Woods, who is performing in Stellarton next month, started playing the instrument when he was four years old, competing by age eight and adding tricks when he was 11.
Years later and the Fergus, Ont., musician, who is often referred to as the “Flippin’ Fiddler,” is still travelling for music.
What keeps him on the road? The adrenaline rush, for one.
“I’m still nervous every time I walk on stage,” he said during a recent interview. “That’s what you live for.”
He talks about the connection between his band mates, and then the feeling when they connect with the audience, too.
The performance almost always wins them over, he said, becoming part of the show, which he said usually ends up feeling more like a kitchen party. Sometimes it’s the reaction to a tune an audience member hasn’t heard in years, or a song Woods wrote “at a time in my life when things were up in the air,” inspiring a deeper connection.
“That’s really special too as a musician.”
Most of the show is comprised of traditional country, western swing, country gospel, and old-time fiddle tunes, with jokes and trick fiddling added into the mix.
It’s common for Woods, who comes from a family heavy into fiddle music, to find his mind drifting during a performance – because the music comes so easily – wondering how his next tune starts.
“What’s the joke I tell? Why is that lady walking out? What is that guy standing close to the lights?” he named as examples of the thoughts going through his head.
Woods is joined by his sister Kendra (Woods) Norris, a multi-instrumentalist and Canadian Duet Fiddle Champion; Steve Piticco, award-winning guitarist; Patrick Linton, bass player, step dancer and vocalist; and Bill Carruthers, drummer and vocalist.
Woods himself has won the Canadian Open Fiddle Contest twice, as well as the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship.
He notes that everyone is welcome at the concert, adding that sometimes people may be shy to go to a show if it’s not at their own church or if they aren’t religious.
Woods and his band are presenting Twin Fiddle Express at Sharon St. John United Church in Stellarton on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets, which are $25 for adults, $10 for children under 12 and free for children five years old and under, are available by calling Norm at 902-755-1527 or Jillian at 902-752-1459.