Art Stamper (left) is a classic Kentucky fiddler and a giant in traditional mountain music and the bluegrass style that evolved from it. He is a veteran of the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroes Bluegrass Boys, and countless classic bluegrass recording sessions. When the old-time-music-heavy soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou? became a hit, some even speculated that he might be the Art in the title.
Fiddlers and classical violinists alike can sometimes be accused of winning audiences over by making them submit to mind-numbing displays of technical virtuosity. While Art certainly has the technical skills for it, his other strengths are what tend to win him fans and keep them loyal. Audiences love him for his superb grasp of very basic musical issues: a firm and inventive grasp of melody, heartfelt sincerity, and a constant sense of enjoyment of what he is doing.
Art received the Best Old-Time Fiddler Award three years in a row at the SPGMA bluegrass awards in Nashville. Since the 1980s, he also has been active as a teacher, including a regular residency at the Blackwell Farm Fiddle Camp in Niangua, MO.