This lil puppy showed up in my Facebook feed thanks to Martha Spencer of the Whitetop Mountaineers. Blake Rash is a young old-time fiddle player from Whitetop, Virginia, and heir to a tradition of old-time fiddling that reaches past his great-grandfather, Corbett Stamper. By snapping up a little bit of N.W.A imagery for his Bandcamp album, he’s situating the music in the rough-and-tumble, fiercely regional old-time jamming scene at Southern fiddle festivals. The album screeches through 21 tracks of seriously kick-ass old-time jamming with Blake on fiddle and badass three-finger banjo player Jeremy Stephens, plus guitarist Kilby Spencer. This is what old-time stringband music should sound like, all hopped up on moonshine and cigarettes, and pushing as hard and as fast as possible through the tunes. Rash also plays with the form and the structure of the music, starting off tunes by snatching at melodies on his fiddle before breaking into the breakdown, and setting up strange little songs towards the end that talk about his truck and Whitetop. But don’t be fooled, it takes a ton of talent to play this well and since this is his own music, he’s got more right than anyone to fuck around with it and make it fun! This is the kind of energy that made me really fall in love with old-time when I first heard it from Foghorn Stringband ten years ago.