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WESTERN OPEN JUDGES
CONTACT US: Mailing Address: PO Box 101, Red Bluff CA 96080 Phone: (530) 527-6127 Fax: (530) 528-0431 MAP to the Red Bluff Elks Lodge
Amy Carwile Playing the fiddle since age eight, Amy's championships include Northwest Regional, Washington State, Colorado Open, Pend O’Reille International, and Rocky Mountain Young Adult Championships.  She has served as a judge at the Alabama, Kentucky, Oregon, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wyoming State Contests, Colorado and Idaho Open, Northwest Regional, the National Old-Time Fiddlers' Contest and The Grand Master Fiddler Championship.  In tandem with her private music instruction, Amy travels the U.S. and internationally conducting fiddle workshops and master classes as well as teaching at summer music camps including the International Fiddle School at Vanderbilt University and the Mark O'Connor Berklee College of Music Summer String Program.  Amy currently performs as a duo with her husband Daniel adding fiddle, piano, and vocals to their fusion of musical styles.  Together they own and operate Carwile String Studio in Lexington, Kentucky. Daniel Carwile U.S. Grand Master Fiddle Champion, Daniel has competed in virtually every major fiddle competition in the United States. He has been crowned the Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention "Fiddle King" an amazing 7 times. Other conquests include Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee State Championships as well as Lake Superior, North Cascades, Colorado Open, Grand Lake National, and The World Series of Fiddling Championships. When not competing, Daniel can often be found in the judge's seat, most recently judging Northwest Regional, Wyoming State, Oregon State, Indiana State, Colorado Rocky Mountain Fiddle Championship, and the National Old-Time Fiddler's Contest in Weiser, Idaho.  Daniel maintains a busy schedule teaching privately and at various camps and workshops.  He instructed at Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camps and String Conferences for 14 years and taught at Vanderbilt University's International Fiddle School and The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina. Linda Relph Linda is originally from Chico, CA, but has been a Texas resident since 1990. She has been playing fiddle since age 10, starting with Texas style contest fiddling, and after a trip to Ireland at age 15, became enamored of Irish music. Her style is a unique amalgam of both, with some country and Celtic rock thrown in. She is a former 4-time California State Ladies Champion, and besides placing in the top 5 at the National Old-time Fiddlers Contest, has judged at Weiser on twice. She loves to play nearly any style of music, and is currently a member of a traditional Irish band, a Celtic rock band, and a George Strait/Garth Brooks tribute band. Her solo CD can be purchased from her website, www.fiddlinda.com. Bobby Taylor Bobby Taylor is a fourth generation West Virginia fiddler. He plays several styles of old-time and contest fiddling, but got his early start from the legendary Clark Kessinger, who influenced a world of fiddlers. He has a melting pot of old-time fiddle styles including the styles of his father Lincoln Taylor (1911-1995), Ed Haley, Mike Humphreys, Benny Thomasson, Reece B. Jarvis, Doc Roberts, French Carpenter and scores of others to name a few. He was the 1977 West Virginia State Open Fiddle Champion. In 2003, Bobby received the FOOTBRIDGE AWARD for his contributions to old-time music. Bobby was presented The 2010 VANDALIA AWARD by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia’s highest folk-life honor. When fiddle enthusiast West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd passed away in July of 2010, Bobby was honored to be chosen to play Senator Byrd’s favorite fiddle tunes during the public visitation in the West Virginia Capitol Rotunda, and for the official memorial service. Bobby was also requested by the Byrd family to play for the private funeral services. He was inducted into the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair Hall of Fame in Ripley, WV in July of 2012 for his musical contributions to the State of West Virginia.   Bobby has been the coordinator of West Virginia's Vandalia Gathering contests since 1979. He was the contest coordinator of the Appalachian Open Contest from 1984 through 1987, and he has been the contest coordinator of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival contest since 1990. Bobby retired as Library Manager of the West Virginia Archives and History Section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, after 37 years of service.  Bobby has judged the Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia state championships, and is a judge at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia. He has been a  judge of the Grand Master Fiddle Championship in Nashville, TN. He was selected to judge the 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2018 at the Western Open Fiddle Championship in Red Bluff, CA. He was a judge at Jana Jae’s Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest in 2006, 2007 and 2009 in Grove, OK. He was selected as a judge at the Grand National Fiddle Championship in Weiser, ID in 2008 and 2018. He has taught fiddle workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center, Allegheny Echoes in West Virginia, the 2012 and 2015 Midwest Banjo Camp in Michigan and at the 2013 Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. He has performed on musical tours in Australia and Ireland, and was a featured performer at the National Folk Festival in Australia in March of 2008. He was a featured performer at the Library of Congress and at the Kennedy Center on August 16, 2012. Dan Touchstone Dan Touchstone, a native of San Diego, is a second generation fiddle player.  His father, Leon, was a popular western swing fiddler player, having played at many of the dance halls in the San Diego area in the forties, fifties and sixties.  Dan was given his first fiddle when he was only four years old, and has been playing for over sixty years.  He has competed in many contests, having won a number of them, and has finished in the top five four times at the National Old Time Fiddle Championship.  He has judged many contests over the years, in a number of states,  and has served twice as a judge at the National Old Time Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho.  Dan is currently the fiddle player with the “Sunny Side Strings” in San Diego.  This long-established group plays music ranging from Blue Grass to Hank Williams to Old Time.  The band was one of two featured Blue Grass groups at the San Diego County (Del Mar) Fair this past June.  Dan also participated in a program introducing fiddle playing to students of the San Diego Unified School District.   He is a former president of the Southern California Violin Makers Association, having won the California State Old Time Fiddlers Association championship on a fiddle he made.  Dan and his wife Vicki, have three children and four grand kids.  His hobbies include surfing and golf.
