Scott Joss

The National Fiddler Hall of Fame



Scott Joss


YouTube - (Link)

Scott Joss (born May 1, 1962 Santa Monica, California) His early musical memories include marching around the dining room table with his Dad, trying to produce a recognizable melody on their harmonicas. He had a little student sized gut string guitar, soon took a group guitar class, learned a few chords, then worked for hours on melodies like Greensleeves and Yesterday.

His family moved to Redding, CA. around 1970. The musical "AHA" moment did not come for Scott until 1972 in Redding, CA. when a legendary local fiddle player, known now as Jana Jae, decided to see if she could get kids in the local elementary schools interested in "old time fiddling." Scott said, “She made the rounds to all the schools...just her and her fiddle. When Jana came to Bonneyville Elementary School, all the kids, from first to sixth grade, were asked to gather in the "multi purpose gym" for an assembly. They all sat on the floor in a big circle around this beautiful lady holding a fiddle. She smiled and began to play...and, life, for little Scotty, was never the same.·I remember she played "Soldier's Joy", "Blue Valley Waltz" and then "Orange Blossom Special...and that was it! My parents rented me a 3/4 size fiddle and my life was changed forever."

The fiddle then became the driving force in Scott's life. 1972 started a long run of State and National fiddle contests culminating in a three year run as California State Men’s Champion fiddler and a fourth place win at the National contest in Weiser, ID, and a meeting with Tiny Moore, a long time fiddler/mandolinist for Merle Haggard who told Merle about "this kid from Redding"·who might have potential. This led to Scott's first road trip with the great Haggard in 1981, with the first show being in NYC at Carnegie Hall. Not quite prepared for the "big time", after a 3 week tour, Merle sent Scott back to Redding with the promise to keep an eye on him, which he did.

After 7 years of Honky Tonk barroom work on the West Coast, Scott got a call from Pete Anderson (1988), the producer and guitar player with Dwight Yoakam, asking if Scott would like the fiddle/mando/accoustic guitar/harmony vocal gig with Dwight. That started a 15 year run (1988-2003) of live shows, television and studio recordings with yet another of California's country music legendary singer/songwriters.

In 2003, Merle, once again, brought Scott back to the Strangers which began a kind of "pick up where we left off" chapter in Scott's life and a chance for Scott to "give back" to one of his biggest musical heroes. Scott played fiddle, mando, acoustic guitar, etc. with The Strangers until Merle's passing in 2016, one of the greatest honors of Scott's musical life.

Scott took a year off after Merle's passing to regroup and see what might be next. A call came in 2017 asking if he could do a few shows with the great Kris Kristofferson, along with a few of the "alumni" from the Strangers, which led to an ongoing musical relationship on the road. Kris even contributed two vocal tracks on Scott's recent album "How Far To Jordan" and graciously agreed to perform for the 2020 National Fiddler Hall of Fame celebration the as Scott is being inducted.

Scott says, “There are countless people that should be mentioned, thanked or recognized for their contributions to my musical life. Let me say, my life would not be what it is without ALL of you, past and present. I couldn't dream anything better than this!"

Scott Joss was inducted into the National Fiddler Hall of Fame in 2020.