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Appalachian Fiddler Albert Hash: The Last Leaf on the Tree by Malcolm L. Smith with Edwin Lacy

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Hailing from Whitetop Mountain in Grayson County, Virginia, near the North Carolina line, Albert Hash (1917-1983) was not just an old-time musician, but also an expert at making and repairing old-time instruments. He built over 300 fiddles and many other instruments as well. A machinist., he even fashioned machines to use in the instrument-building process. There is an annual Albert Hash Festival to honor his memory. This book’s subtitle, “The Last Leaf on the Tree” is based on the premise that never again will anyone rise from such old-fashioned humble mountain beginnings to become such a standard-bearer as both a musician and luthier. The author, Malcolm L. Smith, is a professor and old-time musician from rural Virginia.

Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2020. 194 pages with a Foreword by Wayne Henderson, an Index, Bibliography, Notes, Appendices, and photos. Trade paperback.