Todd Elliott is a champion fiddler, storyteller, and performing artist from Rutherford County, NC, who has played music and told tales on stages across the country.
Todd grew up in Rutherford County hearing the stories of his father, Doug Elliott, and the music of the community. Todd started learning to play fiddle when he was around five years old, starting on a homemade cardboard instrument. “I am thankful for my family and growing up among so many people steeped in the music, crafts, ecology, and folk ways of the Appalachians,” Todd says. By the time he was a teenager, Todd was winning fiddle competitions across North Carolina.
Todd cites numerous mentors for his fiddling, from self-taught mountain fiddlers to classical violinists, including Jan Daugherty, Wayne Erbsen, Chuck and Peggy Patrick, and Ken Stott. “With their respective styles, each of these individuals and many others have influenced my music,” Todd says. Today, Todd primarily plays a mix of old-time, bluegrass, folk, and blues, and he likes to combine storytelling with music.
Todd’s performances incorporate music, personal narrative, ballad singing, and folklore. Todd has performed both solo and in group settings for festivals, libraries, schools, television shows, theaters, conferences, and other events. Todd frequently appears in tandem with his father, Doug Elliott, a nationally-recognized performer and member of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Traditional Artist Directory.
Todd also learned many traditional crafts and life-ways from his family in Rutherford County, as well as from many other people in North Carolina and beyond. Inspired by these mentors, Todd now teaches workshops based in a variety of primitive skills, natural history, foraging, ecology, and humans’ interface with the land.
Todd is available for classes, consultations, demonstrations, educational programs for all ages, guided tours, performances, and workshops.