Welcome to romancingthefiddle

Dave Rainwater

Romancing the Fiddle

My show ‘Romancing the Fiddle’ or ‘Catgut Strings & Rattlesnake Tales’ is a journey into the world of the American fiddler. It is an entertaining  mixture of comedy, American folklore, storytelling and a healthy dose of fiddle classics that Americans have loved over the years since the earliest colony days. And as an added bonus, after the show (if you’d like) I am pleased to spend time showing anyone, young or old who might want to try to play. I always have extra violins with me and have been known to inspire many a person to take up the violin! 

About Dave

For over 45 years Dave Rainwater has enjoyed playing and performing American folk music, in numerous public appearances. His self proclaimed mission to ‘Change the world one fiddle tune at a time’ is an attempt to re-connect Americans to their fascinating musical roots and historical folklore. ‘Romancing the Fiddle’ or ‘Catgut Strings & Rattlesnake Tales’ is a lively show with storytelling, folklore and comedy, a fiddler’s journey revealing fascinating insights into the development of America’s own original music. He uses tunes, stories, poems, historical anecdotes, original songs with a touch of humor drawing from years of experience. Dave’s experiences? He is a touring member of the world famous New Christy Minstrels (since 1997), and appeared with them along with Barry McGuire, The Kingston Trio and Smothers Brothers in the acclaimed PBS Television Special ‘This Land Is Your Land’. He has also appeared and recorded with Michael Martin Murphy, and has performed at numerous bluegrass and folk festivals with The Piney Creek Weasels, the Foothillbillys, The Sierra Mountain Band, the Black Irish band (Celtic), and Horse Sense (sharing the folklore and culture of cowboy music). He has been performing in grade school assemblies since 1996 with his original show ‘Musical Treasures From The Gold Rush Era & America’s Frontier Days’  which has given Dave a lot of wonderful memories sharing America’s music with the young. Dave is a champion fiddler winning first or second in over a third of the 50 competitions he was in, including a first place blue ribbon at the prestigious Galax Fiddler’s Convention, Galax, Virginia in 1993. Is there more? Ok, we can also mention Dave was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the California Auto Harp Gathering in Dunlap, California and is a permanent staff member there every May.

(I’ll get off my soap box now!)

A Western Fiddling Entertainer

 Dave Rainwater is a seasoned fiddling entertainer working table side or strolling at craft fairs or at any special occasion. He also presents an original one man show a delightful mixture of comedy, American folklore, storytelling and music. 'Romancing the Fiddle' was launched in 2009. After two sold out theater performances in Sonora and three standing ovations at each, it's a guarantee audiences will love 'Catgut Strings and Rattlesnake Tales' (for the more hillbillyish crowd) or 'Romancing the Fiddle' (for the more genteel set). Dave is a widely known fiddling entertainer, performing in large part from America's own traditional repertoire. His shows are always full of history, comedy and musical pieces Americans remember and love. Dave also has presented his original show 'Musical Treasures From the Gold Rush Era & America's Frontier Days' to schools and libraries since 1998. 


Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival


Dave Rainwater has been playing our Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival for the last 7 years and always delivers a fun, professional performance. His repertoire of thousands of songs and his wonderful way with the public make him a welcome and valuable part of our event.

Railtown State Historic Park


We have hired Dave for many years as a strolling musician on the excursion trains at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. He has developed quite a following over the years, as can be evidenced by his many accidental appearances in the youtube videos posted by park visitors. Dave is personable, responsive, and truly connects with people through his music. He takes pride in his craft and it shows.

I have also seen him perform in his one-man show, and as a member of another well-known musical group, and have always been impressed with his versatility. He is a skilled and inspiring musician-- love seeing him perform!

Larry C./ Stage 3 Theater, Sonora, Ca.


Dave Rainwater is an exceptional musician and entertainer. He sold out the house and was called back 3 times with standing ovations. With his stories and his fiddles, mandolin, viola, and guitar he leads his audience on a journey to the roots of American music. Dave Rainwater is a National Treasure. His music is fantastic and his stories are marvelous. Do not miss this show!

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