to speak to and with each fiddler in their own musical language. His offerings range from hurtling headlong Bluegrass, to stony Hartfordian twang, to swing flavors ranging all along the humor spectrum, replete with piquant harmonic twists.

Ron lives and works in Maine, an especially beautiful region in America's Northeast which has fostered a thriving string music community. Maine also has a tradition of excellent instrument builders going back to the 1800s. At present, one of the most popular and accomplished of these is Jonathan Cooper, a member of that influential group of luthiers who changed the violin-making world over the course of a few summers at Oberlin College, sharing ideas, lore, and secrets of the trade. Among a group of craftspeople known for introverts and eccentrics, Jon might be the most extroverted violin maker ever. A real polymath, he has done many things besides build violins, and his personal and professional connections span the globe. He freely shares his knowledge and skills and has set many talented builders on their path. His ebullient presence at many of the most important fiddle camps and events of the last 3 decades has inspired him to build instruments which have become the voices of some of the best fiddlers fiddling today.

And those legendary camps and fiddle events, such as Mark O'Connor's annual events in San Diego and Tennessee, Alasdair Fraser's camps in California, the Rockygrass and Shasta academies, and Jay Unger's Ashokan, have empowered a brilliant generation of musicians who create music which feels like home, but lives everywhere. It's the American-Celtic-Blues-and-Bluegrassy-Jazz style of music that most American musicians fall into when they are playing freely together. In this near-utopian musical republic, the inhabitants share a familial bond powered by music, respecting all styles of music without taking the differences too seriously.

Ron has tapped into this connected group of extremely individual fiddlers who share a questing sound and a love of groove, precision, mystery and nuance. This is expressed beautifully in the very concrete metaphor of all the fiddlers playing fine instruments created by Jonathan Cooper, around whom most of them have spent some of the most intense weeks of their lives. It's a continent-wide family bonded by music, bonds constantly renewed in a process which brings minds, hearts, and feet together, moment by moment.

Folks with this questing musical spirit and desire for beauty are everywhere. Though Ron Cody didn't grow up in this fiddle-camp environment, he worked and studied with people that helped spark this music: Bill Keith, Tony Trischka, and others. He is a healer and crucial member of this community and has helped many musicians in many ways. His intellect, discipline and organizational abilities drive him to create coherent themes for his musical projects. the natural affinity of Banjo and Fiddle drove this project just as much the affinity of all these human beings for each other.

The band that supports this conversation is equally excellent and stands out when needed: On guitars: Lincoln Meyers, a tremendously powerful guitarist in the bluegrass mold. Ron's old friend Frank Varela steps strongly in on jazz guitar. The indescribable Grant Gordy states the non-obvious, and Matt Arcara paints unexpected cascades. On mandolin there are five: the legendary Roland White (his family has been in Maine for generations), three brilliant players in their prime; Jesse Brock, Joe K. Walsh and Dominick Leslie, along with the young and upcoming Matt Witler. Wendy Cody continues to further realize her penetrating musicianship in the role of bassist, supporting the proceedings with taste and skill. Perfectly chosen, these artists adjust rapidly to the parade of fiddle soloists and bring out subtle facets of each tune, rewarding repeated listening.

The music on this recording tells an eloquent and beautiful story which cannot be described in words. To listen to the whole CD is to make a journey which many will want to take again and again. May you who had the luck to discover this recording have many chances to re-live the story told here.

Darol Anger

© Ron Cody. All rights reserved.

Design / Hosting by BauWau Design