Annika Amstutz plays some “Old Favorites” on NineVoltHeart.

Annika Amstutz has released a glorious duo album with Daniel Plane called “Old Favorites”. Eleven tunes from Scottish, Irish, Old Time and Contra Dance traditions. Most are traditional tunes but all are played with enthusiasm and even some improvisation. We begin our segment with the first set of tunes from “Old Favorites” which is “Virginia Reel/Silver Spear/Mason’s Apron.”

Annika and I discuss the circumstances surrounding this opportunity to record, essentially there was a narrow window and Annnika and Daniel thrived in the time (one afternoon) allotted. Other topics include a bit of Annika’s biographical info and her musical journey. We discuss the pairing of cello and fiddle which has made a renaissance in the last few decades. She also fills us in on the work of her collaborator Daniel Plane, also a previous Valley teacher and player now moved to Wisconsin.

We talk about her role as Director of the Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts as well as her work studying and playing with David Kaynor. Throughout our conversation we play tunes both in-studio and from the “Old Favorites” release.

Annika played the title cut “Old Favorites” live solo fiddle adding two more reels to the set. We follow that with “Waterbound/Robertson’s Reel”. The live in-studio performance is finalized with a gorgeous pairing of “Fine Times At Our House/Far From Home”

It was a pleasure to have live in-studio guests again; especially so the the grace and beauty of Annika Amstutz’s music.

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