Fiddler Byron Berline died July 10 at age 77. He was one of the great American fiddlers.
By sheer luck I briefly met him a few years ago at Midwest Banjo Camp. I had found a quiet place where I could work on a tune I had just learned on banjo and he happened by, going to one of the teaching rooms. I looked up and thought OMG that’s Byron Berline. I managed to stop myself from saying something totally stupid like, “um, you’re him”… Instead I went with a simple but effective “hi”. We exchanged just a moment of chit-chat. He struck me as being a genuinely friendly and fairly laid-back guy.
Here’s Mr. Berline in a workshop with Vassar Clements in 1992. It’s a long video. Listen to a taste or a full morsel – up to you.