84: Blind Flamekeeper with Michael Cleveland

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By Scott Kujak. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Michael Cleveland was born blind but he knew he was born to be a fiddler at four years old. Described as “untouchable” by Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, Michael was awarded the 2020 GRAMMY for Best Bluegrass Album - Tall Fiddler, and is the IBMA’s most awarded Fiddle Player of the Year with 12 wins, has won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year 6 times, and fronts their 6-Time Instrumental Group of the Year. In this episode:

  • Determined to be a fiddler player after hearing “Orange Blossom Special” on the fiddle at four years old
  • Learning to play at the Kentucky School of the Blind
  • Finding and refining passion for the fiddle every single day as a child
  • “When you go to the school of the blind, you’re nothing special because everyone else is visually impaired, too.”
  • The Grand Ole Opry, his favorite spot that he played in as a teenager
  • Forming the band, Michael Clevelend and Flamekeeper, with musicians he grew up playing with
  • Grammy award, 12 time Fiddle Player of the Year, 6 time Instrumental Group of the Year
  • How Michael is trying to transform the stigma of bluegrass music by blending it with other music varieties

You can learn more about Michael & Flamkeeper at flamekeeperband.com as well as MC Flamekeeper on Facebook and Instagram

90 episodes