Week #9: For My Teacher

My fiddle teacher, Stacy Phillips, passed away earlier this summer. Even though he can no longer give me musical advice, Stacy gave me one last inspiration. For the first time, I’m releasing an original single. I wrote this song for him.

Stacy was one of many teachers who changed my life (the picture for this post is of my grandfather and his teacher). Stacy’s influence was largely in converting me from a classically trained violinist to an aspiring fiddler. While I only paid him as my formal teacher for a short time, Stacy continued to advise me long past my time at Yale. He supported my move to Nashville—meeting with me just before I left—and consistently commiserated with me on the struggles I’ve had in my pursuit of music (while showing me how to move forward). I hope to maintain his hard-headed passion for this music and his realism about its endless disappointments and limitations.

Stacy was also going to attend a show on my Better Angels Benefit Tour: Bethany, CT​. Instead, I’m going to play this song throughout the tour as a tribute to him. As planned, I will also perform near his home in Bethany, CT. I hope some of Stacy’s friends and family will be able to attend.

And thank you to all the artists who helped bring this song to life: Nathan Meckel​, Mark Niemiec​, Tim Galloway​, and Jimmy Sullivan​.