Liner Notes


VRCD 369

Floyd Engstrom was born in Bremerton, Washington in 1918, and has spent most of his life working and playing fiddle in Western Washington. He fiddled at many dances in the area in the 1930’s, playing the standard dance tunes of the era. He plays in the traditional Pacific Northwest style and has become a mainstay at events of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers.

While most people think of the fiddle as an old time dance instrument, many fiddlers enjoy playing sacred songs and include them regularly in their performances. They bring peace and inspiration to both players and listeners, and are heard often at old time fiddle shows in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to playing dances, a long time ago Floyd began playing hymns on his fiddle as an outgrowth of the long years of work in his church by him and his wife, Alice. He plays these hymns in a simple, respectful way, reflecting his own devotion, and with the knowledge that the hymns speak for themselves.

Floyd and his family started attending church regularly in the Bremerton area around 1950. The Lincoln Avenue Bible Church in Bremerton, pictured on the front of this booklet, is the one they helped build and presently attend.

We trust that you will enjoy and get inspiration from these tunes, so well performed by Floyd on his fiddle.

Bob Olson is known around here as “Banjo Bob.” He plays his long neck 5-string banjo with several bands in the area. Tim Cardinale, guitar, and his wife, Leaan, bass, have had a good time jamming with Floyd and backing him up up in fiddle shows, and do a great job here. Phil Williams plays guitar, banjo, and bass on tracks 4, 11, and 17.

1. He Was There All the Time (Gary S. Paxton)
2. Blessed Assurance (Phoebe P. Knapp, Fanny J. Crosby)
3. Amazing Grace (John Newton)
4. The Family Bible (Paul Buskirk, Claude Gray, Walt Breeland)
5. I’ll Fly Away (Albert E. Brumley)
6. In the Garden (C. Austin Miles)
7. Mansion Over the Hilltop (Ira Stanphill)
8. Softly and Tenderly (Will L. Thompson)
9. Life’s Railway to Heaven (Charlie D. Tillman)
10. What a Friend We Have in Jesus (J. Scriven, C. Converse)
11. Ivory Palaces (Henry Barraclough)
12. The Old Rugged Cross (George Bennard)
13. Supper Time (Ira Stanphill)
14. In My Heart There Rings a Melody (Elton M. Roth)
15. He Will Hold to My Hand
16. Precious Memories (J. B. F. Wright)
17. How Great Thou Art (traditional Swedish tune)
18. Steal Away and Pray (Albert E. Brumley)
19. When We All Get to Heaven (Emily D. Wilson)
20. Just a Closer Walk with Thee (traditional)
21. If I Could Help Somebody (Alma Bazel Androzzo)
22. The Tramp on the Street (Grady Cole)
23. When the Saints Go Marching In (James M. Black)
24. Whispering Hope (Septimus Winner)

Engineering: Phil Williams, Brid Nowlan. Mixed by Phil Williams. Liner notes by Phil and Vivian Williams. Art work and layout by Vivian Williams. Church photo by Virginia Hotten. Other photos by Phil Williams. Produced by Phil and Vivian Williams.

Tray Card:

Instrumental versions of twenty-four hymns and gospel tunes are played on the fiddle by noted Northwest fiddler Floyd Engstrom, backed up by Bob Olson, banjo; Tim Cardinale, guitar; Leaan Cardinale, bass; and Phil Williams, guitar, banjo, and bass on three tracks. Floyd and his wife, Alice, have been involved in their church for over fifty years. Floyd says: Singing and hearing Gospel music as well as hearing God’s Word taught and preached, influenced our lives greatly . . . so much so that both Alice and I trusted in Christ in 1953. Our children all became Christians and raised Christian families and are active in their own churches. We lost our youngest son, Harold, in 2001. His favorite Scripture was John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is mine as well. Here are a few Hymns and Gospel Songs. May they be my testimony for my Lord.

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