Casey Driessen has certainly created a considerable place in the fiddle world for himself at the age of 27, and it seems he is perched on or near the top of the progressive fiddle player’s mountain. He started playing at age 6 and then was further powered by the Suzuki method, then attendance at the Berklee College of Music; he has absorbed and altered/used this education through listening to the likes of Darol Anger and Vassar Clements. This transformation was further solidified when he played with people such as Bela Fleck, Tim O’Brien, and Darrell Scott, and he has certainly improved his visibility by playing on their discs and the latter three also play on this debut disc.
There is a powerful statement made here (particularly for an initial disc) by the star of the show and also by the support he is provided by those who have signed on. There are 12 songs presented for us, and he wrote or co-wrote 6 of those. A couple of the non-original songs, have such original arrangements that they are almost like new songs, his version of Sugarfoot Rag/Freedom Jazz Dance is a stunner. He takes the time to build a song and layer the textures in the song with his bowing technique and use of feedback, but refrains from being overly showy with his technique just for effect. It is a delicate balance and he holds it well.
Casey Driessen is someone who may, before he is done playing, change the way the fiddle is used and thought of, as much as someone like Jimi Hendrix did with the guitar or Bela Fleck with the banjo.
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