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I was saddened to hear of the passing of old-time fiddler Joe Dawson of Bloomington. He grew up in Axsom Branch, a region in Brown County, which is now nearly forgotten, since it was cleared to build the Monroe Reservoir. While Joe first learned to play tunes in this rural community, it was later in life that he attracted the attention of old-time musicians in Bloomington, where he hosted a weekly music jam in his home. Over the years hundreds of players passed through his living room trying to learn the distinctly local tunes in the elderly player’s repertoire. Up to the end, music and musician friends were around the player. Grey Larsen and Cindy Kallet, became like family to him; helping organize the jams, taking him to doctor appointments and checking in on him. Here is a video of Grey and Cindy talking about Joe, and playing a few tunes from his repertoire.

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