Top 10 Best Fiddle Players of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Justin Branum

Justin Branum has an ear like none other. He breathes the fiddle in his life. You can hear it in his playing. He pays homage to every single one of the greats, and to the great pedal steel guitar! Yeah! Big Full sound. Justin Branum translates those crazy wavy melodies--full of all the intervalic capabilities to be silly and expressive in Its song to sing. Justin Branum is the Grand Master Fiddler Champion 2010. This year, He was awarded first place as the "Show Me State's" Best Rhythm Guitar Player in Missouri. He's in the book just recently published called Play me something fast and devilish about Missouri style fiddle playing. He is an amazingly precise player who shines alone in his Western Swing style. Colorful and virtuosic solos drive, with a groove, a rhythm, and a force that begs to be set apart by its very nature of mystery, as well as the simple purity, love, and honesty from the heart through which the music pours. A man of excellence who is an open vessel for the music to flow like none other and refresh our souls. Thank God for such a fiddler. He can Revive The Tradition.

2 Hyram Posey

I've had the pleasure of having Hyram and his wife Lori as friends for many years. You will never meet a better couple, no ego just great people. Hyram has played music in all types of settings and always brings his creative genius to the music. Hyram is not only the best fiddle player - bar none- but produces not only the one of a kind music he writes but brings out the best in other artist music he produces. No matter where you put Hyram, stage- recording studio- writing music - movie themes- supporting other artist or playing lead, Hyram is simple the best. Listen to Hyram's music- it soothes the Soul. God Bless Hyram and Lori.

3 Stuart Duncan

A very smooth style who can play with anyone!

Great fiddler of americana music, really shines on the Goat Rodeo Sessions with Edgar Myers, Yo-Yo Ma, and Chris Thile

4 Charlie Daniels


Charlie owns this award from "Orange Blossom Special" alone - and that's not even his best work.

Undeniably the one of greatest fiddle players of all time.

I love hearing Charlie Daniels play that fiddle I love it!

5 Kenny Sears

My Dad was a fiddle player. He had a great ear. I never heard him comment to much about anyone's playing...except for Kenny Sears who he scheduled his entire day around being able to watch Mr. Sears play on the Ralph Emery Show for years! On top of that Mr. Sears is one of the sweetest, kindest and most humble fellows around.

He was my first teacher... I was 3!... And I am now 35! Very good man! Absolutely brilliant Mr. Kenny... The Shaffer twins from Lindsay Hollow have ALWAYS admired you! TOP notch across any genre of music!

6 Buddy Spicher
7 Rob Hajacos

Seriously, why don't I see his name here. He is one of the best Nashville Studio musicians and appears on countless albums by all the favorite stars and others. Truly a master of the fiddle!

All around commercial sound either up lifting style!

8 Byron Berline

He's a wonder on stage. He brings brilliance from his fiddle effortlessly!
He livens the show with comedy. He and the rest of the Byron Berline Band
Are a great show and beautiful listening experience. They command your attention and reward your soul.

Byron Berline is AMAZING! I got to meet him last year in Weiser, Idaho and he's one of the BEST fiddlers I have ever heard! I took a workshop from him, and he was really nice to autograph the three cds and fiddle book I bought from him. He didn't make me feel like a "nobody". I even got my picture taken with him!

9 Johnny Gimble

One word describes Johnny Gimble. SM-O-O-O-T-H. Can't be beat when it comes to style. My Dad, God rest his soul, was the best, and being Canadian, was partial to Don Messer, but always said that God had given Johnny the greatest be able to play with heavenly hosts.

Johnny has Western swing soul and knows what melody is even if he is playing harmony or is complimenting a vocalist. He has played on concerts and sessions for me... Gospel singer David Ingles.

Johnny played with Bob and acquired a sound, a feel and Western Swing " savy " that many fiddlers admire. The Lord blessed him with tuning and rhythm, and melodic moves that every song deserves.

10 Mark O'Connor

Mark O'Conner might have something to say about 3 time world champion Benny Thomasson. He should very well be on this list. We'll more deserved than many of these fiddlers. Considered the father of texas hodown style of fiddlin. Which many top fiddlers play today.

He's awesome. In addition to his fiddling he was a child prodigy on mandolin and flatpicking guitar, and in addition to his fiddle world championship titles, he's also won titles on both of those, but he just doesn't play them anymore.

This guy has the most tasty solos of any man alive. If you really want to see this guys talent, check out his live performance with Tony Rice and Bela Fleck of "Freeborn Man. "

The Contenders
11 Tommy Peoples

Tommy peoples one of the greatest irish fiddle players if not the greatest. He was also my grandad but we don't talk about that part (stop reading this)

The great Tommy Peoples,original player with the "Bothy Band"? No mention of him on this list!

12 Hoot Hester

Best fiddle player ever to live. Self taught and has the best ear in the business.

