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Rounder Records Readies Three Mark O'Connor Digital Reissues

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Pickin’ in the WindNashville, TN -- Rounder Records is pleased to announce the digital re-release of the first three albums by acoustic multi-instrumentalist Mark O’Connor. O’Connor’s early recordings document not only the start of a career that would make its mark on the full range of American music, from bluegrass to classical to jazz, but also a portrait of a young virtuoso who could hold his own with many of the best musicians in bluegrass and old-time music. The three albums, which were never released on CD, are now available on all digital and streaming platforms.

Mark O’Connor has had a storied career, beginning as a contest-winning teen (he won the Grand Ole Opry’s Grand Masters Fiddle Championships at the age of 13). He has performed and recorded with mentors such as Stéphane Grappelli and Benny Thomasson, as well as with renowned musicians Wynton Marsalis, Reneé Fleming, Béla Fleck, Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Alison Krauss, and The Dregs (of which he once was a member). His symphonic compositions, including "Fanfare for the Volunteer" and "American Seasons" were recorded for Sony Classical. The O’Connor Method of violin instruction, which teaches traditional American repertoire for beginning players, is becoming the standard in many music education programs.

O’Connor comments, "I’m excited to announce the reissue of my early albums on Rounder Records from 40 years ago. I recorded these LPs beginning at age 12, documenting my burgeoning career as a young national fiddle champion and national flatpick guitar champion. As the O’Connor Band travels the country performing music from our new number one bluegrass album on Rounder, Coming Home, I am always reminded by many fans that they still treasure my first recordings as some of the best in the genre."

Three classic albums from the 1970s
are now available digitally for the first time ever.

Four Time National Junior Fiddle Champion

This 1974 set of bluegrass and fiddle tunes finds O’Connor in the company of Charlie Collins on guitar and Norman Blake on mandolin. He was 12 years old at the time, playing fiddle exclusively on his debut recording. Includes the previously unreleased “Grey Eagle.”

Pickin’ in the Wind

On this 1976 release, O’Connor again plays fiddle exclusively in the company of Sam Bush, Norman Blake, Charlie Collins, John Hartford, and Roy Husky. Pickin’ in the Wind was an early best-seller for Rounder.

On the Rampage

1979’s On the Rampage shows O’Connor finding his wings as a composer, as he began to stretch the boundaries of bluegrass. Many tracks are built with overdubbed layers of his own guitar and violin, with Bill Amatneek, Sam Bush, John Cowan, David Grisman and Tony Rice also in support.

Rounder’s VP of A&R, Scott Billington, adds, “These three albums have not been available since LP days, and they sound as fresh today as they did forty years ago — the energy of young Mark O’Connor realizing his voice. They also show Rounder’s perceptive early investment in bluegrass — both in the musicians and the genre — that helped to pave the way for the bluegrass scene we know today."

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