Heart of Louisiana: A Fiddler's Story

Heart of Louisiana: A Fiddler's Story

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - When the LSU Rural Life Museum hosted its Fall Harvest Days recently, one of the featured performers was a young Louisiana fiddler. This teenager recently won the title of best fiddler in the state.  Dave McNamara has the story of this talented musician in tonight's Heart of Louisiana.

The musical interests of most teenagers do not lean toward songs that are a couple of hundred years old.  But James Linden Hogg is not like most teenagers.

"Basically what we're playing is the soundtrack of early America in the 18th and 19th century," he said.

James comes from a musical family.  His guitar-playing dad has his own band, and James' youthful interest in music has been helped along by lessons.

"I've watched other fiddle players, but I played mostly by year. I can read for classical and whatnot, but I played mostly by ear," James said.

His talent extends far beyond fiddle playing. He also plays the piano and the bagpipes, the Irish penny whistle, the military fife and the banjo. He dresses is the period of his songs and even adds a hint of an Irish accent.

"I really like the music because it has a story behind it and I want to tell these people's stories, you know, that have gone away," he said.

James is best known for his fiddle playing.  The 15-year-old competed in the Louisiana Fiddling Championship at Northwestern State University, and he won the grand prize.

"More than just winning, it was just, it was just a lot of fun just to go meet all of these other fiddle players from across Louisiana, and even if I didn't win, that would of been worth it," he said.

We caught up with James at a festival in Baton Rouge. His performances have taken him as far away as Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

"I never see myself not playing music," he said. "I love filmmaking, as well. I love acting and I love entertaining people. I'll put it this way - I never see myself stopping, and I never see myself not improving."

And that's good news for anyone who has a chance to hear a performance by this young and very talented musician.

You can hear James Linden Hogg and his fiddle at the Washington Parish Free Fair on Saturday, Oct. 24, or the following Tuesday at the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair.

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