Author: tikiparlour

David Bragger is a Los Angeles-based old-time musician, instructor and co-founder of Tiki Parlour Recordings. He is also the curator of The Old-Time Tiki Parlour. David was an itinerant street magician, collector of South Asian folk tales and filmmaker before his obsession for playing and documenting traditional American music. David has recorded fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar with stringband Sausage Grinder, his duo David Bragger & Susan Platz, his duo with Rafe Stefanini and with Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin to name a few. He has also recorded the featured fiddle and banjo parts for the critically-acclaimed western Gone Are the Days.

After years of visiting with and studying old-time musicians including Mel Durham, Tom Sauber, Dan Gellert, Charlie Acuff, Benton Flippen, Clyde Davenport and Joe Thompson, David is a go-to-guru for learning old-time fiddle, banjo and mandolin. He has students all over the world and is in great demand as a workshop teacher at traditional music festivals. David is also the Old-Time String Band Ensemble director at the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. In addition to teaching, he documents the greatest living old-time musicians for future generations.  David directs, shoots, records, edits and spearheads the vision of Tiki Parlour Recordings.

See David’s full biography written by Variety’s Roy Trakin HERE

Old-Time Tiki Parlour article from No Depression!

Review for David Bragger’s solo album “Big Fancy” from No Depression!


David Bragger & Susan Platz

King’s Lament on Spotify

Devils, fiddling blacksmiths, admirals, the ubiquitous Sally, mysterious men with swine-like faces, beasts of burden, lines from an old ballad, ancient lands, and battlefield maneuvers can be found in the names of instrumental fiddle tunes. Without lyrics to support them, these tune titles become magical disembodied images that hover over us each time we rest the bow on our violins. Often we can only guess what they mean or how they came to be. The folk process is a multi-faceted and complex state of being. It demands a lot of sleuthing and doesn’t afford us the answers to every inquiry. There are many dead ends.  Enter the imagination. 

An eternal student of traditional culture and music, I have spent countless hours sitting in my “parlour” and imagining things with my brain. Whether I’m reading the old weird tales of Lord Dunsany, pondering the speculative imagination of Sir James George Frazer, or sonically traveling the world while listening to Pat Conte’s Secret Museum of Mankind collection, I often find myself imagining the real with the unreal. For me, this double fiddle project represents a similar endeavor.

Susan Platz and I have studied the melodies, rhythms and bowing of many great fiddlers both dead and alive. You could call it an obsession. We have also grown fond of the fiddle duets by Dan Gellert & Brad Leftwich, Rafe & Clelia Stefanini, and Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains. And naturally, we love the old Cajun fiddle duets of Dennis McGee & Sady Courville, as well as the duets of modern Cajun fiddlers Joel Savoy & Linzay Young and Michael Doucet & Mitch Reed. However, there is a tremendous dearth of double fiddle recordings from the golden era of “old-time” records. It’s difficult to ascertain how commonplace double fiddling was back in the day. With the handful of double fiddle recordings from Bob Walters, John Summers, Judge Dan White and Jehile Kirkhuff, it’s certainly worth further investigation. This project has allowed us to take inspiration from the aforementioned old-time fiddlers, as well as some of the sounds we love in Cajun, Scandinavian, accordion and bagpipe music. Together we’ve imagined a tapestry of drone and harmony that unites with the old-time tunes and rhythms we love so much. As this is quite possibly the first American old-time fiddle duet album, we hope that we do them justice. Cheers! —David Bragger


This double fiddle collaboration can be traced back to a fateful day in September 2010 when I attended one of David’s workshops at a local festival. Little did I know that he would unlock an undiscovered musical world for me. At that point, I’d played violin all my life and studied voice in school, but had only dabbled in the realm of traditional music. Under David’s mentorship, I was introduced to the haunting, beautiful, driving, and mesmerizing sounds of old-time fiddle music from the likes of Edden Hammons, John Salyer, Ed Haley, Tommy Jarrell, and dozens more. David has passed down these tunes to me aurally, as they have been for hundreds of years. By skillfully distilling the bow patterns used by the old fiddle masters, David educated me on the bowing nuances that create a distinctive old-time energy and drive. He also instilled in me a commitment to preserving these historical capsules by playing them with faithfulness to the source musicians. Double fiddle harmonizing does offer a more newfangled take on traditional old-time music, but it’s not unprecedented. The fiddle duets of old-time Cajun musicians Dennis McGee and Sady Courville stand out as the pinnacle of the fiddle duet art form. Plus, some of the richest and most beautiful harmonies can be found in old-time vocal music. Adding a second “voice” to these fiddle tunes challenged me and allowed me to put a creative stamp on beloved traditional tunes while still honoring the original style. I couldn’t be more thrilled to present this duet album with my musical mentor and collaborator. Special thanks to my parents for their perpetual support and love of music. —Susan Platz


How to Make a Banjo–Online Course

(10% Discount Code: TIKIPARLOUR)


Banjo-maker Noel Folstad has created an in-depth online video course that covers every step you’ll need to make a professional open-back banjo. The Tiki Parlour strongly believes in supporting traditional artists and promoting education in the folk arts. We are offering a 10% Discount Code “TIKIPARLOUR” for those interested in trying Noel’s online video course.

Click HERE for more info.

“By the end of this course you will have all the knowledge, tools, and tricks to successfully make your own banjo for just a small price.
The course will consist of 40+ in-depth video tutorials showing every aspect of my building process. The content will be available to you at any time, indefinitely, so you can go at your own pace.
Included with your tuition, I provide complete support via a Facebook closed group for a 12 week period. Many of the students love this hands on interaction, and it’s fun to see everyone’s progress through pictures posted.” –Noel Folstad



Reviews from students:

“I highly recommend this course. Noel Folstad has been very fast to respond to any questions, and everyone elses questions and answers are shared on the site as well. It was perfect for me , already having built several primitive banjos, but wanting to build a more professional piece that anyone would be proud to own, or play. His course is also great for the complete beginner as well, and , the price is almost unbelievable!! Check him out!!” R. McLain”The info presented by Noel is easy to follow, and invaluable. I’ve already saved a good amount of money by not making mistakes I’m sure I would approaching this process on my own.” J. Wardle”A great how-to course offering everything you need to know” —J. Glover

“Well I am not as far along as others, but in the videos so far Noel is very through. He is responsive to posts and questions! He offers his advice and is very helpful in decision making. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to build their own or make it a living for themselves. Keep up the great work Noel!” —D. Brinkel

“I have built some necks for existing pots in the past with mixed results.
Noel is doing a great job of explaining and demonstrating the steps in building a banjo.
I’m looking forward to learning and sharing ideas through the completion of my first complete build.” —K. Deuel

Folk Roots Festival in Los Angeles!

We are pleased to announce that Sausage Grinder will be performing alongside Dom Flemons, Thompsonia, Spencer & Rains and many others at the Folkworks’ Folk Roots Festival! Sausage Grinder’s David Bragger and Chris Berry will also be teaching workshops!

10AM to 10PM

St. John’s Presbyterian Church
11000 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064