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article imageThe Best Fiddler in North Central Louisiana, a Living Artifact Special

By Carol Forsloff     Apr 3, 2010 in Lifestyle
No one can keep from tapping toes, humming along, and finding fun in fiddle music, the kind that's played on back yard porches, memorialized in museums and incorporated in one fine man, the greatest Louisiana fiddle player of them all.
There is nothing better than a Louisiana fiddlin' man, the kind, in that proverbial way, God doesn't make anymore. Buzz Salard is the guy with fingers that spin and a heart that goes with them as he incorporates more love in a song than words within could ever express.
Young musicians pay attention. Older, polished ones pay attention. He is better. He's the source for other folk, the one other musicians watch and wonder over. He is having surgery soon. There is worry over whether he will ever play again. So the catch of seeing him play on a Sunday in late March made everyone there in awe of the night. It was a special gift of having this man come into one's life, if only a moment, and bring to it the vibrant music that only he can play.
Folks call him Buzz not Mr, and he's just that simple kind of guy, easy to meet, to know and to feel good feelings for as he talks about this time. He sat down with Digital Journal on a night he had charmed some folk, as he almost always does, and explained the intricacies of fiddle playing, as a country fellow could. He talked of the small neck on the instrument, how the strings played taut must be touched at just the right intervals or the sounds can be entirely different. Unlike a guitar, there are no frets to feel. Unlike a piano there are no color changes to black and white on the assorted keys. One knows by doing, and Buzz, like many of the old-time musicians, reads no music. He listens to the instrument and hears it in his soul, then reproduces it for everyone as if they share those inner sounds in similar, special ways.
While great halls hold the mighty and museums the artifacts of old, these rare folk who share the history of the music and the heart of country sounds as the best of fiddling makes, are a special people fading from our midst. So to spend an evening with the best of them is a privileged writer's joy.
Buzz is a living artifact, the wonder of them all, the kind that ends up in a hall of fame, if not a formal one, the one in the hearts who hear him. Have a listen, dear reader, and enjoy what might be one of the last hurrahs of the greatest fiddle playing in north central Louisiana.
More about Country music, Louisiana music, Hall fame
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