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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Happy Birthday to the Great Omega Burden

Referred to by many as the originator of Texas Style guitar, Omega Burden left an indelible mark on the Texas fiddle community. Born in 1913 on this day, January 28 (102 years ago), his influences must have been early guitar players and banjo players of the area and of early fiddle recordings of the time. His playing is very much supportive. The guitar booms over the high sounds of the fiddle creating a beautiful blend and drive that fiddlers love. Unwavering in tempo and always sure of his chords, Omega created the perfect backdrop upon which for fiddlers to create.

Here is a link where you may download a sample of Omega Burden playing guitar for Major Franklin. Major was born in Arkansas and lived the majority of his life in Texas. Download the clip below:

Louis Franklin, Jerry Thomasson, Omega Burden

By now, you are probably listening to Major and Omega laying down some fiddle music! This back-porch sound is not uncommon in the mid-southern region. Do you like what you hear? The following link is a chord diagram based on Omega's guitar chordings of the tune Billy in the Lowground which can be heard on the MP3 link posted above. Practice this chart and emulate the sound of Omega Burden yourself. Enjoy!

In 1999, Omega Burden was inducted into the Texas Fiddle Hall of Fame. Happy Birthday, Omega Burden! May you forever be remembered as the great Omega.

Thanks to the following sources:
Dan Stewart - Texas Fiddle Archive
Larry Franklin -
John Stuart Fryer - Fiddlers Frolics

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