Craig Woodward is a fiddler, banjo player and front man of Flying Engine Stringband. Flying Engine Stringband is the current incarnation of the Melbourne based Old-time Stringband, formerly known as Headbelly Buzzard which Craig co-founded in the early 1990’s.
Craig also performs with Old-time and Country Blues duo Woodward & Rough, the traditional Cajun band, Johnny Can’t Dance as well as various line-ups under the name Craig Woodward and Friends.
Craig is a long time practitioner and professional teacher of Old-time fiddle and Clawhammer banjo music. He’s a dedicated jam session leader, and for the last fifteen or so years he has led a weekly Old Time jam session at various pubs in Melbourne’s inner North. Currently this jam session is held at the Merri Creek Tavern in High St., Northcote.
Craig has travelled several times to the USA to perform, jam, research and study American ‘southern’ roots music. In 1998, in what was his first and only fiddle contest, Craig was placed in the top ten Old-time fiddlers at the Annual Galax Old fiddlers Convention in Virginia. The Old Time Fiddlers Convention has been running since 1935, and only two other Australians have been placed in the top ten, Catherine Moser from Northcote, in 2010, and Rod Jones of Sydney, in 2018.
In 2004, with the increasing popularity and interest in American ‘Southern’ Old Time Stringband music at Victorian social jam sessions, Craig recorded and released a semi instructional cd set of fiddle tunes, 45 Simple Old Timey Tunes for the Fiddle. This cd set has been very influential on the local style and is still very popular as a ‘starting out’ reference for new players. 45 Simple Old Timey Tunes for the Fiddle is currently unavailable but Craig plans to rectify this situation for September.
Check out this article from Melbourne Roots which describes Craig
"as one of Melbourne’s premier old-timey musicians. One of the founders of well-known string band Headbelly Buzzard, who held the famed Friday night residency at North Fitzroy’s The Railway Hotel for fourteen years,"
While awaiting details check out the videos on Tom's facebook page.
You can enjoy an half hour concert with The Blue Creek Boys right here!