Bold, Fresh String Band Music from Darol Anger & the Republic of Strings

For the past 35 years fiddler Darol Anger has been a pioneering force on the acoustic music scene. He won Frets Magazine’s Readers’ Poll for Best Jazz Violinist for four straight years and has played in such groundbreaking groups as The Turtle Island Quartet and the David Grisman Quintet. Anger is equally at home in a number of musical genres, including folk, jazz and pop.

With his latest configuration, The Republic of Strings, he takes a brave, fresh look at string band music. “I wanted to stick to the ethos that there is a nation of string players all over the world,” he said during an interview from his home in Portland, Maine “This is a nation where there are no musical boundaries and no artificial distinctions between different kinds of music.” The Republic of Strings draws from a variety of sources ranging from bluegrass, Celtic, and Appalachian to improvisational jazz, soul and blues. They play roots music, covers of musicians such as Ornette Coleman and Aretha Franklin and selections they have penned themselves.

Anger’s innovative fiddling is the constant in the group. He is joined by an ever evolving group of young musicians and jokingly calls himself the resident “geezer”. “We have a very creative group right now” he says “people that sing very well and write very well.” He sees music one of the few professions left where there is still a master/apprenticeship relationship. “In string band music there is an ongoing progression of musicians standing on each other’s shoulders” says Anger “this helps the younger musicians to get further and further into the music.”

Beyond Anger, The Republic of Strings includes cellist Mike Block, five-string violinist Lauren Rioux, and guitarist Scott Law. Each of these musicians lead busy professional lives and tour with other bands. Cellist Mike Block plays with Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio and often performs with Yo-Yo Ma in The Silk Road Ensemble. Lauren Rioux is recognized as a rising star in the national fiddle scene and maintains a busy violin studio and Scott Law is a sideman for a variety of prominent folk musicians.

The group has recorded two CDs on the Compass Record label and is working on a third. Compelling musical textures, elegant solos, and vocals all emanate from this talented group of musicians. “There’s a lot of respect and love going on among the players,” Anger said. “I think it comes out in the music.”

Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings will perform at the Camp Hill United Methodist Church located at 417 S. 22nd Street in Camp Hill on Sunday, October 31st at 7:30 pm. The concert is sponsored by the Susquehanna Folk Music Society.Tickets are $22 and $10 for students. For more information visit

By Jess Hayden, published in The Sentinel on October 28, 2010


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: