I first met Becky Buller at a bluegrass festival a few months ago where her band was playing.
Several people had told me not to miss her performance and I’m glad I didn’t! We had just finished filming interviews with some other bluegrass musicians at the festival when we slid into our seats in the nick of time for her show.
In 2017, Becky became the first person ever to win in both the instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards, winning both the Fiddler of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. In 2015, she was named the Songwriter of the Year. She’s written for some of bluegrass music’s best known performers.
Becky admits winning those accolades was difficult for her to take in at first. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh! I’ve got to get better so I can be worthy of this!’ ”
Becky started out competing in fiddle competitions when she was in high school, remembering the time she was so fearful that she went and laid down in the grass in a nearby football field near the stage, sure she’d throw up when she had to go on stage.
Amid all the challenges of managing a band and an ever-growing presence as a musician, Becky finds the routines of family and church keep her grounded.
A recent video by classical violinist Itzhac Perlman has affected the way Becky approaches practicing her musical craft, inspiring her to slow down and being more deliberate in her own practice time. “He said he would rather students spend two hours practicing with their heads rather than eight hours playing really fast and repeating mistakes.”
“I want my listeners to feel refreshed when they walk away from one of our performances. I want to leave people with hope and light and life, and I hope they see that reflected in my music and everything I do.”
You can hear my conversation with Becky here.