Rayna’s Waltz

The gifts in our lives — those who come into our lives to bless us, enrich us, teach us — like the faces in the crashing waves — are God-sent. — Babette Allen

Simple Gifts (Brackett), Rayna’s Waltz (Elmore), Fiddle Medley, Stardust (Carmichael), Fayetteville Polka (Zelner), Whistler’s Waltz (Elmore), Flowers of Edinburgh (Trad), Embraceable You (Gershwin), Gypsy Waltz (Trad), Jesse Polka (Trad), Blue Diamond Mines (Ritchie), Lazy River (Carmichael), Someone to Watch Over Me (Gershwin), Let There Be Peace on Earth (Jackson,Miller)

Rayna’s Waltz is available for purchase at amazon.com, itunes, a host of other online sites and through our store.

Randy Elmore wrote the title track of this cd, Rayna’s Waltz, for me in 2004.  He presented it to me at his fiddle camp that year, and we performed it together with Randy playing harmony, on the final night of that camp.    We have also performed it together at Mark O’Connor’s String Conference. Randy is a wonderful friend and fiddler and I’ve always enjoyed seeing him, playing with him, and learning from him when I get the chance.  I knew that Rayna’s Waltz would have to be on my cd.  I didn’t realize, however, that Rayna’s Waltz would be the title of my cd until at the end of my long drive home after recording in Nashville.  I had thought about a title for months.  Helen Holzen told me that I’d have the drive home to think about it.  I was 8 hours into that drive before I thought that Rayna’s Waltz was the perfect name!  Over the years I’ve been asked many times to play Randy’s most famous waltz, Whistler’s Waltz.  Many thanks to Randy for letting me also include that on this cd!  Please visit Randy’s webpage, www.randyelmore.com, to learn more about Randy, the cds he has, and his fiddle camp!

Hans Holzen is a wonderful musician!  I have known him for many years and his personality and beautiful playing have naturally drawn me to him, as they do to anyone who spends time around him.  All I asked of Hans is that this cd sound more like a duet between the two of us, than a fiddler with a band.  Wow did Hans deliver!  His playing is beautiful and makes me want to listen to my own cd!  Hans also did all of the arranging, and almost all of the recording and mixing.  He has a great ear and I trusted him and let him have the final say-so.  Hans also suggested that we play Someone to Watch Over Me.  Hans tours with Carrie Rodriguez and also with Mark O’Connor American String Ensemble.  Hans has a cd that is available at http://cdbaby.com/cd/hkband, and you can also visit Hans at www.myspace.com/holzenmusicpage.

Wally Cunningham asked me to play Simple Gifts for him in 2006, at Mark O’Connor’s String Conference.  I didn’t.  I never forgot that I should have played that for him, and that I would play it for him some day.  Wally also sent me a beautiful email that clearly spelled out to me why I should move forward with the cd.  As I began to think about what should be included on the cd I realized that Simple Gifts needed to be the opening track — that everything and everyone that was coming to me to work on my cd were “the gifts in our lives”.  Wally also took the beautiful photo which we used for the cover.  A student was with me when I received it, and as soon as we saw it said, “That looks like the cover of a cd”.  I asked Wally and he agreed.  Wally is a friend first, but he is also a well-known architect whose works are often spotlighted in Architectural Digest and other publications.  Materializing the Immaterial was written about his architecture.  To see some of Wally’s work, please visit www.wallacecunningham.com.

Byron, Susan, Allie and Zoe Cunningham have been good friends and wonderfully supportive through this project.  I met them several years ago at Mark O’Connor String Conference when Zoe was a student in my class.  Susan and Byron would take turns bringing Zoe to class.  Since then I have watched as both Allie and Zoe have blossomed and not only have I been thrilled with their playing but I’ve also been excited about their singing!  It’s been great to have them singing on this cd!  Byron was so involved in making it happen and his involvement didn’t end until this cd went to press.  Byron is also a singer and altho he didn’t have a starring role on this cd … I think that was an audition I heard in San Diego …

Tom and Helen Holzen were among the first people I met my first MOC Fiddle Camp.  From that very first camp, Tom would accompany me on guitar.  Even when the time came that Hans accompanied me in performance, Tom and I always found time to play a few tunes together.  I couldn’t imagine that my first cd would not have Tom Holzen on it!  It was unbelievable to see Tom sitting there with his headphones on.  Additionally, Tom also did some of the recording and the mixing and arranged for the mastering.

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