Bruce Johnson

Bruce started playing fiddle at the age of nine learning from his father, Edwin. They would go up to northern Minnesota fishing on weekends. They brought their fishing poles, outboard motor, and their fiddles. Every evening, and sometimes all day if it was raining, they would take out their fiddles. Edwin would play melody and Bruce would work on the knackning chording second, with Edwin's instructions. The knackning style second was played in Rattvik and some other parts of Sweden up until the mid 1950's. It is quite basic, using only chords to accompany the melody. This special knackning style of fiddle playing was used to enhances the beat and add more depth to the music. Although being a very important part of folk fiddling in Rättvik for many years, its simplicity made it unattractive to the new generation of folk fiddlers and it has now all but vanished from folk music in Sweden. Bruce is one of less then a hand full of fiddlers who can play this knackning second. He has played it almost all his life and like many of the other fiddlers that came before him, it’s the only part he plays. Bruce plays this knackning second so strongly, there are times when even the lead fiddler is not sure who’s leading.

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