Robert Bruce Greene is known worldwide for his preserving and playing of old time Kentucky fiddle music. He is also a skilled old time banjo player, singer, and collector of traditional Appalachian music and culture. Bruce has lived and worked among the people of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina for more than thirty years, bringing to his playing the profound intimacy and dignity he absorbed through his apprenticeships with musicians born as far back as the 1880’s.
"Bruce's repertoire includes a vast number of obscure and crooked tunes, as if opening a previously locked door to a room rich with old-time music most people didn't know existed...His playing never fails to transport me back to the lost and ancient world of Old Kentucky. His style is smooth as silk, his delivery exciting, his use of ornamentation harks back to the melding of Old World and New World that has occurred in Southern music a century and a half ago."
- David Lynch, Old Time Music Top Ten
Bruce's Website: www.brucegreene.net
Bruce and Don - On the cabin porch at Fiddlers Grove with Don Pedi, having fun as hard as we can. Photo by Tim Barnwell
This is Bruce with John Salyer’s two sons, Grover and Glen, taken in Middletown, KY, c. 1991. Photo by Steve Green
This is Gusty Wallace, born 1891 playing in the church next door to his house, c. 1972. I learned many great tunes from him, including Old Bob, Bound To Have a Little Fun, and Come Along Boys and Let’s Go To Ananky. Photo by Steve Green
James Hood lived in Scottsville, KY. I met him playing for a square dance at a hippie commune nearby there. Photo c. 1972 by Celia Wyckoff
"Bruce is an elegant bow artist who has modeled his very personal style on some of the legends of the Kentucky fiddling pantheon...So much subtlety goes into making (his tunes) shine, so much dynamic, that when you hear them, you will have to marvel at the beauty of the tune structures and also at the skill of the fiddler in pulling some of the obtuse phrases together into a cohesive unit."
- Kerry Blech, Old Time Herald
Milo Biggers ran an old time shoe repair shop in Glasgow, KY. He was the last of an illustrious line of old time fiddlers around Barren County. He also sold me Red Wing brand brogan shoes at half price because I liked fiddle tunes.
This is Red Wilson, Rob Levin and me in Red’s back yard, posing for the newspapers, c. 2001. I played with Red, my nearest musical neighbor, for more than ten years until his death in 2005.
This is Red and me at the Music in The Mountains Folk Festival, just down the road from here, 2001.
"Greene's tape Vintage Fiddle Tunes is a wonderful collection of rare gems. Evidently we all owe him a giant debt not only for preserving scores of archaic central and eastern Kentucky fiddle pieces from fiddlers now passed on, but also for choosing to adopt the gentle, rolling bow of some of his teachers as his own. To hear him play...is to take a trip back in time. It is hard to imagine that this is a man in his (fifties) playing for us in the (twenty-first century)."
- Pete Sutherland, Sing Out Magazine
Bruce and Don Pedi playing with Lee Sexton at the Smithsonian Festival, 2004. This is shortly before we were joined by Ali Farka Toure!
You can contact Bruce Greene through any of the World Around Songs contact options or: