Instrument expert, restorer and former violinist Ian McCamy was born in New York City and raised in downtown Manhattan where his artistic background was forged in the midst of the thriving avant-garde art world. Setting sail in his early twenties, he played and performed extensively throughout Europe, from experimental theater in East Berlin to learning traditional fiddle styles in The Scottish Highlands and street performance in Paris. After years of touring and performing, restoring a medieval house in the Cevennes Mountains, raising two children, making wine and learning Old-Time music with Robert Crumb, he has turned his lifelong passion and knowledge of the violin to the study, expertise and restoration of fine stringed instruments and French bows at Champarnaud & McCamy in Paris and he shares his fascination for instruments of the string quartet by writing articles online for the Violin Insider.
As a musician and actor Ian McCamy has appeared in numerous American and French films and TV shows; he has acted with Nicole Kidman, Gérard Depardieu, Nathalie Portman and plays Henry Koster in the series Missions. Off-screen he performs traditional Celtic and Old-Time Americana music inspired from his Scots-Irish and Tennessee Mountain roots, playing the fiddle, the guitar and singing songs about death, misery and love lost. Ian has released four solo records, made numerous guest appearances on albums and has played festivals and concerts in America, Europe and North Africa. His latest solo album, Vintage Americana, was released in France after More Pretty Girls Than One came out in the United States. The album covers are the work of long-time friend Robert Crumb, American illustrator Drew Christie, and photographs by Gaston F. Bergeret.
"Ian McCamy is possessed of a sepia charisma…on stage he exudes artistic energy and a performer's respect for his material."
"Honest and fetchingly archaic…with McCamy taking the languorous, imbued vocal on "Jack O' Diamonds" and a philosophical, Woody Guthrie-like "There's more Pretty Girls Than One". It's wraith-like quality is like a door to another time."
"McCamy’s fiddle tone and approach are perfect, grabbing all the old, woody tones without overplaying the nostalgia."
“Ian McCamy has a sting to his playing. When he cries it’s with the naive lyrism of an Irish ballad, and his jigs have the gay spirit of time when the blue note hadn’t yet invaded the universe, old Europe unrolls in America, excited by the illusions of space and when it crosses with the mixed southern culture it takes on all that is joyfull."
"A truly rollicking and enjoyable collection of largely traditionnal hoedows, breakdowns, reels, rags, ballads and yes, blues. Americana, roots music, folk- Just call it great music."
"The sound so perfect that one thinks it is an old 78rpm record without impurities. He plays superb jigs, square dances, reels and songs - yes Ian McCamy also sings! They play wonderfully."
“McCamy is an excellent fiddler! Whether it’s a jig or waltz, it’s a joyous collection McCamy has assembled.”
“Some of these tunes are as good as I've ever heard played, even on the old 78s from the 1920's and that's saying a lot. I've never heard a better version of New Money or Far in the Mountain. Tops in Old-Time fiddling in our time.”