WESTERN OPEN JUDGES
CONTACT US: Mailing Address: PO Box 101, Red Bluff CA 96080 Phone: (530) 527-6127 Fax: (530) 528-0431 MAP to the Red Bluff Elks Lodge
Amy Carwile Playing the fiddle since age eight, Amy's championships include Northwest Regional, Washington State, Colorado Open, Pend O’Reille International, and Rocky Mountain Young Adult Championships.  She has served as a judge at the Alabama, Kentucky, Oregon, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wyoming State Contests, Colorado and Idaho Open, Northwest Regional, the National Old-Time Fiddlers' Contest and The Grand Master Fiddler Championship.  In tandem with her private music instruction, Amy travels the U.S. and internationally conducting fiddle workshops and master classes as well as teaching at summer music camps including the International Fiddle School at Vanderbilt University and the Mark O'Connor Berklee College of Music Summer String Program.  Amy currently performs as a duo with her husband Daniel adding fiddle, piano, and vocals to their fusion of musical styles.  Together they own and operate Carwile String Studio in Lexington, Kentucky. Daniel Carwile U.S. Grand Master Fiddle Champion, Daniel has competed in virtually every major fiddle competition in the United States. He has been crowned the Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention "Fiddle King" an amazing 7 times. Other conquests include Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee State Championships as well as Lake Superior, North Cascades, Colorado Open, Grand Lake National, and The World Series of Fiddling Championships. When not competing, Daniel can often be found in the judge's seat, most recently judging Northwest Regional, Wyoming State, Oregon State, Indiana State, Colorado Rocky Mountain Fiddle Championship, and the National Old-Time Fiddler's Contest in Weiser, Idaho.  Daniel maintains a busy schedule teaching privately and at various camps and workshops.  He instructed at Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camps and String Conferences for 14 years and taught at Vanderbilt University's International Fiddle School and The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina. Linda Relph Linda is originally from Chico, CA, but has been a Texas resident since 1990. She has been playing fiddle since age 10, starting with Texas style contest fiddling, and after a trip to Ireland at age 15, became enamored of Irish music. Her style is a unique amalgam of both, with some country and Celtic rock thrown in. She is a former 4-time California State Ladies Champion, and besides placing in the top 5 at the National Old-time Fiddlers Contest, has judged at Weiser on twice. She loves to play nearly any style of music, and is currently a member of a traditional Irish band, a Celtic rock band, and a George Strait/Garth Brooks tribute band. Her solo CD can be purchased from her website, www.fiddlinda.com. Bobby Taylor Bobby Taylor is a fourth generation West Virginia fiddler. He plays several styles of old-time and contest fiddling, but got his early start from the legendary Clark Kessinger, who influenced a world of fiddlers. He has a melting pot of old-time fiddle styles including the styles of his father Lincoln Taylor (1911-1995), Ed Haley, Mike Humphreys, Benny Thomasson, Reece B. Jarvis, Doc Roberts, French Carpenter and scores of others to name a few. He was the 1977 West Virginia State Open Fiddle Champion. In 2003, Bobby received the FOOTBRIDGE AWARD for his contributions to old-time music. Bobby was presented The 2010 VANDALIA AWARD by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia’s highest folk-life honor. When fiddle enthusiast West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd passed away in July of 2010, Bobby was honored to be chosen to play Senator Byrd’s favorite fiddle tunes during the public visitation in the West Virginia Capitol Rotunda, and for the official memorial service. Bobby was also requested by the Byrd family to play for the private funeral services. He was inducted into the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair Hall of Fame in Ripley, WV in July of 2012 for his musical contributions to the State of West Virginia.   Bobby has been the coordinator of West Virginia's Vandalia Gathering contests since 1979. He was the contest coordinator of the Appalachian Open Contest from 1984 through 1987, and he has been the contest coordinator of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival contest since 1990. Bobby retired as Library Manager of the West Virginia Archives and History Section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, after 37 years of service.  Bobby has judged the Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia state championships, and is a judge at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia. He has been a  judge of the Grand Master Fiddle Championship in Nashville, TN. He was selected to judge the 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2018 at the Western Open Fiddle Championship in Red Bluff, CA. He was a judge at Jana Jae’s Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest in 2006, 2007 and 2009 in Grove, OK. He was selected as a judge at the Grand National Fiddle Championship in Weiser, ID in 2008 and 2018. He has taught fiddle workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center, Allegheny Echoes in West Virginia, the 2012 and 2015 Midwest Banjo Camp in Michigan and at the 2013 Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. He has performed on musical tours in Australia and Ireland, and was a featured performer at the National Folk Festival in Australia in March of 2008. He was a featured performer at the Library of Congress and at the Kennedy Center on August 16, 2012. Dan Touchstone Dan Touchstone, a native of San Diego, is a second generation fiddle player.  His father, Leon, was a popular western swing fiddler player, having played at many of the dance halls in the San Diego area in the forties, fifties and sixties.  Dan was given his first fiddle when he was only four years old, and has been playing for over sixty years.  He has competed in many contests, having won a number of them, and has finished in the top five four times at the National Old Time Fiddle Championship.  He has judged many contests over the years, in a number of states,  and has served twice as a judge at the National Old Time Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho.  Dan is currently the fiddle player with the “Sunny Side Strings” in San Diego.  This long- established group plays music ranging from Blue Grass to Hank Williams to Old Time.  The band was one of two featured Blue Grass groups at the San Diego County (Del Mar) Fair this past June.  Dan also participated in a program introducing fiddle playing to students of the San Diego Unified School District.   He is a former president of the Southern California Violin Makers Association, having won the California State Old Time Fiddlers Association championship on a fiddle he made.  Dan and his wife Vicki, have three children and four grand kids.  His hobbies include surfing and golf.