By Chris Edwards
CROCKETT – With the availability of live music returning to the hungry ears of the public as the threat of COVID wanes, Camp Street Café has a couple of shows lined up for the remainder of May, and this weekend the venue will host a world-class fiddler.
Ridge Roberts, a 17-year-old North Texas native who won the World Champion Fiddler title in 2018 in Crockett, will play his album release show at Camp Street on Saturday. The show begins at 8 p.m. The album he is promoting is titled Lone Star Fiddler and was recorded last year in Nashville.
According to Roberts’s bio on his official website, the album “pays homage to his deep Texas roots….and gives a big tip of the hat to the musical pioneers and legends of the past.” Roberts has been fiddling since he was seven years old, when his father, John, taught him the basics.
Along the way, he soaked up and researched fiddle tunes and the styles of the old masters of Texas fiddling.
Roberts will be joined on Saturday’s show by two special guests, Matthew Mefford and Joey McKenzie. McKenzie, a guitarist, appears on the album, and helped mentor the young fiddler.
McKenzie spoke about Roberts’ musical growth as a singer, songwriter and guitarist, to add to his virtuoso fiddle work. “With all he’s been up to, it’s easy to forget that he’s only 17 and is just getting started in his musical life,” McKenzie said. “Ridge is also becoming a fine guitar player, singer and songwriter.”
The instrumental album features many old-time Texas fiddle standards, like “Sally Goodin” and was produced by McKenzie.
Although he is, as McKenzie stated, “getting started” on a new phase of his musical development with having an album available, Roberts is no stranger to playing live. He has been performing for audiences since he was nine-years-old, when civic organizations in Granbury asked him to play at their meetings. In 2013, when he was 10, he won his first contest, and has won many since then, including the National Twin Fiddle Championship and Junior World Champion. He has also filled the fiddle role in the band the Western Flyers, a Western swing/traditional country band.
According to his bio, the young Granbury-based musician continues to hone his musical gifts and plans to
continue his musical career after graduating high school.
In an interview for a feature story published last year, Roberts said he does not think of himself as a “big thing,” but attributes his talents as “a huge blessing from God, for sure.”