In our plaintive annual quest to unearth some semblance of a holiday-themed canon from the bluegrass songbook writ large, a few concessions must immediately be made. As argued in a past wintry edition of Tunesday Tuesday, titles of otherwise wordless and themeless songs are more than enough to justify a tune’s place in holiday and Christmas party playlists — or at least, this writer vehemently believes that they should be.
That particular context might just be unnecessary, though, because anyone ought to welcome absolutely any excuse or justification to marvel at the sheer magic (holiday and/or otherwise) of Bobby Hick’s fiddling. Yes, this is no more than a contrived set up to allow some unbridled gushing about “Snowflake Breakdown.” The hoedown-style fiddle tune was a cut on Hicks’ 1978 album, Texas Crapshooter, which boasted an A side of all Texas and western swing tunes, featuring Buddy Emmons on pedal steel and Buck White on piano among others, and a B side of his signature bluegrass fiddling style, staffed by Sam Bush, Roy Huskey Jr., Alan Munde, and fellow Bluegrass Hall of Famer Roland White. The “wow, these pickers on this tune are each so unique and genius in their own rights, they’re like snowflakes” metaphor is just a little too irresistible here, so just go with it.
For us fans of a bluegrass fiddler who plays with a heavy dose of North Carolina by way of Texas and a dash of the best parts of fiddle contests, has an unparalleled pedigree as a Blue Grass Boy with Bill Monroe, and a reputation as one of the most confounding double-stop talents in the universe, all we want for Christmas is (really, truly, honestly) more Bobby Hicks.