Multi-talented Laurie Fisher has been wending her musical mercenary way for the past 28 years. A self proclaimed 'Jill of many instruments, master of none', she calls dances, plays and instructs multiple instruments and musical styles.
She is founding fiddler of 'The String Beings' whose popularity and cds had them playing around the country at contra events in the nineties. She has also played fiddle, piano, bass and percussion in contrabands Windmill, Boom Chuck, Hot Flash, Holy Coyote, Reckless Abandon (the Asheville one), Haphazard Ensemble, Ants In The Pantry, Evil Twins, Chicken Tractor and Bare Knuckle Quartet.
In addition to contradance music, Laurie plays bass fiddle for Blue Heaven Swing Band and the Red Hot Sugar Babies. She also performs on fiddle, penny whistle, bodhran and vocals for Celticana band Carolina Ceili. She plays guitar and sings with Screech Owl Serenade, and has played in the past with Asheville bands The After Midnight Band of Pleasure and Swing Away. She played Ashbory bass guitar with the Atlanta Swamp Opera in their final years, providing two steppin' 'yankee-chank' zydecajun music for dancers. She plays English melodeon and penny whistle for Asheville Morris Dancers.
In 2003, Laurie started impersonating a second violinist and continues to perform with the Asheville based Blue Ridge Orchestra, St. Matthias Chamber Orchestra, and Jubilee Summer Orchestra. She can never get her fiddle bow in synch with the other players, but continues to soldier on playing in awkward 'non-fiddle' keys and positions and working on vibrato and reading all those dots and Italian.
In 1989 she founded the Asheville Contradance, a monthly Saturday night dance at the Jewish Community Center of Asheville. In 1990 she hosted the first Asheville Summer Soiree contradance weekend, and continued to produce it for the next 12 years. The Soiree continues, although Laurie retired from full time dance production in 2001.
Laurie teaches music, mostly fiddle, piano and guitar, clawhammer banjo, plus the occasional voice, pennywhistle or bodhran students, primarily at the oh-so-sweet Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, NC. New players look forward to her facilitated jam sessions/workshops where beginners are easily assimilated and directed.
For vacation, Laurie enjoys attending Ashokan Western & Swing Week, hosted by some of her heroes, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. .
Laurie has dabbled in a wide variety of crafts, from hair braiding to blacksmithing. The list is much too long to put here - - but she is a terrible cook, very bad at math and drives too fast! She has been known to tell offensive jokes, sleep all morning, and turn rude people into toads. Rumor has it that she seeks advice from the voices in her head and other channeled entities. It is well known she regularly stays up too late.
"We were SO glad that you were available and willing to call some contra dances for our wedding reception! Afterward we had several people tell us that contra is what "made" the reception and they had so much fun! It was fun and easy and got everyone up and dancing and ready to celebrate! I'm glad everything worked out with the music on your iPod, too! It was also very sweet of you to gift us one of your albums! THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping to make our wedding day something truly special, memorable, and fun for everyone!!! " S & J, bride and groom
"Just a quick note of thanks for your presentation on the 13th.
You were a huge hit – they loved your presentation, music, songs and stories.
All the comments indicated that they could have listened to you for at least another hour.
I do appreciate your working me on this. Truly a wonderful experience!" Nina, program director
"The time I have spent with you has been a blessing, and you have no idea what that has meant to me. In my mind I can still hear my grandparents sitting on their porch and playing the old songs that were handed down for generations. Hopefully someday I can sit on my porch and "play for them". Jack, banjo student
You taught me the technique, you were patient and understanding. You are a wonderful musician and a wonderful person."
