Jim's Hopf Fiddle

I play bluegrass and oldtime fiddle. This Hopf fiddle has been my primary fiddle since 1951 when I purchased it from an elderly violin repairman in Lawrence, KS, who had it for many years as his personal violin.   Usually I keep the rosin cleaned off of the body of the fiddle after playing but it was a bit of a mess when this picture was taken.

The Hopf violin is German in orgin. The man I purchased it from claimed it was very old, perhaps from the mid-1800s. It is a very loud, resonant fiddle.

Over the years I have played country music, bluegrass, and oldtime fiddle in various contexts. In college, I played in a country and western band to help pay my way. In later years, I have played mostly at impromptu jam sessions. For several years I played in the Danielsville Jam most Thursday nights. Danielsville is about 20 miles out of Athens and folks with instruments would gather at a restaurant in D-ville each Thursday. There were several regulars and many occasional pickers. The sessions were stopped when health problems caused the owner of the restaurant to close and sell the building. In recent years, I have joined the jam session here on the UGa campus each Tuesday and Thursday around noon, weather and schedules pemitting. When the Hog Mountain Boys (from Watkinsville) are in a bind for a fiddle player, they sometimes call on me.

I enjoy playing fiddle but do not find the time for much of it anymore. I am not particularly good, but I can handle it well enough to take the lead on many of the old standards, such as Orange Blossom Special, Faded Love, Maiden's Prayer, San Antonio Rose, Devil's Dream, Arkansas Traveler, Soldier's Joy, Ragtime Annie, Draggin the Bow, etc.

Fiddle Repair

I have done a little fiddle repair and rebuilding, but mostly only my own instruments. I own several. This one is pictured with several clamps as I reglued the top.  

It is resting on my work bench and the bottle of white glue is NOT what I used in the repairs.   For the violin repair I use a hide glue.






Some Pictures from long ago.   Notice I still had some hair . . .