Rayna Gellert : From Violin to Fiddle


Rayna Gellert is an American violinist and singer specializing in old-time music. She grew up in Elkhart, in northern Indiana. Her father is the traditional fiddler and banjo player Dan Gellert. Originally a classically trained violinist, she took up the old-time fiddle in 1994, when she moved to North Carolina to attend Warren Wilson College. She received a bachelor’s degree from Warren Wilson College.

Gellert is a former member of the Freight Hoppers. From 2003 to 2009 she performed and recorded with the all-female old-time band Uncle Earl. In 2003, she was a featured performer at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She has also performed with the dance company Rhythm in Shoes, the West African-influenced band Toubab Krewe, Abigail Washburn, and Scott Miller. She has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Chile.

She has been a finalist at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, Fayette County, West Virginia several times.


For much of the last year and on an on-going basis, Rayna Gellert has been collaborating with Kieran Kane.

rayna_gellert_hi_res_cover1400x1400Workin’s Too Hard, her latest collection of original and traditional songs demonstrates how deep immersion in our musical past can point the way toward the future of American music. She developed the album in collaboration with co-producer Kieran Kane, multi-instrumentalist Kai Welch (Abigail Washburn, Bobby Bare Jr.), and drummer Jamie Dick (Rhiannon Giddens, Joan Shelley). Recorded old school live in one room by Grammy-winning engineer Charles Yingling (Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard), the sound of Workin’s Too Hard is as warm, intimate, and deep as the songs themselves.


Workin’s Too Hard (2017, StorySound Records) — credits & lyrics here
Old Light: Songs from my Childhood & Other Gone Worlds (2012, StorySound Records)

Ways of the World (out of print – download only) — liner notes here
Starch & Iron

She Waits for Night
Waterloo, Tennessee

Help Me to Sing (with John Paul Jones)
Face a Frowning World (with Nathan Salsburg)

The Hungry Moment (with Robyn Hitchcock & Abigail Washburn)
Follow Me Down (with The Lonesome Sisters)
CoDependents (EP with Scott Miller)

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