12 years old; traditional Bluegrass fiddle
Tell us a little about Mackenzie Bell:
I started playing fiddle when I was 8 years old. I loved the sound it made and how it related to the history of my family and where I lived near Rosine, Ky. I began playing at local events and festivals and eventually branched out to playing in other states as well.
What influences have helped to mold you into the person and/or band you are today?
My biggest musical influence is Bill Monroe. I live near Rosine, Ky, where he was born and I love his music. To have that kind of legacy would be amazing. The biggest influence in my life would have to be my Mama and my Mimi. They have raised me in a Christian home and have always been willing to take me to lessons and shows. My fiddle teacher, Randy Lanham, has taught me the value of giving back and encouraged me to play for shut-ins, rest homes, and hospitals. Randy has taught me the joy of sharing the talent that God gave me with others.
Do you have scheduled appearances coming up?
Yes. I will be playing at The Nashville Palace on August 21, at the Beaver Dam Community Farmer’s Market on September 1, and the Fried Pickle Festival in Madisonville, TN on September 29.
What recordings do you have available?
My first CD is titled “11-17” and it was released in March 2018.
What is the greatest highlight you’ve had so far in this career?
My greatest highlight so far has been playing for Charlie Daniels in May 2017 when he gave me one of his own fiddle bows and when I played with The Grascals in July 2018. Those were two of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had!
What’s the next step for the band and/or members of the band?
I will continue to take fiddle lessons and learn all I can from my teacher and the other musicians I play and jam with. I am going to start working on my second CD this fall and I’ve been writing some fiddle tunes for that. I want to expand and play on bigger stages and gain more performance time. There is so much more out there that I have yet to experience and I want to be the best fiddler I can be and be a credit to Bluegrass music. My dream is to stand in The Circle and play on the Grand Old Opry, and that’ll take a lot of patience, prayer, and practice!!
Any other information you would like to share:
I think it’s important for people to know and understand the history of Bluegrass music in order to keep the tradition alive. I would encourage young people and kids my own age to get involved – learn to play an instrument, sing with a group, or just be involved in promoting Bluegrass music so that it can be alive for generations to come!