Fiddler comes to Crossings

By Tom Weber

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

If you go

What: Carrie Rodriguez concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Crossings at Carnegie , 320 East Ave., Zumbrota

Tickets: $22 advance, $24 at the door; (507) 732-7616.

When Texas singer/songwriter/fiddler Carrie Rodriguez decided to record an album of other people's songs, she knew exactly where to start: her own family.

"My father (David Rodriguez) was a singer/songwriter and I grew up listening to him and other songwriters," Rodriguez said.

So her new album includes her dad's "When I Heard Gypsy Davy Sing" and songs by her dad's friends Lucinda Williams and the late Townes Van Zandt. Also included are recent songs by Richard Thompson, M. Ward and Buddy and Julie Miller, as well as a Hank Williams classic.


"The Richard Thompson tune ('Waltzing's for Dreamers') is my favorite," Rodriguez said. "It's such a dark song mixed with a super melody."

It will likely be featured when Rodriguez performs Thursday at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota.

Rodriguez talked by phone from her hometown of Austin, Texas.

What was different about recording songs by other writers instead of your own songs?

I actually spent so much time alone with these songs that I sometimes forgot I didn't write them. Once I find a way of playing a song that's my own, I actually assume ownership of it.

Y ou play the fiddle less on this album than any of your others.

I didn't do that for any reason other than that I didn't hear fiddle in these songs. I didn't hear a lot of sawing away, barn-burning fiddling. I want to serve the song as best I can.

Growing up in the family you did, was there ever a chance you'd be anything but a musician?


Well, I was encouraged to do whatever I wanted to. My mother is a painter, so I thought being an artist was a perfectly viable way of making a living. There was no pressure. I was the one who asked if I could take violin lessons at age 5. It was a lucky environment to grow up in.

What attracted you to the violin?

When I was in kindergarten at my public school, they were offering Suzuki violin lessons. I remember walking down the hallway and hearing these squawking things playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and being drawn to that awful sound.

You were a guest clerk at (Austin's legendary) Waterloo Records on National Record Store Day last week. What do you think of all the changes in the record industry?

Waterloo has been in Austin for 30 years, and I've always shopped there. I still go buy my music there, and every time I go in it's full. I'm encouraged by that. I think people still want to buy music they can hold in their hands.

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