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Life & Work with Maddie Denton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maddie Denton.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I’m originally from Murfreesboro, TN, and I began playing fiddle when I was 5 years old. My mom also plays fiddle, and her father plays too! So it runs in the family, and I’m honored to be a third-generation fiddler. I played in my first fiddle contest when I was 7 years old, and my parents dedicated many a weekend to traveling to fiddle contests so I could compete. I’m 28 years old, and while my contest fiddling days are dwindling, I will always look fondly back at those times, competing and accompanying other contestants with my tenor guitar. I play fiddle for the Dan Tyminski Band, East Nash Grass, and Theo and Brenna Band these days.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
I was fortunate to have parents that fostered my love for music and cleared their schedules so that I could have opportunities to play music growing up. I have to say that I had a relatively smooth journey in becoming a professional musician, and I am immensely grateful to my parents for allowing that. The biggest obstacle I faced on my road was my lack of focus and varied interests other than music. I went to college at Middle Tennessee State University, playing NCAA Division I golf and earning a degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology. After college, I got a job teaching high school Biology at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, where I coached basketball for my first two years and golf for my last three. I spent 5 years teaching at Siegel, and I recently decided that the 2021-2022 school year would be my last. So now I am full steam ahead with music, and I am so very excited!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a professional fiddle player. I have spent time on the road with several different bands, most notably the Dan Tyminski Band and East Nash Grass. Last year I released my first album, “Playin’ in This Town,” which features my material and original songs my friends wrote. I think one thing that sets me apart from other fiddle players is how much genuine fun I have when I play music. Music makes me so happy, and I am not shy about expressing it! As someone who has worked a day job (that was NOT music related at all) for the last five years, I express my true exuberance by being on stage every time I play.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I have had help from many people along the way, and I am very thankful for it! My first fiddle teacher was Jim Wood, but I have had multiple others help me, including Megan Lynch Chowning (who showed me a lot about bluegrass fiddling), Daniel Carwile, Bill Jones, and Johnny Warren, who was also my golf swing coach in college!

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Image Credits
Bethany Carson, Nate Dalzell, Mickey Dobo

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