He is my grandpa. He never was out of toon, and he made some awesome songs

13 Aubrey Hayney

Best fiddle player ever! Comes from a great family!

Saw him at Station Inn in Nashville... Unreal!

14 Doug Kershaw

Saw him in '74 and I never forgot how he made people just want to get up and dance, whether they know how or not - his music is totally awesome... Love, love him.

If ever anyone can put heart and soul in music its Doug Kershaw, most amazing fiddler player ever!

My grandsons grew up dancing around our living room to Doug Kershaw..
He is my favorite fiddlers!

15 Jimmy De Martini

Jimmy De is the best! Listen to him play the Intro to Free by ZBB or Devil Went Down to Georgia and you will agree.

One of the best, most energetic and passionate players I have ever seen or heard.

Underrated. Can play with the best of all time

16 Bob Wills

Bob wills is without a doubt the beginning of modern country fiddle playing. His single string style was perfect for having two and three part harmony.The king of Western Swing

Bob Wills was the greatest. He invented Country Swing and it just doesn't get any better than that.

You don't have to be from Texas to know that Bob Wills is still the king.

17 Martin Hayes

Tone, passion, the best, also very humble See what he has to say about the "lonesome touch"... A term "used to describe a person's music. The word lonesome expresses a sadness, a blue note, a sour note. Even though the music bares the trace of struggle and of pain, it is alsothe means of uplift, transcendence to joy and celebration"

All Ireland fiddle champion six times. How was he not already on this list? Why is he so good at what he does? He plays from his heart, that's how! Give it a listen, and you too will bump this vote.

18 John "Chank the Fiddler" Jeansonne

John "Chank the Fiddler" Jeansonne is a force to be reckoned with. When he played Orange Blossom Special at my nieces wedding, he got to sawing so hard that the resin literally looked like smoke coming up off the bow. And he has a heart of gold and it shows.

When this fiddler plays ... you do not go to see the singer ! You go to see the fiddler ! True story !

Fiddler for Country Music Group Rascal Flatts from January 2002 - January 6, 2015.

19 Tim Passmore

I just recentky heard of Tim. Excellent fiddler! I'm gonna try to look him up and find out where I can hear him.

Will bring tears to your eyes with any song of how talented he is!

20 Michael Cleveland

His performance at the Wenatchee bluegrass festival left me and the entire crowd awestruck. I simply cannot see how anyone could play a fiddle better. It was a special night for all of us.

I am sure he is one of the best, especially that he cannot see... I think this anyway...

This guy is the real deal, probably lost count of all the awards he's won.

21 Jimmy Gyles

Fantastic fiddler! Charlie Daniels couldn't shine his shoes, but God bless them both

I went to school with Jimmy he was amazing 30 yes ago and is even better. A true artist

I haven't heard him in years, but in the 80s he was super!

22 Hugh Farr

Hugh Farr was AWESOME! One of the greatest violinists of all time said his bowing arm was the best in the world! If it wasn't for his choice to stay with the SOTP he could well have become one of the most famous fiddlers around. He deserves to be much better known than he is.

Hugh Farr is still the best fiddle player there ever was hands down he was absolutely amazing it's too bad he never really got the recognition he deserved. He should be in the #1 spot on this list.

Many people don't know who Hugh Farr, one of the members of the original Sons of the Pioneers, is. He was one of the best fiddlers in history!

23 Mark Weeg

This guy takes regular fiddle tunes and uses his limited classical education to really make something out of them. He wrote a book full of fiddle tunes he collected, and I hear he still plays with the orchestra. He used to run a mandolin orchestra, and he was in bluegrass bands, Irish bands, Scottish bands, country bands -- and that's not to mention all of the fiddle-contest prizes he is reputed to have won. This guy gets my vote, that's all.

I have had the great opportunity of playing with Mark for 8 years. Great inspiration and teacher as well as an awesome fiddler. One of the easiest fiddlers to accompany that I have ever played with.

24 Vassar Clements

I've had the great privilege of playing guitar 'round the fire with Vassar Clements a couple of times. He'd be up all night, wanderin' from fire to fire totin' his fiddle and his pipe in one hand and a gorgeous gal, different one every time I saw him, on the other arm. The best I ever, ever heard him was one night Vassar, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice and a few others 'round the fire did "Jolene", and had many of us, manly men all, in tears. Alison and Tony's voices merged as pretty as I've ever heard that tune, before or since, and I know it would have made Dolly cry too. Vassar did the finest fiddle work I've heard anywhere, and he always seemed so laid-back and casual when he flat tore it UP.
If there's a heaven, he's showin' Bob Wills some new licks. :)>
Just my $0.02, fwiw.

25 Alison Kraus

Not only does Alison sing like an angel...but she is the "fiddle" player on all of her recordings and live performances! She's amazing!

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