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     “… fiddler Ellen Carlson, whose sweet-toned instrument soars throughout this recording.”

    Steve Goldfield,
    Bluegrass Unlimited
    May 2008

    BIO

    Ellen grew up in a fairly musical family (they weren’t the Osmond’s or anything but her dad played a pretty good rendition of You Are My Sunshine and Old Shep). Mom can sing like Ann Murray. Sister Cath plays a rousing Liechstenstein Polka on the accordion, sister Beck can plunk out the old favorites on the piano, brother Glenn can blow taps on the trumpet and brothers’ Darrell and Bruce are very fine guitar and pedal steel players. Check out Darrell’s singing and Bruce’s playing on her new CD.

    Growing up, her key inspiration to play was to play in her two brothers’ band so they wouldn’t get all of the attention. She could pick an instrument from a closet full of instruments that her dad had. Since she was the fourth of six kids, the pickings were getting slim and she sure didn’t want to play the banjo. This family group played everything from George Jones to Leonard Skynard with some Bob Wills thrown in for good measure. She learned to play from square dance fiddlers Frisky (Alan Frisk), Charlie Pritchard, and others and then on her own by picking up things from people such as Craig Eastman (www.craigeastman.com) who graciously gave up much of his time to show her a thing or two at fiddle contests and bluegrass festivals. Some Byron Berline tapes and Homespun Videos helped her out quite a bit as well.

    After the Wagoneers (the family band) made it big at the Kent Fireman’s Fair when they were in their teens, the band broke up due to other “realistic” goals. Ellen majored in Business/Music as an undergraduate (where she played more tuba than fiddle), and has a Masters in Education. She taught middle school math for 15 years. She also taught Physical Education for grades K – 6.

    Throughout all of these career shenanigans, she continued to teach and play fiddle in swing, country, folk, bluegrass, square dance and acoustic groups. This long background of playing with others has lead her to love the many styles of fiddling and to develop the ability to improvise over many kinds of music.

    She currently plays with the acoustic roots band High Range whose recordings have been highly reviewed by national publications and songs have been played around the world. High Range has opened for Tim O’Brien, the Waybacks, Ralph Stanley, and with the Mammals, the Rowan Brothers, Carol Noonan, Lori McKenna, Mark Errelli and many more. She was also an original member of the popular all-female swing trio Sweet, Hot & Sassy, specializing in 1940’s swing music (a la the Andrews Sisters).

    A number of years ago she played with the award-winning country band the Blue Hill Kickers who won the New Hampshire Country Music Association CMA award as well as the top award in Las Vegas. This band opened for such acts as Martina McBride, Hal Ketchum, and at Foxboro Stadium’s Country Music Festival featuring such acts as Steve Warner, Clint Black, the Mavericks, and others.


    Ellen Carlson
    603-661-1981
    Email Ellen Carlson
    PO Box 77
    Nottingham, NH 03290