Jack, banjo student
"Laurie Fisher is an amazing teacher with a warm personality. I've learned more about playing banjo from her in three years than in my previous seven years of experience. Her knowledge of Appalachian music is extensive and she utilizes it in each lesson. I always look forward to my next lesson. She inspires me to work and continue on with the Old Time music tradition." Gaia, banjo student
" Laurie Fisher is a very bright spirit, gifted and generous with those gifts in so many ways.... As an educator she provided clear and enthusiastic lessons in dance for our middle and high school students and teachers, as a caller she was patient and tireless and clever, as a musician she provided many hours of entertainment to other professional musicians in both voice and instrumentals, and as a human being.....she is just magnificent ( and she didn't pay me to say this!).". . . . Marta Force
North Carolina Summer Institute in Choral Art
WCOMMENTS ABOUT LAURIE AND HER BANDS AND RECORDINGS THRU THE YEARS:
"I have been dancing to contra music since 1979. Of all the fiddlers I've heard I believe Laurie Fisher is one of the best contra dance musician in the southeast. There have been many times when I've been dancing and thought ‘man she’s good.’ Over the years she has accumulated a vast repertoire of contra dance tunes and all ways plays them with the dancer in mind. It was her love of dance that made her pick up the fiddle. Also let’s not forget her waltz music. The best Sunday morning waltzing at Knoxville has been played by Laurie Fisher. I look forward to hear Laurie grow and explore new dance music while always keeping the dancer in mind"… . . . Roger, Atlanta Dance Warrior
“We have used Laurie and her band here at Camp Pinnacle for the past 8 years. Her fast paced, high energy, everyone involved program is one of our camper and staff’s favorite evening programs. It is the one program that campers schedule their term around in order to be here. As other “special” programs have priced themselves out of reach, Laurie would still be worth it to us at twice the price. The one evening program every girl’s camp should have." . . . Glen Gray Executive Director Camp Pinnacle
"Lessons are fun and I look forward to them. My other teacher taught me how to play the notes, but Miss Laurie teaches me how to play music." . . . . Zach, 10 year old fiddle student
"Laurie took my adult need for perfection and my performance anxiety and turned them into a wolf whistle and a new passion for the fiddle!" . . . .Doc B, age 57
"Dear Miss Laurie, The reviews and thanks are in. Each of the cds I gave away went to dancers who are busily wearing them out in cd players, literally across the world. From the tone of the responses, you would think I had given out something like a naughty adult toy! Maybe one day I will get a waltz with you (you danced with my wife once and she wont let me forget that I haven't gotten a dance yet!) " . . . BBB, dancer from Chapel Hill, NC
. . . also from BBB:
"In the past month, 'Late for the Dance' has been a constant source of joy to me, its literally been a life saver for me. I cannot find words to describe the hope, comfort and joy your music opened for me during a very traumatic period. My 11 year old hyperactive son who generally cannot stand my taste in music, literally vibrates in time to the music on 'Late for the Dance'"
"Dear String Beings, . . . The music and your enthusiasm made me want to dance on and on. I'm listening to your cd right now and find myself dancing across the kitchen floor!" . . . ML, dancer from Boston, MA
"I thoroughly enjoyed your waltz workshop Sat. afternoon. Finally, someone taught what dance is really about--movement of the soul! It was very effective and I got totally lost in the waltz for the first time ever. . . I felt so clear-headed afterward." . . . MR, after Gypsy Meltdown
"I need another tape. She and I fight over who takes it to work." . . . C, husband from Greenville, SC
"We enjoyed all of the Beings soo, soo much! You are all such wonderful Human Beings. We just love you!" . . . CT, dance organizer from Arden, DE
"Dancing to the String Beings is like . . . you know . . well . . . it reminds me of multiple orgasms . . . there's a big thrill . . . and you know there will be more." . . . RR, dancer from Asheville, NC
"When I listen to their tape in my car it makes me drive too fast." . . . CH, caller
"I listen to their CD at my house and just have to stop what I'm doing and spin around." . . . AA, Boone, NC dancer
"You should tell people they shouldn't listen to your cd while shaving!" . . . NS, dancer
"The other band was great, buy you guys gave me goose bumps! And there's only three of you!" . . . LC, caller's wife.
"Your tape was one of the three I took to the hospital to have my baby." . . . BP, dance mother
"You guys . . . you're just so . . so . . you . . you just know what to do!" . . . unknown dancer from Raleigh, NC
"I got a $140.00 speeding ticket because of your tape!" . . . K, dancer.
"Every time I really like the music I look up at the stage and Laurie's in the band" . . . Dr. F, dance gypsy
. . . and last but not least:
"Dear Laurie, I must tell you how much I enjoy listening to 'The Sweetheart Tree'. It seems I enjoy it more each time I hear it. It lifts the spirit. I spoke with Auntie Therese yesterday and told her I was house cleaning and listening to your tape, she said she was cleaning and listening to your tape also. God certainly gave you great talent. . . I'm glad you use your talent to make people happy." May God Bless You, With love, Mom