Coby Carter not just fiddlin’ around

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer

A local fiddler is starting to make his name known and will play with some big boys this summer.

Even more impressive, though, is that Coby Carter is only 12 years old.

Coby recently took first-place in the 12-and-under division at the Bob Wills fiddle contest in Turkey, Texas, out-fiddling a dozen other young musicians. Coby now has a busy summer planned, which will include more fiddling competitions and camps and a spot on stage with Jody Nix and The Texas Playboys.

“It’s really exciting, knowing that I’m going to be playing with legends. It makes me nervous, but it’s also exciting,” said Coby, who will be an eighth-grader at Portales Junior High School this fall. At PJHS, he plays saxophone with his school band and is active with MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement).

Coby also will perform with Nix at the Roosevelt County Fair in Portales in August.

His summer string of gigs begins June 6, when he heads to Amarillo to play with Nix at the World Champion Chuckwagon Cookoff.

Coby, the son of Alan and Shawn Carter, begin learning to play the fiddle by ear at age 7. He soon began taking music lessons and learned to read music. He is presently taking fiddling lessons via telephone conference from Dale Morris of Decatur, Texas.

“My fiddling teacher has a good ear. He can hear if my bow is going in the wrong direction,” Coby said.

Coby’s father said that Morris e-mails Coby music and said Coby can sit and read and play it back to him.

Alan said the fiddles Cody uses have been in the family for years and are anywhere from 100 to 300 years old. He recently had a fiddle completely restored by Wesley Brown of Portales.

On July 5, Coby is scheduled to perform with The Texas Playboys at the Lovington Centennial celebration. From July 6-8, he will attend the Tommy Allsup and Bobby Boatwright Camp, a by-invitation-only camp in Crowell, Texas. Allsup of the Texas Playboys was a lead guitarist with Buddy Holly.

Coby has received scholarships from the Western Swing Music Society of Amarillo to attend music camps and also has played at Cowboy Christmas Balls in Texas.

Alan said that Coby came in contact with The Texas Playboys when he was invited by Joe Rhodes of Joe’s Boot Shop to walk around and play his fiddle in the western store in Clovis during the weekends of local ropings about three years ago. He said Rhodes then helped Coby get a gig with promoter Larry Scott at the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso.

Although Coby aspires to become a engineer and contractor someday, he said he wants to see how far his fiddling will take him.

He has formed a western swing band called Timeless with several of his friends. Band members include Justice Strickland, guitarist/vocalist of Clovis; Kyle Wilson, electric guitarist of Clovis; Sam Rice, drummer of Portales; and Coby on fiddle.