Wilfred Silliker | Bowing Down Home
At age 91, Wilfred Silliker was one of the oldest fiddlers we recorded. There was no one in his family who played fiddle, but at about 18 he got hold of an instrument and taught himself to play. He learned many of his tunes from a neighbor, well-known fiddler Guy Boulter (1895-1972).
Guy Boulter was one of the best fiddlers ever was around here. He was a good true player. He didn't leave nothin out, and played that smooth. Oh, a nice player! They never had the like of him around here. He could play anything, it didn't make any difference: waltzes, songs or fast stuff.
Some other fiddlers who played in the Milburn area when Silliker was young were Leo Doyle, Allie Harris, Forrest Phillips, Jim MacIsaac, and Neil MacKinnon.
According to his daughter, piano player Florence Silliker Young, Wilfred was once a very active dance player.
My mother and father they used to go to a lot of house parties. When I was a little kid I used to go with them, and they stayed half the night. My dad also used to play for a lot of dances and showers. They used to come after him about twelve o'clock at night; he’d get out of bed and go them times.
Wilfred passed on the art of fiddling to his son, Alton Silliker.