Kimber Ludiker: Five-string-fiddle will travel

Kimber LudikerDella Mae is one of the most innovative and interesting bands in bluegrass today. We were lucky enough to catch up with the band’s fiddler, Kimber Ludiker, backstage at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival on August 30, 2013.

Della Mae: Wanted in San Francisco

Della Mae: Wanted in San Francisco

Kimber tells us the story of how Della Mae, a powerful all-woman bluegrass band, was founded. She also speaks about her 5-string fiddle, her early life attending — and eventually winning — fiddle contests, and Della Mae’s 6-week trip to central Asia on a State Department tour.

Kimber comes from a family of fiddlers and contest winners and is comfortable playing in a lot of different styles. She brings a ton of energy to any project with which she is involved. Whether she is playing a contest tune, a bluegrass song, an old fiddle tune, or a new improvisation, her fiddle playing is very emotive. You can hear her playing expressive long phrases that complement a vocalist; you can hear her play solos or duets with a driven energy that makes you sit up and take notice.

The interview

Interview with Kimber Ludiker (Recorded 8/30/13; original broadcast date: 10/29/13; host: Mandorichard). 25:31, 24.5 MB. Note: the version uploaded here contains excerpts from the Della Mae tracks used in the broadcast. We may upload other snippets of the interview that were a lot of fun, but were trimmed from the broadcast version.

Ralph Stanley and Kimber Ludiker

Ralph Stanley (left) poses with Kimber Ludiker.

The music

The following music appeared on this episode of The Music Room:

  • Artist / Song / Album (or note) / Label (or source) / Date
  • Della Mae / Bowling Green / I Built this Heart / self (available from Bandcamp) / 2011
  • Della Mae / Turtle Dove / This World Oft Can Be / Rounder / 2013
  • Kimber Ludiker / Nail that Catfish to a Tree / Mike Block Fiddle Camp (Michigan) Faculty Concert / via YouTube / 2013
  • Kimber Ludiker / Tom and Jerry, The Wedding Song, CottonPatch Rag / 2010 National Fiddle Championship, Weiser, Idaho / via YouTube / 2010
  • Della Mae / Polk County / I Built this Heart / self (available from Bandcamp) / 2011