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Joe Ridolfo & Fred Taylor

When we began recording local and regional musicians in the newly built recording studio in the Chattanooga Public Library all we wanted to do was to record as many of the musicians in the area as we could. It’s now five years later and we have amassed an impressive collection of performances by everyone from bluegrass pickers to a death metal trio, but until this session, we have never had anyone play South Indian instruments in the studio. Our guests for this session are Joe Ridolfo, a gifted musician who also plays the banjo, dulcimer, penny whistle, Indian flute, and dixie stick. For this session, he concentrated on the sitar, a beautiful 18-string instrument he began playing while he was living in Mumbai in Southern India in the 1960s. His partner for the session is Fred Turner. Fred first played the piano before switching to drums in his early teens. He’s been listening to Indian musicians play the table drum since the 1960s, but it’s only in the last half dozen years that he has been working with a teacher in an attempt to master the art of Indian drumming that Indian musicians have told him takes a lifetime to master.