String Fever with Barb Heller


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About String Fever

Join NCPR each week for the best acoustic and bluegrass music in the North Country.

Barb Heller
Host Barb Heller says:

If you are a first-time visitor, let me tell you a little more about String Fever: It’s all about the music - and the players.

I welcome live soloists, bands, and co-hosts in the String Fever studio – especially if you have an upcoming gig in our listening area! You can reach me anytime via email (, or by calling the station toll-free at 877-388-6277. If you have a gig in the region please email me the details for inclusion on String Fever – and include a copy to too!

There’s nothing like live music, but I strive to make String Fever your weekly nearly-as-good-as-a-live-gig Bluegrass Café… and I hope that you’ll hear something on the air that inspires you to seek out the live, in-person version of it; whether it’s a bluegrass festival, concert or workshop.

So… until we meet in person at a gig, festival, concert or fundraiser…. Happy listening! See you on the radio,

Together, singer-songwriters Cahalen Morrison and Eli West evoke the lonesome roots of country and bluegrass music's earliest duets. The duo makes its debut appearance on West Virginia's famous stage.
The bluegrass band makes its first appearance on West Virginia's most famous stage. Della Mae's latest album, <em>This World Oft Can Be</em>, landed the group its first Grammy nomination.
The bluegrass trio gathers around a single mic to perform songs from<em></em> its first album in seven years.
A mainstay of the contemporary bluegrass circuit, the progressive band performs a lush three-part tune from its sixth studio album, <em>Let It Go</em>.
One of the most decorated and highly sought-after upright bassists in bluegrass music, Raines explores an adventurous new sonic direction on her latest project.
more from Music at NPR

Bluegrass links:

Festival Finder | Ottawa Valley Bluegrass Music Association
or call the International Bluegrass Music Association Festival Hotline at

String Fever with Barb Heller
airs Thursdays from 3-5 pm

08/28/14 edition of String Fever with Barb Heller:

Listen to the show now
 Featured on String Fever

New Video from Irene Kelly

Irene Kelly's latest album, Pennsylvania Coal (Patio Records), showcases her wonderful songwriting ability.

Here's a video of Kelly (with Mark Fain, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Thomm Jutz, Justyna Kelley & Lynn Williams) performing Sister's Heart at the cd release party, held at the Station Inn, Nashville, TN

New Videos from Nu-Blu

Nu-Blu is celebrating ten years as a band, and celebrating with music videos of some of the tracks from their most recent album, Ten.

The band writes almost all of their own material. They performed last summer at the Madrid River Bluegrass Festival, and wowed audiences with their enthusiasm, stage presence, vocal arrangements, and very impressive tour bus!

Watch them in action here:

String Fever Radio Jam 2014, Thursday, March 13, 3-5 pm

Rosin up your bow and tune up your instruments. It's time to play along with the radio! The String Fever Jam Band and Barb Heller are back with classic bluegrass favorites. Here's the sets list and links to the sheet music. Download, practice up and join in! Here's the archive video of the Jam.


Three fiddlers celebrate old tunes

Sisters Gretchen and Rebecca Koehler, and Don Woodcock are out with a new album of old time fiddle tunes. They all grew up in musical families surrounded by the rich traditions of North American fiddle music. Their new cd is called, The Fiddlers Three, and we'll listen again to their conversation with Barb Heller, host of String Fever.  Go to full article

String Fever "Play Along with the Radio" Jam (Hour 2)

This was a special "Play Along With the Radio" edition of the program, featuring a live jam band in the studio. We provide the downloadable accompaniment and the sheet music, you can play along at home. This second hour includes the following tunes: Old Joe Clark, Smash The Windows, Star of the County Down, Devil's Dream, Soldier's Joy, and Wabash Cannonball.  Go to full article

String Fever "Play Along with the Radio" Jam (Hour 1)

This was a special "Play Along With the Radio" edition of the program, featuring a live jam band in the studio. We provide the downloadable accompaniment and the sheet music, you can play along at home. This first hour includes the following tunes: Arkansas Traveler, Cock of the North, Fisher's Hornpipe, Flop Eared Mule, Garry Owen/Haste To The Wedding, I'll Fly Away, Irish Washerwoman, Keep On The Sunny Side, and Off She Goes.  Go to full article

Pat Donohue on String Fever

String Fever host Barb Heller chats with Pat Donohue, the lead guitarist in Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, from the A Prairie Home Companion radio show. Pat is traveling to Saranac Lake on Sunday for an appearance at BluSeed Studios at 7 pm on April 5.  Go to full article

Playing music along with the radio

Yesterday afternoon on String Fever, the first-ever on-air jam session was held live in our studio. It was a chance for musicians at home to play along with the radio, complete with downloadable sheet music from the String Fever website. The entire program will be posted later this morning on our website, but we thought we would give you a taste of what listeners heard yesterday. Here's the first tune of the jam session, "Liberty."  Go to full article
Members of the <em>String Fever</em> Jam Band in the NCPR studio.
Members of the String Fever Jam Band in the NCPR studio.

String Fever "play along with the radio" Radio Jam

String Fever host Barb Heller welcomes a whole slew of traditional musicians into the studio to perform standards and favorites. To encourage the radio audience to play along, all the sheet music was posted online. You can download this audio and play along yourself. Recordings of your home session may be posted on the String Fever page.  Go to full article
Fiddlers Gretchen Koehler and Don Woodcock
Fiddlers Gretchen Koehler and Don Woodcock

Fiddlers Gretchen Koehler and Don Woodcock live on String Fever

String Fever host Barb Heller welcomes Gretchen Koehler and Don Woodcock into the studio for some great North Country fiddling. Gretchen is the 2008 Northeast Champion fiddler, and Don is a past NYS champion. They take turns at the fiddle and the piano for some favorite tunes, and talk with Barb about the history of traditional fiddle styles.  Go to full article

Roy Hurd on String Fever

Singer/songwriter Roy Hurd is the live guest on String Fever. Hurd is a prolific writer who divides his time between Nashville and the Adirondacks. He (and his guitar) join host Barb Heller for conversation and music in the NCPR studio.  Go to full article

Four songs performed by Althea Jean

Althea Jean were Barb Heller's live guests on the May 4, 2006 edition of String Fever. The band, from left to right, are: Jeremy Greene, drums; Claude Aldous, bass; Eliza Moore, fiddle; Everett Smith, banjo; Bill Casey, mandolin; Curt Stager, banjo; and David Garlock, guitar. In this set you will hear four tunes: Black Eyed Susie, traditional; Songbird by Christine McVie; If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett; and The Thrill is Gone, BB King.  Go to full article

Song: Sally Goodin' performed by Old Country Grass

The traditional tune Sally Goodin' performed by Old Country Grass featured artists on the Bastille Day 2005 edition of String Fever. They are Donnie Perkins on fiddle, Debbie Kingsolver on bass, Tim Kingsolver on banjo, and Earl Southmayd on guitar.  Go to full article

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Program Playlists

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Finding Music

You can find or special order any of the music heard on this program from local music stores, including:
Northern Music & Video, Potsdam: 315-265-8100
Ampersound, Saranac Lake:
Peacock Music, Plattsburgh: