Kidd Baker

Fiddle, Fiddle Factory FF-5011

Kidd Baker, Fiddle

Produced by Jimmie James, Nashville and Lloyd Hanson, New Brunswick

Tracks: Soldier's Joy; Alex Crocket; Old Mand And Old Woman; Grandfather's Tune; Devil's Dream; Elmer's Jig; Mouth of the Tobique; Flowers of Edinburgh; Off She Goes To Miramichi; Irish Washerwoman; Little Brown Jug; Ragtime Annie; Johnny Waggoner; Bride of the Wind; Turkey In The Straw; Road to the Isles; Fiddle The Bagpipes

Truly a Canadian Country Music legend, Kidd Baker started his career appearing on shows with Hal Lone Pine and Smilin' Ernie Lindell throughout The Maritimes and across the border in Maine.

Originally billed as the Yodeling Kid, the name morphed into Kidd.

Organizing his own show and band, The Pine Ridge Boys, Kidd spread out to spend his winters in Kitchener, Ontario and his summers back home in New Brunswick.

He had radio and TV shows in both locations and was instrumental in the careers of many young artists such as Hank MacDonald and Jimmy James.

Never completely losing the music bug and being a charter electee in the New Brunswick Country Music Hall Of Fame, he started entertaining again in reunions throughout the eighties and into the nineties until his death in 1992.

Brian Barron

Old-Tyme Fiddle Jamboree, Arc 503

Tunes: Sally Goodin, Bully of the Town, Brenda’s Reel, Turkey In The Straw, Fire on the Mountain, Hitchhiker Blues, Red Wing, Ragtime Annie, Scottish Melody, Harvest Home, Orange Blossom Special, Arkansas Traveller (not mentioned on liner)

In Central and Eastern Canada, country musicians consider Brian Barron one of the top men in the business.

Country music fans know Brian well, for whether Brian is leading the York County Boys Hillbilly Band in a spirited tow-tapping instrumental or playing for square dances, he can be counted on to give a top rated performance. Brian’s first Old Tyme Fiddle tune album consists of jogs (sp?), reels and show tunes, all played in the popular southern style fiddle. After you hear Brian’s version of The Orange Blossom Special I’m sure you will agree it’s the most exciting rendition ever recorded. So draw back the rug or pull up a chair and listen to 30 minutes of your favorite Old-Tyme fiddle tunes.

Smiley Bates

Fiddler's Dream, Paragon Records ALS 224

Smiley Bates, fiddle; Joe Bothwell, rhythm guitar; Clarence Deveaux, rhythm guitar; Dusty Stokes, bass; Bobby Hudson, drums.

Produced by Jack Boswell and Bill Bessey.

Tracks: Fiddler's Dream*; Ste. Anne's Reel; Boil Them Cabbage Down; Maple Sugar; Here and There; Back up Susan; Arkansas Traveller; The French Reel; Buffalo Gal; Soldier's Joy; Old Joe Clark; Bonaparte's Retreat.

Smiley Bates is Canada's most versatile country music performer. Besides playing the flat top guitar, five-string banjo, dobro and mandolin, he also does a fine job on the fiddle. It was the first instrument he learned to play.

Such old-time favorites as Maple Sugar, Boil Them Cabbage Down, and Ste Anne's Reel were selected by Smiley for this album. Fiddler's Dream is Smiley's own composition.

With the growing changes in music today, it is still nice to be able to listen to a fiddle record with the old tunes on it and that is what Smiley had in mind when he recorded this album.

Donald Angus Beaton

A Musical Legacy, DAB1985 - 1985

Donald Angus Beaton, fiddle; Elizabeth Beaton, piano; Joey Beaton, piano; Maybelle Chisolm MacQueen, piano; John Allan Cameron, guitar Mary Jessie MacDonald, piano

Produced by Joseph Beaton; Technical Assistance by Ron Gillis; Liner Notes: Rev. Hugh A. MacDonald, Sydney NS; Cover Design: City Printers, Sydney and Joseph Beaton, Mabou NS

Tracks: Traditional Mabou Strathspey / Loch Earn Reel / Lady Georgina Campbell Reel; I Lost My Love Jig / Cha Dean Mi'n Obair (I Won't Do The Work) Jig; Angus Donald Beaton's Lament*; The Council gathering Jig / Catherin and Thurlow Smith's Jig*; John Campbell Strathspey* / Yester House Strathspey / Mabou Reel / Dan J Campbell Reel / Traditional Reel / Carl Beaton Reel*; Dusty Bob Jig / The Irish Washerwoman Jig / Whiskey Jig; The Tweeddale Club Strathspey / Lady Louden Strathspey / Blind Norry's Reel; Tutor Jig / Bressay Sound Jig / Top of Cork Road Jig; The Maid of Islay Strathspey / Archie Brown Reel / Sheep Shanks Reel / Traditional Reel / Old Time Wedding Reel / Traditional A Minor Reel; Rolling of a Log Jig / Orange and Blue Jig / Mabou Jig* / Princess Florence's Jig*; Miss Stuart Strathspey / Variation of Money Musk Strathspey / Duke of Gordon's Birthday Strathspey / Old Traditional Reel in G Major / West Mabou Reel / Lord Seaforth Reel / Lord MacDonald Reel / The Night The Goats Came Home Reel

Notes: Selections 1-6 (Side 1) includsive were recorded at the home of Donald Angus and Elizabeth Beaton, Mabou NS. Elizabeth provides piano accompaniment for her husband, Donald Angus, on cuts 1-5 while Joey can be heard backing his father on cut 6. Selections 1-4 (side 2) were taped at CJFX Radio Studios in Antigonish NS on Wednesday, May 26, 1965. Here Donald Angus is joined by Maybelle Chisholm MacQueen on piano and John Allan Cameron on guitar. Selection 5 was recorded at a ceilidh at the home of Donald Angus and Elizabeth Beaton on Sunday, August 7, 1966 following the marriage of their son, Angus to Jessie MacDonald of Glencoe. This cut features Donald Angus on violin with piano by his cousin, Mary Jessie MacDonald and guitar backup provided by John Allan Cameron. The material chosen for this album encompasses musical excerpts of Donald Angus Beaton between 1965 and 1976.

Donald Angus Beaton
April 20, 1912 - July 29, 1982

All persons and things have their origins, their backgrounds, their predecessors. This statement is particularly true for painters and poets, and especially for musicians and their music. Before we had a Mozart, we had a Haydon. Before we had a Beethoven, we had a Bach. Before we had a Donald Angus Beaton, we had a Domhnall Iain an Tailear and a Mari Aladair Rhounuill. Before we had the Scottish settlement of the "Coal Mines" with its noted violinists, we had the Scottish settlement of Lochaber and Skye, Scotland, with all their famous fiddlers. Before the rose in bloom, is the rose in bud. Indeed the rose in bloom is the legacy of many previous and blissful blossomings.

"Mabou Coal Mines" is really the origin, the cradle, the background of the best of our modern Scottish music, especially the music of the violin, in Cape Breton and elsewhere. The phrase "Mabou Coal Mines" is music in itself.

In music, we often speak of a trio. One of the best modern, musical trios is Mabou Coal Mines, Scottish Music and Donald Angus Beaton. Bringing these three together as we do in this magnificent album, "A Musical Legacy" we feel we are presenting to the public another masterful recording.

Donald Angus was born in Mabou Village on April 20, 1912. His paternal lineage was generated at the nearby Mines, imbued with its rugged culture as well as its musical heritage. In truth, he is a descendant of a great and continuous musical line stretching back almost 200 years to the original homeland in Lochaber. He was born a Scottish Musical genius. This genius was bound to thrive because of its rich musical setting. Two elements of his genius were his quick musical ear and his accompanying sense of musical beauty. He always distinguished the chaff from the wheat. Blessed with an abundance of both elements, he not only assimilated a wealth of tunes, the best of tunes. His sense of musical beauty is most evident in his own compositions. Every turn or musical phrase is a gem, every line a delight. His total number of compositions runs to fifty-one, six of which are included in this album.

Donald Angus as a child needed no introduction to the violin. Its music was all around him from early infancy as the song of the sea was all around the shore of the Coal Mines. He learned three languages simultaneously: English, Gaelic, and Scottish Music. In early childhood he took the violin in his hands, never to release it again. At the age of 12, he was an accomplished player. At 16, he was a Master of the strings and bow. As well, his own particular style was emerging. This style included the "Flying Spiccato", a difficult art to master, but as native to the strathspey and reel as fragrance is to the rose.

All great composers are influenced in composition by their own unique character and temperament as is evident not only in the music of the Coal Mines, but all other areas of Cape Breton Island where there were great violin players and composers. Humor and wit were a way with our "Coal Mines" fiddler. While wit sparkles, humor comes with the leisure of the dawn. In his music and in his playing, Donald Angus's style was both sparkling and leisure filled. But even this leisure had its lilt. While listening, one wanted to dance and be merry yet take time out in leisure to enjoy the Master. Little wonder his dances were always popular and well attended by the young and less young who came to dance, and by the old who just came to leisurely listen.

Donald Angus earned a living by anvil, wheel, and stage. He was a blacksmith, a taxi driver, a mail carrier, and many, many, times graced the stage not only at the local dance halls but in the halls of greater renown and further afield. During all his time, his humor abounded and his page of experience was becoming profitable. With that, a new phase of his genius began to unfold. Composition of new tunes, matching the best of the old, began to urge itself upon him. His Muse, seeing the Master was fully mature, inspired composition after composition to emerge from his mind and flow from his pen. Every one of these are stamped with his personality and genius.

Cape Breton Fiddle Music, in general, and the music of Donald Angus Beaton, in particular, the best of which is included in this album, reflects the zest and vitality of the life of the Scottish pioneer. And the pioneer was able, noble, robust, humorous, strong, ingenious, and at times, steeped in sentiment. The blossoming of Lochaber and Skye must continue to bloom in Cape Breton, and, indeed, everywhere. While we await another new bud, may the Rose that has fully bloomed from Coal Mines soil live in its musical fragrance even 'till the end of time.

Rev. Hugh A. MacDonald, Sydney NS


Rev. Hugh A. MacDonald, Sydney NS
Rev. John Angus rankin, Glendale NS
Elizabeth Beaton, Mabou NS
John Allan Cameron, Mabou NS and Markham ON
Maybelle Chisholm MacQueen, Margaree Forks NS
Carl Beaton, Mabou NS
Cyril Cameron, Mabou NS and Mississauga ON
CJFX Radio, Antigonish NS
Ray MacDonald, Antigonish NS
Doug MacPhee, New Waterford NS
Angus Beaton, Mabou NS
Kinnon Beaton, Port Hawkesbury NS
Ron Gillis, Glace Bay NS
Marlene MacInnis, Sydney NS
Donnie Campbell, Sydney NS
Bobby MacEachern, Judique NS
Mike Reppa, Sydney NS
Carole Chisholm, Nevada Valley NS
Sandy MacIntyre, Scarborough ON
City Printers, Sydney NS

Jacket Printed by: Parr's Print & Litho Ltd. Markham, Ontario

Kinnon Beaton
Kinnon and Betty Beaton: Cape Breton Fiddle, CCR 9067

Kinnon Beaton, violin; Betty Beaton, piano

Produced by Kinnon and Betty Beaton; Recorded by Harold Tsistinas at Solar Audio and Recording Ltd., Halifax NS

Tracks: The Piper's Whim Jig / Leona Beaton's Jig / Lakevale Jig; Stephenson's Clog / The Alsgon Clog / Mrs. james Campbell Reel / Mr. Campbell Craignish Reel / Snowshoes Reel; Elizabeth's Jig / Andrea and Allison's Jig / Joe Chaisson's Jig; The Antigonish Highland Centuary March / Dr. Manson's Strathspey / Mrs. Grant's Strathspey / The Hughie and Allan Reel* / Master McDermott's Reel; The Chestnut Tree Jig / Allan MacMaster's Jig* / Lorna MacRury's Jig; Mrs. Ferguson of Reath March / Betty Lou Beaton's Strathspey / Herbie MacLeod's Strathspey / Florence MacDonald's Reel / The Way to Mull River Reel / Mr. Thos. Jarvis Reel; Mabou Bridge Jig / Dundee Jig / Stornaway Jig; Kildonan Hall Strathspey / Moxham Castle Strathspey / Kelravock's Strathspey / Galaway Reel / Coquette Hornpipe / Albert's Hornpipe

A Sprig Of Ivy, ACC 4968 - 1989

Kinnon Beaton, violin; Betty Beaton, piano; Dave MacIsaac, guitar; John Morris Rankin, bass

Produced by John Morris Rankin, Dave MacIsaac, Kinnon and Betty Beaton; Engineer: Harold Tsistinas; recorded at Solar Audio & Recording Studio, Halifax, NS January 21, 1989

Tunes: A visit to Ireland / The Thrush in the Bush / Come Along With Me jigs; My Ain' Kind Dearie march / Bear In the Buckwheat / The Perriwig / Miss Susan Elliot reels; Traditional strathspey / Keep the Coiuntry Bonnie Lassie Strathspey / Raigmore House & A Tribute to Winston reels; Ivy House / Shetland Wedding / Rose in the Heather jigs; Devanny's / Dillon Brown / Traditional / The Skylark / Marsha Young's & Angus Chisholm's Favourite reels; Rose Bush / Traditional / Castle Donovan reels; The Sprig of Ivy & Australian Ladies marches / Miss Theresa Morris of Colindale & Danny MacDonald of Hamilton reels; The CBC strathspey / Brookside & Mrs John Fraser reels; Donnie LeBlanc / The Banks of Locheil / Memories of Donald Angus Beaton jigs; 3 traditional strathspeys / Bridge of Bamore / Traditional / Thunderbolt & The Perthshire Hunt reels

Cape Breton Fiddle 1, Dab Records 3-26-1

Kinnon Beaton, violin; Betty Lou Beaton, piano; Dave MacIsaac, guitar

Produced by Kinnon Beaton; Liner Notes by Rev John Angus Rankin, Glendale NS; Recorded by Dave Miller for Inter-Media Services Ltd, Halifax NS. Special thanks to Doug MacPhee of New Waterford, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

Tracks: 1) Delvin House Jig, The Rakes of Kildare Jig, Morrison's Ridge Jig 2) Miss Forbes' Farewell to Banff March, Kinnon Beaton's Strathspey, Dolgean Bochd Reel, London Hornpipe 3) Doug MacPhee's Clog, Mexican Joe's Reel, Telephone Reel 4) Rolling off a Log Jig, The New Rigged Ship Jig, The Kinnegad Slashers Jig 5) Leaving Lochbalsh March, Rob and Lugi Strathspey, The Maids of Islay Strathspey, Arcfhie Brown Reel, Tradition Reel, Traditional Reel 6) Traditional Strathspey, Fr. Angus Morris Strathspey*, Donald MacGuggan's Tune Reel, Totar's Hornpipe, Traditional Hornpipe 7) Memories of Paddy LeBlanc March, 1977 Glendale Festival Strathspey, Joan Beaton's Reel, The Drummer Reel 8) Riding on a Hand Car Jig, Dusty Bob Jig, Little Peggy's Jig 9) Memories of Maggie Bell Gillis March*, Fight about the Fireside Strathspey, Miss Young Strathspey, North Sydney Bar Reel, O'er Bogie Reel 10) Duncan Rankin of Rankinville March, Angus Rankin of Mabou Harbour Strathspey, John Rankin (Immigrant) of Mabou Coal Mines Reel

Once again the Scottish record market will be enhanced and enriched by the appearance of a new record from the musical nimble fingers of Kinnon and Betty Beaton and David MacIsaac. The historical background of the Beatons' talents, the source and style of their music is described so expertly by the Rev. Hugh A. MacDonald on the album The Beatons of Mabou (Rounder 7011), that anything I might add would only be superfluous and unnecessary.

I would like, however, to state that what in my estimation gives that special appeal to the Scottish music of Cape Breton violinist, and in particular to the Inverness group, is what is called in Gaelic blas na Gaidhlig, "the Gaelic taste and touch" which haunts the heart and ears of the listener long after the artists have ceased playing. The idea is expressed beautifully by the world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhen in his foreword to James Hunter's book The Fiddle Music of Scotland when it states:

"I salute in my Scottish fiddler friends that innate urge to be audible and recognizable to our clan for what we are and what we feel. Their music knows no detour - it goes straight to our feet if dance we must, to our eyes if cry we must, and always directly to our hearts evoking every shade of joy, sorrow and contentment."
Kinnon's father, Donald Angus Beaton, his grandfather, Angus Ronald, his grand uncles Johnnie Ronald and Donald Ronald Beaton (who although he died in his twenties was the best player of Ronald Beaton's family), had the techniques to produce the music described by Menuhen. Donald Angus told me that Kinnon was a true copy of his grand uncle Donald who was also a left-handed violinist.

Like two streams flowing from the top of the mountains of Mabou Coal Mines that unite to form a river rushing to the ocean, so did the streams of the musical talents of Elizabeth MacEachen and Donald Angus unite to give us the music that Kinnon brings out on his violin. He can use the bow and manipulate his fingers to produce the music that brings tears to the eyes, tingles the feet to dance, and goes straight to the heart to give joy and contentment to his audience.

Kinnon started playing at the age of twelve and made his first public appearance a few months later at the Glendale Annual Concert. Since then he has played and entertained people at parish concerts, fiddlers' festivals, dances, on radio and T.V. and at recitals accompanied by his mother, his brother Joey, the other great pianists, and of course now with his wife Betty. He is employed with Atomic Energy of Canada at Port Hawkesbury during the day, and at night the walls of the dance halls, the walls of home respond to the music of Kinnon and his wife.

Every violin player needs a competent, capable and skillful accompanist at the piano to embellish and add depth to the music of the violin. Kinnon discovered such a gem in the person of his wife Betty Lou MacMaster. At the mention of the name MacMaster, ears perk up, eyes look around, and feet get ready to go into action, because you expect to hear the names of Buddy (Hugh A.) and Kathleen, Buddy and Genevieve, Buddy and Lorraine, or Buddy and Betty. The name of MacMaster in Inverness County, in the Province of Nova Scotia, and all over the country is synonymous with the best of Scottish music. In the veins of the MacMasters flows the musical genes of their namesakes the MacDonalds (Clann Sheumais) and the Gillises, all of whom have made a great contribution to Scottish culture (especially music) in this part of the world.

Kinnon is not only a talented player, but he is also a prolific composer. He is frequently visited by the Muse of music and coupled with his own genius and Scottish tradition he has composed approximately two hundred tunes consisting of marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs and clogs. It would be fitting that such a composer would compile a book including all of his compositions. May we look to the future with hopes that this will be his next project.

Accompanying Kinnon and Betty on this album is David MacIsaac of Halifax, whose roots dig deep into the musical, fertile soil of Inverness County. David's father, a violin player himself, hails from Dunvegan, Inverness County, Nova Scotia and his mother's roots are in the Lake Ainsli area. Dave is known across Canada and parts of the USA. His versatility in the field of musical instruments is so great that the noted Cape Breton performer John Allan Cameron says that if you could put strings on a codfish, David could play it. David's contribution is from the strings of his acoustic guitar.

We look forward with great anticipation to this new album which undoubtedly will be a great addition to everyone's library of Cape Breton Scottish Music.

Rev. John Angus Rankin

Louis Beaudoin
Louis Beaudoin, Philo Records FI - 2000 - 1973

Louis Beaudoin, fiddle and clogging; Sylvia Beaudoin, piano; Wilfred Beaudoin, guitar; Rod Fuller, bones; Lisa Beaudoin, tap dance

Production: David Green and Phil Hresko; Engineered by David Green and Michael Couture; Recorded at Earth Audio Techniques Inc., N. Ferrisburg, Vermont

(Although Louis Beaudoin is an American, his family has close historical roots with Quebec and the Maritimes. - ed)

Tracks: The Rags; Isidore’s Reel; Golden Wedding Reel; The Growling Old Man and the Cackling Old Woman; Eddie’s Reel; Gaspé Reel; Wilfred Guillette’s Favourite Reel; Woodchopper’s Reel; Dad’s Reel; Westphalia Waltz; Alexander McKenzie’s March; Saint Anne’s Reel; Reel of the Hanged Man

Some of Louis Beaudoin’s earliest memories are of his father playing fiddle at home and for parties and weddings in the French Canadian community of Lowell, Mass. His father would frequently play music until late at night at friends’ houses. When Louis was fifteen, he decided that he too would play the fiddle. His father would play tunes for him on the fiddle and his mother would sing melodies to him until he learned them. Many of the tunes his family knew were those popular in the French Canadian community. They also listened to French music broadcasts on CKAC Canada and to 78 recordings of Isidore Soucy, Joseph Allard, and Tommy Duchesne.

Louis’ grandparents emigrated from the Laurentian region of Canada to the United States like many other French Canadians of their generation who left their farms around the turn of the century to find work in the factory towns of New England. They brought with them a rich musical heritage. Louis was born 52 years ago in Lowell, Mass. In 1937, when the economy was recovering from the Depression, Louis’ father thought he could find work in Vermont and so moved his family to Burlington. Louis has lived here ever since. During World War II, he served in Africa and Europe as a member of the General Patton’s tank corps. He is married to the former Julie Lacourse and is the father of five daughters; Louise (Brown), Carmen (Bombardier), Sylvia (Blaise), Nina and Lisa. For many years he was a member of the Burlington Police Force. At present he owns and operates an automobile radiator repair shop adjacent to his home.

Like his family before him, Louis has passed on his love of the music. Three of his daughters play the piano. Sylvia Blaise, 22, accompanies her father on this record. The basic style that she uses is common to French Canadian dance music. She plays octaves in the bass with her left hand on each beat and three note chords with her right hand on the off beats. Louis’ daughter Lisa, 16, can be heard clogging with taps on her shoes to “The Growling Old Man and Cackling Old Woman”. On most of the tunes on this record you can hear Louis’ feet as he clogs. He plays the fiddle while sitting down so that he can tap his feet. He learned to clog from both his father and his maternal grandmother. He recalls his grandmother raising her floor length skirts and holding her body still while tapping out complicated rhythms in time to the music with her high boots.

Also accompanying Louis on this record is his brother Wilfred Beaudoin of Burlington, who plays guitar. They have played together since their youth. After World War II, Willy became a jazz guitarist and until recently had his own band which played in the Burlington area. Will is an automobile salesman.

Rod Fuller, a steel construction worker from North Hyde Park, Vermont, plays bones on this record. In one hand he holds two pieces of ebony carved in the flat shape of beef ribs, and in the other hand, two actual beef ribs. Held loosely between the fingers, they are shaken rhythmically by turning the wrists. His father taught him how to play.

Louis joined the Northeast Fiddler’s Association when it was founded in 1966. He discovered that the fellowship with other musician’s renewed his incentive to play. Louis often performs in public. He has played for many social occasions, and for the Vermont State Legislature, the Vermont Historical Society, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the Vermont Traditional Music Festival at Bolton Valley.

David Green
Burlington, Vermont, 1973

The Rags - When he first moved to Burlington, Louis learned this tune from Denis Mathieu. This is a common French Canadian reel.

Isadore’s Reel - Louis picked up this traditional reel from Simon St. Pierre, a French Canadian fiddler of Lawrence, Mass. Simon learned the tune from an old Isadore Soucy record.

Golden Wedding Reel - Louis found this tune on a record. He thinks it was played by Don Messer, a well known Canadian fiddler.

The Growling Old Man and the Cackling Old Lady - Louis heard this tune on Don Messer’s radio show in the early 1950s. Lisa Beaudoin is clogging on this selection.

Eddie’s Reel - This tune is named for Ed Plante, who wrote the tune and taught it to Louis. It is in the traditional French Canadian style.

Gaspé Reel - Louis’ version of this tune has three parts. The first two parts form a traditional tune of the same name which Louis learned from a fiddler, Joe Danis, who is now living and playing music in California. The third part, which Louis adds, is the initial part of a tune called Money Musk. Louis first heard this three part version of Gaspé Reel fiddled by Fortuna Vachon, of Thetford Mines, Quebec.

Wilfred Guillette’s Favourite Reel - While he was still living in Massachusetts, Louis learned this tune from an Isadore Soucy record. He has named this tune for a local fiddler and friend, although its traditional title is the Cobbler’s Reel.

Woodchopper’s Reel - Louis mastered this traditional tune when he first began to play the fiddle. It was a popular tune of the times, and he remembers hearing it from a variety of sources.

Dad’s Reel - This is a traditional tune that Louis’ father often played and so Louis calls it by this title in honor of his father.

Westphalia Waltz - Before Louis joined the Northeast Fiddler’s Association, he played only reels. These were the tunes that were in demand at parties and weddings. However, in order to compete in the Northeast Fiddlers’ Contests, Louis had to learn to play waltzes. He picked up this waltz after hearing it played by several different fiddlers at N.E.F. meetings. For part of this tune, Willy takes the lead on guitar.

Alexander McKenzie’s March - Louis got this tune from a Graham Townsend record about five years ago. This is a traditional tune which Townsend renamed.

Saint Anne’s Reel - This is a very common French Canadian reel Louis learned from his father.

Reel of the Hanged Man - This tune Louis plays in an open A tuning (C# A E A). Other fiddlers play it in standard tuning, yet Louis’ father taught his son to play the reel in this manner. His father knew a story about this tune. A man was to be hanged. He protested that he was innocent. He was told that if he could play a tune on the fiddle, an instrument that he had never played before, he would prove his innocence and would be spared. The condemned man took the fiddle offered him and tuned it the best he could. He tuned it in open A tuning and played so well that he gained his freedom. This is the tune he played. (It is interesting to note that the traditional title indicates that the condemned man met a different fate.)

The Beaudoin Family
La Famille Beaudoin, Philo Records, 2022, 1976

Louis Beaudoin, fiddle; Louise (Brown) Beaudoin & Lisa Beaudoin, piano; Wilfred Beaudoin, guitar; Rod Fuller, bones; Robert Beaudoin, harmonica; Julie Beaudoin, vocal; Fred Beaudoin, caller

Produced by Bill Schubart; notes by Paul Wells; Recorded at Earth Audio Techniques, Inc., North Ferrisburg, Vermont

Tracks: Joe's Favorite; La Bastringue; Le reel du célibataire; Reel in D; Fireside Reel; La Tuque bleue; Brenda's Reel; La Grande chaîne; Le Reel des nouveaux mariés; Reel in D; Reel in G; Le Reel du sucre; Reel de Montréal; La Grande gigue simple; La Bénédiction du père

In the past few years Louis Beaudoin has become known as one of the finest old-time French-Canadian fiddlers in New England. Musical talent runs throughout the Beaudoin family, however, and this records, while featuring Louis' fiddling, allows other members of the family to demonstrate some of their skills. All three of Louis' younger brothers are musically inclined and can be heard on this album: Willie provides guitar accompaniment though-out; Robert playas the mouth organ on 'Brenda's Reel'; and Freddie calls dance changes for 'La Grande chaîne.' Julie Beaudoin, Louis' wife and a staunch supporter of French-Canadian traditional music, sings the beautiful 'La Bénédiction du père' which closes the album. Louis and Julie's children are musically talented and two of their five daughters, Louise (Brown) and Lisa, provide piano accompaniment on this album. Lisa has become well-known in her own right as an outstanding stepdancer. She often performs at fiddle contests and other events through-out the northeast, with her father supplying the music.

Music has always been an important part of the Beaudoin family's life. Much of Louis' early musical training came from his parents, and he plays many tunes which he proudly identifies as 'old numbers I got from my Dad.' His father was a fiddler and his mother, who played the piano, knew Mr. Beaudoin's tunes well enough to be able to sing them to Louis when he was struggling to learn the fiddle. Willie began to play music at about the same time as Louis and they often played together as boys. However, in a house with two younger brothers, they frequently found it necessary to lock themselves in the bathroom in order to practice in peace! After Louis and Julie were married and had children of their own, fiddle music became a part of the family entertainment. As Louis recalled:

"Occasionally I used to sit in the house here with Louise, my oldest one, who was only seven years old at that time and by gosh, she had to jump from one key to another (on the piano) to accompany me and yet, she could do it! So, at night I'd sit here with the piano and Julie with the other kids, and I'd play for them. Good many evenings we'd spend that way!"

Louis' fiddling has the distinctive rhythmic drive which is the hallmark of a good dance fiddler and which is extremely difficult to produce unless one has had the experience of playing for dancers. Although old-time fiddling is presently enjoying tremendous popularity, the number of fiddlers whose music can generate the urge to 'get up and dance' in the way which Louis does is indeed small. The key to achieving this 'danceability' lies with the fiddler's bow work. The accents and expressions which Louis produces with his bow strengthen the rhythmic aspects of the music and make rhythm as important a feature of Louis' tunes as melody. Louis' skill at providing this danceable rhythm has been shaped by many nights of playing for old-time kitchen dances, sitting on the kitchen table and fiddling all night with no accompaniment apart from his own clogging. He has also had considerable experience playing for stepdancers, especially, of course, for his daughter Lisa. Louis recognizes the importance of blowing in giving life to his playing, and once told me:

"When I learn a new number, naturally the first thing is to get my fingers on the notes. then it's the coordination of that bow, to try to make it 'talk' more."

The fiddling on this record shows just how well Louis has carried out this intent.

The Music

Although the history of French-Canadian dance music has yet to be thoroughly researched, the repertoire of contemporary fiddlers within this tradition, such as Louis Beaudoin, can be said to be a mixture of several different elements. Tunes and dance traditions brought to the New World by early French settlers have been supplemented by materials drawn from British American tradition and by locally composed tunes. Within the past few decades, phonograph records have played an important role in the continuance and development of French-Canadian traditional music.

When Louis was learning to play the fiddle, he often listened to and learned from Joe Danis, a neighbor in Burlington, Vermont. 'Joe's Favorite' is one of the tunes which Louis picked up from him, and he has named it in Joe's honor. 'La Bastringue', which Louis learned from his father, is one of the most widely-known pieces in French-Canadian tradition, and it is often performed as a song as well as a dance tune. Many artists have recorded 'La Bastringue', including La Bolduc (Starr 15765) and Jean Carignan (Elektra-Everest Legacy LEG 120).

Throughout a lifetime of fiddling, Louis has picked up many tunes that he can no longer ascribe to any definite source. 'Bachelor's Reel (Le reel du célibataire)', 'Reel in D' and 'Fireside Reel' are three such tunes. The title for the first of these comes from Henri Landry, whose recording of the tune can be heard on Philo F1 2002. Louis learned 'La Tuque Bleue' from an early album by Jean Carignan. Carignan played the tune in F, but Louis has transposed it into the key of D. A 'tuque' is a knit cap of the type commonly associated with the dress of lumberjacks.

Along with the fiddle and accordion, the mouth organ is a popular instrument for playing French-Canadian dance music. 'Brenda's Reel' which Bobby Beaudoin playas on this instrument, is a traditional tune which he has named after his daughter. It has also been recorded as 'Reel du 'Snack Bar'' by fiddler Ti-Blanc Richard (RCAV 55-5406).

Side Two of the album opens with Freddie Beaudoin calling the figures of a Square dance to Louis' fiddling. Although he has never been a professional caller, Freddie calls dances at weddings and family get-togethers. Dance historian S. Foster Damon has credited the French with the invention of the square dance, claiming that it was their modification of the English Country Dance which was popular throughout Europe in the 18th Century (The History of Square Dancing, Proceedings of the american Antiquarian Society, vol. 62, part 1, April 1952, pp 63-98). This relationship between British and French dance forms helps to explain the basic structural similarity which exists between most French-Canadian and British American fiddle tunes. 'Newlywed Reel (Le Reel des nouveaux mariés)' is a good example of a tune which, in various forms, is played in both Anglo and French traditions. Although Louis' high part seems to be unique to this tune, the low part can be found in many other pieces, including the Shetland Isles tune 'Aandowin at the Bow'; an Irish tune known variously as 'O'Connell's reel'; 'The Maid that Left the County'; or 'Half Penny Reel'; and a tune known as 'Old Crow' or 'Crooked Road to Dublin'.

'Reel in D' and 'Reel in G' are two more tunes which Louis has learned over the years from unknown sources.

One of the best and most widely-recorded Quebec fiddlers was the late Isadore Soucy. Louis has listened to many of Soucy's recordings and learned 'La Reel du sucre' from one of them. 'Reel de Montréal' is a tune which Louis has recently worked out from a melody which was going through his mind. The high part of this version is similar to 'Armand Signette' as played by Graham Townsend (Caprice SCPL 24030), but the tune is otherwise the same as 'Montreal Reel' recorded by Clem Myers (Fretless 103).

To many French-Canadians, the word 'gigue' (jig) means a stepdance rather than a tune in 6;8 time. 'La Grande gigue simple' is a traditional stepdance tune which Louis learned from his father. The form of the tune, organized in three beat phrases, is unlike anything found in British American dance music, with the possible exception of the triple-timed hornpipe which was once common in England. This tune is also known as 'Red River Jig' and has been recorded under this title by fiddler Frankie Rodgers (Point P-324).

Julie Beaudoin's song, 'La Bénédiction du père', which she has known since her youth, describes the traditional practice of coming before the family patriarch on New Year's Day and asking for his blessing for the coming year. Many families regard this as a necessary custom and are almost superstitious in their observance of it, but it is also seen as a pleasant experience. Since Mr. Beaudoin's death, Louis has assumed the role of head of the family and his younger brothers now come to him on New Year's Day to receive his blessing. This song has special significance to the Beaudoin's for Mr. Beaudoin sang it frequently to his children and the first time Louis heard Julie sing it, it only increased his love for her.

Paul F. Wells
Los Angeles, California
December, 1976

Albert Beaulieu

Old Native And Métis Fiddling in Manitoba, Vol 1, Falcon FP - 187

Lucien Bédard


Lucien Bédard, Trans-Canada TCM-2907

Lucien Bédard, violon et accordeon (all that’s listed)

Produced by Les Productions Victo

Tracks: Reel du nord, Le vieux moulin, Reel du douvenir, Le Vieux Mousquet, La Cardeuse, Reel des defricheurs, Reel des trappeurs, La Marchina, Reel des rapides, La gigue des mocassin

Lucien Bédard au violon, Victoriaville - VIC-31004

Lucien Bédard, violon; Madame Corine Bédard, piano; Julien Comtois, guitare; Pamphile Lemay, basse; René Poulette, batteur

Produced by Jacques Boissonneault; Engineer: Paul-Emile Mongeau; recorded at Les Studios d'Enregistrement National Inc, Victoriaville Quebec

Tracks: Le Reel du pecheur; Le Reel des fetes; La valse a maman; Le reel du reveillon; Le reel des alouettes; Le reel de Ste-Anne; Le reel de Victoriaville; La valse des papillons; Le reel des bouleaux; Le reel du canot d'ecorce

Emile Benoit
Emile’s Dream, Quay CS 7932, 1979

Emile Benoit, fiddle & skat singing; Ron Hynes, acoustic guitar; Kelly Russell, mandolin, bodhran, second fiddle

Producer: Kelly Russell; Engineer: NeilBishop and Claude Caines; Recorded at Clode Sound Studios, Newfoundland, April 1979

Tracks: Dian’s Happiness - David’s Reel*; Arriving to St. John’s - Emile’s Dream*, Ryan’s Fancy Arriving*, Reels - Comfort - Washroom & Joe Smallwood’s*, Clode Sound Jig*, Roaming Scott*, Piccadilly Slant - West Bay Centre - Making The Curve To Black Duck Brook - Brother’s Jig*, Happiness Reel - Lovers Reel*, Jigs - Le Sabot - Gravel Pond*, Skeleton Reel - Flying Reel*, Lightkeepers Jig - Long Point Reel*, Michael T Wall Braekdown*, Emile’s Reels, Farewell Reel*

Emile Benoit is a French Newfoundlander. Born on March 24, 1913 in the small community of Black Duck Brook on the Port Aux Port Peninsula, he has been both a fisherman and a farmer, a carpenter and a logger, a blacksmith, an unofficial doctor and the father of thirteen children. Emile is also a fine storyteller, comedian, step-dancer and fiddler, as well as being a very warm and wonderful person.

Kelly Russell

When I was a young fellow, I remember, my father used to sing and play with two sticks. he would put one up under his chin like the fiddle and he’d go like a bow with the other one. He was singing the jigs and me, now, I used to dance and every night I would say, “Dad, come on, give us some fiddle,” and he’d take the two sticks and he’d play. He used to tell me about his father, Henri, who was a fiddler, and his grandfather, who came over here from France and I thought about that a lot; I carried that around in my brain.

One time I said “Dad,” I said. “Can you make me a fiddle?” So he took an old piece of board, and he took out his pocket knife and shaped it to look like a fiddle. So, alright; he told me to go ask Mom for some sewing thread. She wasn’t too pleased to give it to me because thread was about 5 cents a reel; a lot of money in them times. But she give it to me anyway and, my son, my heart was pumping about 100 mile a minute. So, anyway, my father cut the thread into four pieces and made the strings, he made a little bridge, and a bow, then he gave it to me to try. Well I rubbed the bow on it and, you know, supposing you were to give me a million dollars right now, it wouldn’t make me so happy as I was then with that little fiddle. It didn’t make no sound, you know, just a sort of buzzing noise like a bumble bee or something. And how I used to haul on that, every day, giving it to her. My mother couldn’t keep enough thread around to patch the clothes.

So, good enough. I had an uncle; his name was John, and when he seen me going at that he said to my father, “That Emile, you know, if he had a real fiddle, he could play it.” “Yes,” said my father, “I think so because he likes it.” “Well,” said Uncle John, “I think I’m gonna make him one.” It took about a year before he finally made me one. It wasn’t the best but it was pretty good. He got some catgut strings, horsehair for the bow and a spruce frankgum for the rosin. so, good enough. He showed me a jig and I still remember it; I can still play it. And my father, he would sing the old jigs that my grandfather used to play and I learned them. When I was 16 years old I played for what they used to call a “spree”. I was the only one around here who could play, you see, and they’d get me to play all the time so I got good. But after years and years of playing the same jigs all the time, I got tired of them. I had no where to get the tunes; there was no radio or phonograph, so I started making them up. And I’d give them names when I composed them, like Joe Smallwood’s Reel and Long Point Reel and Farewell Reel. One night I had company here and I played a reel that I composed. I said, “Do you like that one?” They said “No, Emile, we don‘t like it. We love it.” So I baptised it Lover’s Reel. I named the Comfort Reel after an old stove I had here one time. Another time a reel came to my mind when I was sitting on the toilet, so I called it Washroom Reel. I was driving through Piccadilly one time when a reel came to me and I baptised it Piccadilly Slant after the part of the road that goes down in a long slope. West Bay Centre and Making The Curve To Black Duck Brook I composed that day too; all named for the drive down to my home. I was on a plane one time and the sound of the wings brought a reel to my mind: The Flying Reel. Another time I was on a plane coming back from Mariposa Festival with Kelly Russell and Wilf Wareham and I was playing my fiddle when the captain said that we would be landing in St. John’s airport. so I called my jig Arriving To St. John’s. I composed Ryan’s Fancy Arriving while I was waiting for them to come to my house to make a Canadian Express show. I didn’t compose Emile’s Reels; they’re old tunes that I put together with a little bridge part to join them up. The first one is called Rooster’s Reel and I forget the other ones name. The Clode Sound Jig is a new one that came into my mind when I was at the studio to make this record. One time in Toronto I was playing at the Caravan and Michael T. Wall asked me to compose a reel for him. Another time when I was asleep in my bed, I dreamed about one. At three o’clock in the morning, I woke up and here was the tune in my mind. so, I got up and I took my violin and I played it. I had no tape recorder so I called my sister and told her that it was an emergency and she had to tape my jig over the telephone because if I went back to bed, I might forget it. so I went back to bed and, sure enough, when I got up, the jig was gone. A good thing I called my sister. I called the tune Emile’s Dream. I baptised the Skeleton Reel after the time when I was followed home by a skeleton. That’s a true story; no lie. Some time when you see me playing somewhere, I’ll tell you about it.

Emile Benoit

Vive La Rose, Amber Music, ACC 49386 - 1992

Emile Benoit, fiddle& vocals; Pamela Morgan, background vocals, guitar, synthesizer & tin whistles; Noel Dinn, background vocals, bodhran; Kelly Russell, bouzouki, mandolin, mountain dulcimer; Christina Smith, supporting fiddle, violin, cello; Sandy Morris, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro; Rob Laidlaw, bass; Frank Mahar, button accordion; Jeff Panting, piano accordion; Roy O'Brien Jr, jew's harp

Produced by Noel Dinn, Gary Furniss & Pamela Morgan; All Arrangements by Pamela Morgan & Noel Dinn; Mixed and Engineered by Gary Furniss; Additional Engineering by Terry Windsor; Mix assistant, Noel Dinn; Mastered at the Lacquer Channel, Toronto; Recorded at CBC Studio F in St. John's, NF and at Hypnotic Studios, Toronto ON

Tracks: Christina's Dream / Tootsie Wootsie; Neil Murray's Dinner Jig / Go To The Cape Uncle Joe / Forgotton Note; Noel Dinn / Pamela's Lonely Nights; Vive Le Rose; Waltzing In The House; The Land We're Walking On; Skipper & Company / On The Road Again / Claudine; Festival Reel / Jeff's Tune / Meech Lake Breakdown / McCormack's Breakdown; Sally's Waltz / Wedding Waltz; Fight For Your Rights/ Jerry's Red Mountain Jig / Le Papier le Gaboteur; Lady Margaret; Brother's Farewell / Caribou Skin Nailed Around The Circle / Wayne and the Bear

On March 24th, 1992, Emile Benoit celebrated his '40th' birthday. He is not married, but his wife is, and he still can't decide what to do with his hair.

Emile was born, raised and still lives in Black Duck Brook on the Port-au-Port Peninsula on the west coast of Newfoundland. The area was populated by Bretons and Acadians from the 1820s on and is still mainly French speaking. The surrounding area is strongly coloured by Scottish tradition, the influence of which is to produce a curious and fascinating mix in Emile's essentially French music.

Emile has done many things in his lifetime. he is a father of 13 children, fisherman, farmer, carpenter, healer, dentist, part-time veterinarian, blacksmith, story-teller, raconteur, musician, and composer, to name but a few. He began playing the fiddle at the age of nine, and throughout the years has developed his own style, marked by an uncommon gift for composition. He is also a fascinating performer and loves nothing better than to entertain an audience, clowning around, waltzing with his fiddle, lying on his back while playing, dancing and singing at the top of his lungs. His "joie de vivre" is infectious and he is dearly loved by all who know him.

Emile has travelled widely of late, and is steadily gaining the recognition he so richly deserves. He has two previous albums, Emile's Dream (1979), produced by Kelly Russell, and It Comes From The Heart (1982), produced by Kelly Russell and Dr. Gerald Thomas of Memorial University's folklore department. Both are on the Pigeon Inlet label. Emile has played regularly at numerous folk festivals in Newfoundland and across Canada, including Mariposa, Vancouver Folk Festival, Annual Festival du Québec, Lunnenberg Festival, Festival Longuevielée, Hangashore Festival, Carbonear Music Festival, St. John's Folk Festival, and Stephenville Music Festival. He performs frequently at the "Sound Symposium" in Newfoundland and was Newfoundland's representative with a touring Acadian entourage "Le Pistroli en Atlantique", of which he quickly became the star. He has done extensive radio work in both English and French, including Peter Gzowski's "90 Minutes Live", and radio performances in France. Emile has been the subject of numerous scholarly books and articles, and holds an honorary Doctorate from Memorial University. Through his friend Gerald Thomas, who has been instrumental in exposing Emile to Folklore students and enthusiasts from around the world, he has performed in concert in Norway, France, England, and the USA. Figgy Duff has featured Emile in many concerts over the years, including a memorable trip to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Lafayette in Louisiana in 1988, and the WOMAD Festival in Toronto in 1989, after which this recording was started. In 1992 the Newfoundland and Labrador Art Council conferred upon Emile the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his full and rich career.

Emile's influence can be heard wherever traditional music is played in Newfoundland, as most younger traditional bands play his tunes.

Some of the tunes on this album may be recognizable to some people by a different name. Emile composes a lot of his tunes, and the ones that he doesn't remember where they came from he will christen with a title he deems suitable, whether it be for a particular person or event. This is the way in the ever changing, evolving, oral tradition.

It is with great pleasure and pride that everybody involved in this project presents this recording. Emile is an inspiration to us all, as much for his spirit as for his music. Emile Benoit represents a vanishing breed, but through his music his 'love for all people' will live forever.

"Thank you to everybody that supported me and made me a very happy man."
"Merci à tous ceux qui m'ont aidé et qui m'ont rendu très heureux."

Emile Benoit

(ED. Note: Emile Benoit passed away shortly after this was released)

Atlantic Fiddling, CBC LM470 - 1979
See Compilations

The Jarvis Benoit Quartet

The Jarvis Benoit Quartet, Salt Records SA 103 - 1980

Jarvis Benoit, fiddle; Louis Benoit, guitar, mandolin; Alex Reitsma, bass; Andrew Russell, banjo, guitar; Produced by Paul Mills; Executive Producer: Sylvia Tyson; Engineer: Pat Martin; Recorded at Audio Atlantic, Halifax.

Tracks: The Rocky Road To Lisdoonvarna - Rickett's Hornpipe - Sleepy Maggie; Dever the Dancer - Give Us A Drink Of Water; Ragtime Annie - French Two-Step (Plamondon); Mrs. Jamieson's Fancy - Neil Gow's Lamentation for James Moray of Abercairny - Mrs. Monroe's Jig - Temperance Reel; London Hornpipe - Timour the Tartar; Two Part Invention No. 8 in F major; The Growling Old Man and the Growling Old Woman; The Sailor's Wife - Julia Delaney; The Farmer's Schottische; La Bastringue - Vot' P'tit Chien - Madame - Moneymusk; Dougherty's Fancy - Rakes of Mallow; King George IV (Menzies) - King's Reel - Big John McNeil

In the villages of Port Royal, Richmond Co., Cape Breton, Jarvis Benoit took up the fiddle to learn traditional French, Irish and Scottish music and to play the 'popular' radio tunes of the day as they took his fancy. With time, and practice around home, he set about entertaining at country dances and weddings so that by age 20 he was leading his own band The Acadian Playboys and establishing his music at social gatherings throughout Cape Breton Island. In 1951, after 5 years of heading his own band, he joined up with well known orchestra leader Fulbert Boudreau. Fulbert's orchestra, playing a sophisticated blend of traditional and 'swing time' music, entertained both rural and urban audiences and toured extensively around Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia. For seven years Jarvis remained with them, making frequent guest appearances on radio station CJFX in Antigonish until, in 1957, with the relocation of his family to Halifax, he retired for a while from full time musical endevour.

Jarvis came out in public again in 1972 playing at the 2nd Annual Nova Scotia Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival. In the next year, joined professionally by his son Louis, Jarvis's career began to bloom again. Louis Benoit's fine mandolin and guitar playing had earned him a good deal of credibility among the growing number of traditional music enthusiasts in the Halifax area. In his travels Louis had developed a strong musical rapport with Halifax-based player, Andrew Russell. Andrew's avid interest in traditional music and detailed banjo work, plus strong solo and accompaniment capabilities on guitar, proved to be lively ingredients in the musical recipe Jarvis and Louis were cooking up. 1977 saw these three combining talents with guitar/dobro man Kevin Roach and bassist John MacMillan for the recording of an album on the Solar label (for Maritime release) entitled Jarvis Benoit. In the fall of '79 veteran sideman Alex Reitsma took over as bassist, applying his keen ear and sonorous style to the group's finely tuned arrangements. Thus began a string of club and festival dates that earned the band regional and national radio / tv exposure.

This combination of instrumentalists now makes up The Jarvis Benoit Quartet. Here they present a truly collective tonal effort that highlights a musical career which has spanned fifty years of creativity and experience... the career of Jarvis Benoit, fiddler extraordinaire.

W. Stevenson

Most Canadians have a special place in their hearts for traditional music, especially fiddle music, and I believe The Jarvis Benoit Quartet is creating for itself a very important role in the preservation and perpetuation of that tradition. It is seldom one finds such sheer musicianship combined with such imagination and humour. They are a joy to listen to, a blending of Celtic melody and bluegrass drive and classical intricacy.

This album has been a priority with me ever since I heard the group during a taping of some of the final broadcasts of "Touch The Earth" I did in Halifax last year. I now have the priviledge of passing it on to you, so that it can take its place among those extra-special albums in your collection.

Sylvia Tyson

Dean Bernier

Dean Bernier: The Fiddle Player Bernier Music SP 034, 1990 - resissued 1999

Dean Bernier, fiddle; Tom Seesequasis, drums, steel guitar; Earl Switenky, bass, piano; Diane Heinrich, guitar; Trent Bruner, piano; Produced by Dean Bernier; Engineer: Al Schommer; recorded at Cana Song Recording, North Battleford, SK; remastered by Sander Productions, 1999

Tracks: Mandy May Breakdown*; Faded Love; Soldier's Joy; Curly Hair; Maytwayasing Waltz; Road To Perdue*; Armanda Hornpipe*; Casey Jones; Bully of the Town; Westphalia / Black Velvet Waltz; Andy / D.J.'s Jig*; Alabama Jubilee

Special thanks: to the members of the back-up band, The Govan Fiddle Association and the people who supported my fiddling throughout the years.

Preservin' Tradition: More Old Time Dance Favorites Vol. 1 Bernier Music SP 015, 1996

Dean Bernier, fiddle; Sandra Sawatsky, piano; Darcy Sander, trumpet, trombone, rhythm guitar, percussion; Dave Monette, double bass, bag pipes, penny whistle, saxophone, flute; Produced by Darcy Sander; Engineer: Darcy Sander; recorded at Sander Productions, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Tracks: Saskatchewan Circle - Circassion Circle (Whalen's Breakdown); The belfield (A Hundred Pipers); Cotton Eyed Joe (Cotton Eyed Joe / Three Men On A White Horse); Ranger's Waltz; Red River Jig; French Minuet; Highland Two Step (Road To The Isles); Atlantic Polka No. 1; Cross Country Waltz; Schottische (Hi-Lo Schottische); Three Step (O My Darling Clementine); The Barn Dance (Casey Jones); Canadian Four Step; Waltz Quadrille; Circle Two Step (Snow Deer / Red Wing); Square Dancer's First Change - Jig Medley (Uncle Jim / Rock Valley / Old Red Barn / Haste To The Wedding / Farmer's Jamboree / Rippling Water / To The Ladies / Irish Washerwoman)

The original intent of this recording project was to develop instructional tapes for my students. It is the direct result of numerous requests from music students, their grandparents, and dance enthusiasts, to compile a collection of traditional old time dance tunes. Having been one of the last players of my generation to play dances in a one room school house (age 12) enables me to not only play these tunes, but teach them to the players of tomorrow. For those of you who recall listening and dancing to these tunes, may it bring back fond memories. I feel a responsibility to release these recordings as my personal contribution to preservin' tradition.

Dean Bernier

Preservin' Tradition: More Old Time Dance Favorites Vol. 2 Bernier Music SP 016, 1996

Dean Bernier, fiddle; others unknown; Produced by Darcy Sander; Engineer: Darcy Sander; recorded at Sander Productions, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Tunes: Boston Two Step; The Big Apple; Rye Waltz (Coming Through The Rye); Highland Schottische (Weel May Keel Row); Heel - Toe Polka; Varsouvienne (Put Your Little Foot / My Wild Irish Rose); Buffalo Glide (The Girl I Left Behind Me / Buffalo Gals); Seven Step / Gay Gordon (or) The Jersey (Cock of the North); Drops of Brandy; Oklahoma Mixer (London Hornpipe); Grand Square (Bird Dance); Eigh Hand Reel (Whiskey Before Breakfast); Anniversary Waltz; Square Dancer's 2nd - 3rd Chang (Five Mile Chase / St. Anne's Reel / Big John McNeil / Fisher's Hornpipe / Uncle Henry's Reel / Rambler's Hornpipe / Turkey In The Straw / Devil's Dream); Show Me The Way To Go Home / Good Night Ladies

Tilou Bonhomme


Tilou Bonhomme avec Smiley Willette & The Sunset Ramblers - The Fiddler Vol. I Westar Records WSL 33.102, circa 1975

Tunes: Sally Gooden; Ramblers Hornpipe; Rubber Dolly; Grandmother’s Reel; Plattsburg Reel; Tilou’s Breakdown*; New Sidewalk Waltz; Lonesome Indian; Maple Sugar; Boiled a Cabbage Down

Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault

Portrait Du Vieux Kebec - Volume 2 - Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault, violoneux - raconteur, Opus OP-219

Prise du son: Laurent Simard; Réalisteurs: Bertrand Gauthier et Réal Tremblay; Production: Les Productions Le Tamanoir Inc; Studio: Sim-Art Laval, Québec

Tracks: Gigue a Philibert - Gigue A Ma Marriane, Alfreda; Set Carré - Brandy des Vaillancourt; La Grande Gigue Simple du Lac St-Jean - Reel Neuf; Le Grand Triomphe - La Belle Catherine; La Traverse du Saguenay*; Le Reel A Cedulie*; Le Reel de la pêche aux caplans*; Le Reel du capitaine du 22ème*

Louis Boudreault représent aujourd’hui le début du siècle. Ses monologues et gigues évoquent les soirées où tout un peuple vibrait à rire, à chanter et à danser, pour oublier pendant quelques heures les durs labeurs d’une journée trop longue.

Ce répertoire, appris de son père Elias Boudreault, de son oncle Thomas Vaillancourt, champion violoneux du Lac St-Jean dans les années 1880, ou de sa propre composition, est unique en son genre: il représente, par son style et sa couleur, l’époque des colonisateurs du grenier du Québec qu’est le Saguenay-Lac St-Jean.

J’ai rencontré Louis ‘Pitou’ Boudreault pour la primière fois un vendredi aprés-midi, à Montréal. Il y était de passage avant de se rendre au festival de Mariposa à Toronto. Au premier contact, j’ai tout de suite senti toute la chaleur de l’homme.

Louis Boudreault n’est pas seulement un violoneux, c’est aussie un conteur. Et surtout, c’est un homme simple et sans prétention qui joue du violon un peu comme son épouse fait le pain.

Il est plus un homme qu’une tradition. Mais, il est aussi une tradition: celle de la grande gigue simple du Lac St-Jean, de la gigue à Pilibert ou à la marriane Alfreda. C’est la tradition des soirées de danse qui n’en finissent plus et des viloneux qui manient l’archet pendant des dizaines d’heures, ne s’arrêtant que pour un p’tit verre de gin de tempsen temps.

Louis Boudreault, c’est aussi un homme qui raconte à l’aide de son instrument des épisodes de sa vie. Le violon se personnalise alors, devient son langage et nous invite à participer à la pêche aux caplans ou à danser le set carré.

Depuis que j’ai vu et entendu Louis Boudreault, il me vient souvent à l’espirit ce poème de Gilles Vigneault:

Moi quand j’ai connu la musique
J’avais dans les cinq ou six ans
Elle était en habit rustique
et avait le soulier dansant...

Ce soulier dansant, je crois que je viens de le découvrir.

Bertrand Gauthier

Portrait Du Vieux Kebek - Volume 12 - Louis 'Pitou' Boudreault, violoneux du Saguenay - Lac St-Jean, Le Tamanoir 512

Louis Boudreault, violon

Prise de son: Laurent Simard; Rélisation: Bertrand Gautier et Réal Tremblay; Studio Sim-Art

Tracks: Le casse-real de mon père Idas Boudreault; Le petit soldat de bois; Le reel de ma tante Lydia; Le reel de ma grand-mère Odile boudreault; La jarretière; Le reel du pendu; La vieille galope de lac Saint-Jean; Le capitaine trompeur; La disputeuse d'aprés l'oncle Thomas Vaillancourt; La gigue à Tommy; La gigue à Célina; Le bobelo

A la fin du mois d'août 1924 débutait, á Val-Jalbert, la contruction d'un village devant servir aux employés d'un moulin de pâte á papier. C'est Idas Boudreault, père de Pitou, qui fut engagé pour construire le village. Cette équipe d'hommes construisit vingt-huit (28) maisons pouvant accommoder une quarantaine de familles. Pendant environ six an, le moulin opérait vingt-quatre heures par jour. Durant le semaine, le divertissement principal des ouvriers était de danser sur les airs du violon d'Idas Boudreault. La photo du recto de la pochette nous montre la rue principale de Val-Jalbert devenu, depuis 1930, un village fantôme situé à six milles de Roberval.

Le casse-real de mon père Idas Boudreault: "Ça c'est une ancienne danse comme le Brandy, le Grand Triomphe, la Contre-danse. J'l'ai apprise de mon père Idas Boudreault qui lui l'avait apprise de Thomas Vaillancourt, l'oncle de ma mère, le frère de son père. C'est une pièce qu'on peut juste écouter, tellement est belle."

Le petit soldat de bois: "Thomas Vaillancourt a composé cette pièce sur son violon accordé en vielle. Il s'était fabriqué un petit soldat de bois qu'y'avait habillé d'un uniforme rouge. Ça dansait comme une marionnette, le petit bonhomme de bois. Il s'attachait une corde dans l'pied, et y'a passait dans un anneau. Durant c'qui jouait ce p'tit reel-lá, son petit soldat dansait."

Le reel de ma tante Lydia: "Lydia Boudreault c'était une soeur de papa. Chacun avait son reel propre. Le reel à Odile, ma grand-mère, le reel à Alfreda, ma marraine, le reel à Philbert, mon oncle, le reel à Cédulie, une autre de mas tantes. Ça se définissait comme ça. Le reel à celui-là."

Le reel de ma grand-mère Odile boudreault: "Odile c'était la mére de papa. Le style de Thomas Vaillancourt, y'a rien que moi qui le joue encore. Quand mon père jouait avec lui les gigues doubles, on aurait dit qu'y'avait un seul violon. Ça s'démentissait pas."

La jarretière: "Ils dansaient ça á la fin d'une veillée. Une femme détachait ses gallons de bas et plaçait ça en croix au milieu de la pièce. Tout le monde de la veillée, les femmes comme les hommes y particpait. Celui-lá qui avait dansé le plus longtemps sans déplacer les gallons, ça allait être le champion. L'enjeu c'était un 26 onces de gin."

Le reel du pendu: "J'ai commencé à l'âge de 12 ans à jouer Le Pendu. Je le joue tel que Thomas Vaillancourt. J'ai pas changé une note, pas un coup d'archet. Ça m'a pris une dizaine d'années à me discipliner à faire les petits triolets avec le bras pour le jouer comme ça. Le légend dit qu'on a apporté un violon désaccordé à un condamné à mort en disant que si au matin il pouvait jouer une reel, il serait gracié. C'est ça qu'y'a joué."

La vieille galope de lac Saint-Jean: "Il existe une autre galope, la galope des bergeronnes, du bas du Saguenay, que jouait le père Xavier Dallaire. Il s'installait sur le quai de Tadoussac quand les bateaux de voyageurs arrivaient, les deux pieds calés dans un espèce de carré de sable, et les gens lui garrochaient des trente sous. Mais la vieille galope, je la joue comme Thomas Vaillancourt."

Le capitaine trompeur: "C'était la dernière d'une noce ou d'une grosse veillée. Il s'agissait de se mettre en rond outour de la salle et de former une chaine. Ça commençement par une fille et y'avait un sujet de plus, toujours en quête d'un nouvel associé. Elle s'approchait pour swinger avec un, et aprés, lui se promenait au milieu pour se shoisir une autre partenaire, et ainsi de suite. Ça permettait aux gens de s'approcher l'un l'autre et peut-être de déclencher des amours."

La disputeuse d'aprés l'oncle Thomas Vaillancourt: "Y'en avait un de shoisi dans la maisonnée: À soir c'est toi Philbert avec ta femme, tu vas faire la disputeuse. Y s'improvisaient des paroles, comme ça, des paroles de discussion, pendant que le violoneux la jouait. Quand c'était la bonne femme qui parlait, le joueur de violon tombait sur le refrain en haut, sur les fines. Quand c'était le bonhomme à parler, là y jouait su les grosses, la grosse viox. Le violon suivait les deux interlocuteurs qui se chicanaient. Y s'improvisalent au fur et à mesure comme ça:

Ah, j'te l'avais ben dit que c'était pas une fille pour lui. Cé pas une fille de cultivateur, pis ça s'ra pas une femme de cultivateur non plus. Ça va user plus de draps que de souliers, j'te l'dis moé. Y'é mieux de pas marier ça.

Fa donc pas la folle. Tu te rappelles quand je t'ai mariée té ta pas mieux que ça non plus, pis t'a ben fait mon affaire.

La gigue à Tommy: "Médée Gagné c'était un frère de mon oncle Utrope Vaillancourt qui était un frère de maman. Amédée, c'était un cultivatur et un bon steppeur. Y'avait choisi ce reel là pour danser. Ç'avait été composé par mon oncle Thomas Vaillancourt."

La gigue à Célina: "Célina Gauthier, ça c'était dans la parenté. Cette gigue double-là, c'était la sienne. toutes les gigues doubles que je détiens, jouées sous le faux-ton, ça avait toutes été arrangées par Thomas Vaillancourt."

Le bobelo: "C'était une danse trés populaire qui se passait quand les enfants étaient couchés. Ça se passait un peu comme saute-mouton. Les gens se plaçaient en ligne, les uns darrière les autres, pis les femmes retroussaient leurs jupes. Y'avait souvent des chicanes et ça finissait toujours en orgie. Quant ça se mettait à sauter sur la musique du joueur de violon, y'en avait toujours un pour se crocheter la tête dans jupons, pour voir c'qu'avait en d'sour. Là, ils tombaient tous à terre pis les mains fouinaient partout. Les curés ont voulu arrêter ça et ils s'en sont pris aux violoneux en les menaçant d'excommunication si y'arrêtaient pas d'jouer c'dance-là. Mon père a continué à jouer le Bobelo, mais pour les enfants. A neuf heures, quand fallait que les enfants aillent se coucher, il fallait que papa leur joue leur reel. C'est comme ça que c'est devenu le reel des enfants."

Violoneux: Louis 'Pitou' Boudreault: Musique et danse traditionelle du Saguenay - Lac-Saint Jean: Le Tamanoir TAM 27018 - 1978
Re-issue/réédition OP-219 & TAM 512

Louis 'Pitou' Boudreault, violon; prise de son: Laurent Simard; Réalisation: Bertrand Gauthier et Réal Tremblay

tracks: Gigue à Philbert et Gigue à ma marraine Alfreda; Set carré et Brandy des Vaillancourt; La Grande Gigue Simple du Lac Saint-Jean et le Reel à neuf; Le Grand Triomphe et La Belle Catherine; La Traversé du Saguenay*; Le Reel à Cédulie*; Le Reel de la pêche aux caplans*; Le Reel du Capitaine du 22ième*; Le Casse-reel de mon grand-mère Idas Boudreault*; Le petit soldat de bois; Le Reel de ma tante Lydia; Le Reel de ma grand-mère Odile Boudreault; La Jarretière; Le Reel du pendu; La vieille Galope du Lac Saint-Jean; Le Capitaine Trompeur; La Disputeuse d'aprés l'oncle Thomas Vaillancourt; La Gigue à Tommy; La Gigue à Célina; Le Bobelo

Âgé de 73 ans, M. Louis 'Pitou' Boudreault est devenu le symbole de la redécouverte de notre tradition musicale. Originaire de Chicoutimi, il est le type même du violoneux tel que l'a connu notre ancêtre il y a cent ou cent cinquante ans. Il a conservé un répertoire unique en voie de complète disparition et surtout une manière et une technique propre à sa région. Plus qu'une partie de son répertoire, Louis Boudreault nous offre ici un témoignage vivant et des plus authentiques d'un des facteurs déterminants de notre histoire et de notre culture: la musique. De plus, l'amateur trouvera plaisir à écouter ou à lire les commentaires que fait 'Pitou' Boudreault au sujet des pièces qu'il interprète.

On trouvera aussi, à l'intérieur de la pochette, un feuillet documentaire contenant une biographie de M. Boudreault, les chorégraphies du 'Reel à neuf' et du 'Brandy', deux danses très populaires au Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean ainsi que les commentaires du violoneux sur un douzaine de ses pièces.

(Pardon, mais mon album est sans le feuillet documentaire biographie. ed.)

Pat Boulanger
Fiddling Pat Boulanger

Pat Boulanger, fiddle

Tunes: Fiddle fingers; A Little Moore Jig; Governor General's Waltz; Le Fraises et les Framboises; Golden Slippers; Romeo's Jig; Maple Sugar; French Song; Travellers Jig; Whalen's Breakdown; Prairie Winter Blues; Darling Nellie Gray

Reg Bouvette

Reg Bouvette and Home, Sunshine Records  - SSBCT-400 

Red River Jig, Sunshine Records  - SSBCT-402 

Lookin' Buck, Sunshine Records  - SSBCT-412

Reg Bouvette, fiddle

Produced by Ness Michaels; Recorded by John Hildebrand at Century 21 Studios, Winnipeg MB

Tracks: Reg Bouvette Breakdown*; Smoky Island Breakdown*; Trinia Maria Waltz*; Gateway Rag*; Carol's Waltz*; Ralph's Breakdown*; Red Rose Country Breakdown*; Lookin-Buck*; Maytwaysing Waltz*; Pretty Little Tabby; Little Rock Getaway; The Party Butterfly*

Fiddling Across The Border, Sunshine Records  - SSBCT-425 

Traditional Old Tyme Fiddle Tunes, Sunshine Records SSBP-436, circa 1985

Reg Bouvette, fiddle

Tunes: Drops of Brandy; Crossing The Ferry; Waltz Quadrille; Romeo’s First Change; French Minuet; Ethnic Polka; Duck Dance; Heel & Toe Polka; Big John McNeil; The Wind That Turns; Whiskey Before Breakfast

If is significant to me that in our society of ever changing tastes, styles, and fads certain areas of life remain constant throughout the years. Old Tyme fiddle music has never changed yet it never loses its broad appeal.

Reg Bouvette, a super-star among fiddlers, has a commanding style which is admired by thousands, yet his fame has only begun. This man and his music are loved and respected wherever he goes by fans and fellow musicians as well.

Wherever Reg Bouvette entertains, he moves the listener, whether it brings a smile, a tear or an irresistible impulse to get up and dance.

Reg has won the respect of his many fans as one of the best darn fiddlers around. Fiddling since he was just about knee-high to a grasshopper there is hardly an old tyme fiddle tune that Reg Bouvette is not familiar with. Playing at anything from fiddle contest to every type of dance ranging from square dances, to weddings to Saturday night old tyme dances, to stage shows throughout North America, Reg has become a household name. He has now compiled twelve of the most requested traditional fiddle tunes ever to be released on a single album.

If you love fiddle music, then this album is a must for your collection. Take time to sit back and relax to the music stylings of Reg Bouvette, but if you get the urge to get up and dance – then go right ahead and kick up your heels.

Ness. Michaels
Sunshine Records Ltd.

More Original Fiddle Gems, Sunshine Records  - SSBCT-439

Special Anniversary Edition, Sunshine Records SSBLP-444 - 1987

Reg Bouvette, fiddle; Danny Roussin, drums; Jim Flett, lead guitar; Beryl Bouvette, rhythm guitar; Ray Rogers, bass; Yvette Carriere, piano

Produced by Kerry Hannah; Engineered by Kerry Hannah; Recorded at Sunshine Studios, Winnipeg, MB

Tracks: The Blue Fiddle; Lucky Trapper's Reel; Jennifer's Waltz*; Ti-Jean Bouribale; Marie's Waltz*; Tennessee Blues; Harvey LeClerc's Breakdown*; Arsen Jig*; Shiela's Waltz*; Wilf's Special*; Valerie's Waltz; Seven Step

Friends and fans: This album marks 25 great years in my musical career. Here's a few more originals for many of my fiddling friends to learn. I would like to dedicate this album to my many fans and friends and hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed bringing this to you.

Reg Bouvette

Before working with Reg, I'd only known of him as a legend in country music. We weren't too far along before I came to know him as a warm human being. I'm very proud to be a part of this period in Reg's career.

I know you'll be delighted with this album, because the enjoyment we all had making it comes through on every track.

I especially want to thank Reg for his trust in me, that he would put himself in my hands to create what I have always known Reg to be - A Legend.

Kerry Hannah 

also see 24 Golden Fiddle Greats

Colin J. Boyd

Pioneer Scottish Fiddler, Shanachie Records, CB-1, 1979

Colin J. Boyd, Fiddle; Bess Siddall MacDonald, piano

Tracks: The Little Burnt Potato, Casey’s Pig, Tarbolton Lodge, Sterling Castle, The Flowers of May, Medley of Highland Flings, Medley of Strathspeys and Reels, Medley of Scottish Reels, Medley of Scottish Jigs, Paddy on the Turnpike, Domhnull Tailear - Brochan Lom, Heather On The Hill - Bonnie Annie - Cabar Feidh, Little John’s Hame - This Is No My Ain Lassie - Jamie Hardie, The Mist On The Loch - Bonnie Lass O’Fisher Row

Colin Joseph Boyd, as he was known to his friends and neighbours, was a pioneer of Scottish violin recordings in Canada. Born in Lakevale, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, on New Year’s Day, 1891, the son of Alan R. Boyd and Eunice MacGillivray Boyd, he took an interest in the violin at the early age of three. As a child he would sit between the knees of his uncle, Hughie MacGillivary, observing the player and listening to each tune. The older folks correctly predicted in Gaelic that “the day will come that that fellow will play himself.”

When Hughie MacGillivary died at a young age, his violin was given to Collie, who was twelve years old. the environment of Lakevale nurtured his love of Scottish music. The people of Lakevale had kept their old country traditions, including the Gaelic which he mastered and in which he remained fluent. The way of life, rural, neighbourly and self-reliant, was not unlike that of the crofters of Scotland. Gatherings, bees and celebrations highlighted cropping and harvest times where story tellers, fiddlers, pipers and Gaelic singers provided the entertainment.

The mild and friendly manner of Colin Boyd, coupled with the popularity of his music in the local community and far beyond, kept him busy playing for countless weddings, concerts, dances and celebrations.

The Boyds arrived in Nova Scotia from Arisaig, Scotland, in the late 1700s. A glance at their tartan reveals six colours which are indicative of the many earned honours and accomplishments of the small clan. The Boyd name was prominent in the major battles and events of Scotland. they were prominent, too, at the fatal Battle of Culloden in 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie made his last attempt to regain the throne for the Stuarts. It is little wonder then, that they were among the mane Scottish exiles who later had to seek refuge in Nova Scotia.

An economic slump in Nova Scotia during Colin Boyd’s youth forced him to join another massive exodus of people - the Maritimers who left home in search of work in Central Canada and the New England States just before World War I. Two sojourns in Boston gave Collie the chance to get to know another former Antigonish resident, Dan “The Ridge” MacDonald, whom he regarded as one of the finest of all Scottish fiddlers.

Dan “The Ridge” MacDonald, formerly of Mabou and then Antigonish, handed on to Colin J. Boyd an old Scottish tune which Collie adapted and changed and named “The Little Burnt Potato”. According to Bernie MacIsaac of the Celtic Music Store in Antigonish, it could have been copyrighted under Boyd’s name. The tune, now famous throughout Canada, is associated with “the folks down East”, but few with the exception of Collie’s Antigonish friends know its author.

During his years in Boston, Colin J. Boyd concentrated on the finer aspects of the violin. He learned to play Scottish music by ear. but the close link that exists between Scottish and classical violin music lured him to the Symphony Hall to hear some of the world’s greatest violinists, including Heifetz. He took lessons from two violin teachers, one from Paris and one from Boston. He also studied on his own.

In 1932, not long before his marriage to Marie MacDougal, a school teacher from Lakevale, he made Canada’s first Scottish record on violin. It was recorded in Montreal on March 18, for Brunswick records. Shortly after, another well known Antigonish fiddler, Hugh A. MacDonald, whom Collie liked to refer to as “The Polka King”, accompanied him and Bernie MacIsaac to Montreal where the two fiddlers cut two recordings each. Altogether, Colin J. Boyd made seven single records all of which are included on this LP. In 1963, at the age of 72 he made his only LP.

Through the years his most recently played tunes consisted of hornpipes, marches, strathspeys and reels. He excelled in the hornpipe, one of the most difficult of Scottish violin pieces. One critic of the violin has stated that Colin J. Boyd was one of the few Scottish fiddlers who could play a hornpipe correctly. An equally high compliment was paid to him in Boston when, as a young fiddler, he approached a music teacher for lessons. the music teacher listened to him, his eyes filled with tears, and insisted that if he had given lessons to the young fiddler as a child they would both be rich men by then.

Colin Boyd made no money on his music. He has, however, the honour of making history in the recording field. His love of the violin surpassed any monetary ambition. His home was always open to neighbours and to friends, some of whom came long distances to ask him for a tune. He never refused. They usually asked for reels and strathspeys. but at family gatherings or during his many hours of playing in solitude, he loved to play the beautiful slow pastoral airs of Scots Skinner and other famous composers. But the faster tunes were the ones demanded by the public. Like many of the Scottish fiddlers of his day, he had to contend with the tendency on the part of those attracted by modern tunes to frown on the Scottish violin as if were “not with it”.

The late Dan R. MacDonald was a frequent visitor to the Boyd home. He would stay for days to talk music and play his fiddle. It was not an unfamiliar sight to see Collie milking the cow in the pasture and Dan Rory sitting on an upside down bucket close by with his fiddle in hand asking for a critique of his playing. when Sandy Boyd, the famous piper, visited they listened to each other’s music with mutual admiration.

Although he didn’t get married until he was 41, he raised a family of ten children, and like many fathers of his day, he was a deeply spiritual man who applied his deep faith to the way he lived his life and passed that faith on to his children. There was one love in his life that took precedence over his violin, and that was his wife, Marie. If he was heard giving another woman a compliment it was prefaced with the words “next to my own dear wife”. The couple was a familiar attraction at dances and celebrations, where she accompanied him on the piano. Marie predeceased him by three and a half months in 1975. Her dream that one day his old records would be gathered together into an LP to be preserved and enjoyed by present and future generations is realized by the release of this record.

Winnie Chafe, one of Cape Breton’s best known Scottish violinists, stated that “pioneers like Colin J. Boyd through their love and dedication to Scottish music, kept the art alive in Eastern Nova Scotia when it was lost for over a hundred years in the Highlands of Scotland. they kept the legend alive and fostered feeling and esteem for our roots. they gave incentive to me, my father and to the young fiddlers of today.”

Scottish fiddling is very popular today in parts of the Maritimes. Events like the bi-annual festival at Glendale brings crowds of young and old. Among them are Flower Children, young people out for a good time, and visitors to the region. but it is the stalwart Scots and those with even a drop of Scottish blood from Cape Breton, Antigonish, Pictou, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland that are most deeply touched. The Scottish fiddle is part of their heritage. It stirs their blood and links their hearts with a history that shaped their lives and those of earlier generations.

Sandy Boyd who knew the fiddlers of Colin Boyd’s generation, described Collie as “one of the notable Scottish fiddlers of his time whose music was on par with Angus Allan Gillis, Little Jack MacDonald, Angus Chisholm and Dan J. Campbell.”

Doug MacPhee stated that “the late Colin J. Boyd was a violinist with his own unique style of music. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Boyd, I knew that his music was very popular and I remember hearing it many times over radio station CJFX, Antigonish.

“He was a versatile violinist who played jigs, hornpipes and reels well. Music lovers, especially those who knew and remember Colin J. Boyd, will welcome this album. It will certainly be a collector’s item.”

At the request of the Boyd and MacDougall families, any proceeds above the cost of this record will be donated to socio-economic projects in the Third World.

Mary Boyd

I am happy to see that Colin J. Boyd’s records are being reproduced on an LP album. In addition to enjoying a personal friendship of long standing with Collie, I believe that the artistry with which he played and interpreted the Scottish and oldtime music indigenous to Eastern Nova Scotia and Eastern Canada had a great deal of influence on myself and many other young fiddlers from Eastern Canada and further afield who grew up listening to him both in person and through his recordings. As a fiddler Colin Boyd was equal to the best of his contemporaries. may I congratulate the Boyd family and the producers of this timely production.

Wilfred Gillis

Linda Breitag
f eet to the fire, brandy music cd701 - 1997

Linda Breitag, fiddle and vocals; André Marchand; Pete Sutherland; Guy Bouchard; Normand Miron; Jean-Paul Loyer; Denis Frechette; Denis Violetti; Josée Boisvert; Dana Whittle; Ray Makeever; Jeanne Boisvert-Marchand

Produced by Linda Breigtag, Pete Sutherland & André Marchand; Engineered by André Marchand; Mixed by Linda Breigtag, Pete Sutherland & André Marchand; Mastered by Scott Malchow, Minneapolis, MN; Recorded at Studio du chemin 4, in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Québec December-January 1996-97

Tracks: le Forgeron / reel du voyageur; the home ruler / benton's dream; issoudun / feet to the fire*; simple things are holy*; wooden-ended reel / the bedmaking; home at last*; reel from Jos. Bouchard / Joseph; jigs for a rainy day; taklax's polska / isavainian polska; last saturday*; lake superior a.m. / blackout in Joliette*; the second story; reel from Jules Verret / motel henri/ this planet*

le Forgeron (the blacksmith) / reel du voyageur: I learned these from the playing of André Alainand Guy Bouchard, two fiddlers whose styles defy description in the best possible way. Guy and Normand, featured here, were my first musical mentors (French tutors, hôteliers, etc.) in Québec. Also appearing: a small army of André's wingtips.

the home ruler / benton's dream: The first is an Irish hornpipe, slowed down in memory of a wonderful New Year's Day spent chez Molly Mason and Jay Ungar. I learned Benton's Dream from wildman (and trout-fishing guide) Clay Riness, my soul brother.

issoudun / feet to the fire: Issoudun is a village along the St. Lawrence River; the tune is from the repertoire of M. Joseph Couture. Feet To The Fire popped to mind in the middle of one Indiana night.

simple things are holy: I picked up this refrain at the annual In The Heart of the Beast parade, an event not to be missed if you're in the northern hemisphere around May Day. It was taped to my clock for a year but I never had time to read it, so to keep it with me I wrote a song.

wooden-ended reel / the bedmaking: I learned the first tune from Fieldvole Music, a recording by Tony Hall; some say Leadbelly also played it. The Bedmaking is an English tune I used to play for Morris dancing. both come courtesy of Rick Mohr, a generous artist who also does a great carp face.

home at last: This waltz was an anniversary present for my parents, Mom and Dad, composed on the road to Arkansas. After a lifetime of moving vans, they have finally settled in a great place with lots of birds and water.

reel from Jos. Bouchard / Joseph: The first is probably from the repertoire of Jos Bouchard by way of Jules Verret. Joseph, composed by renowned accordion player and builder Marcel Messervier, is the first tune I remember hearing in Québec, when the Laporte and Cantin brothers played it at the Victoria in Joliette. Me ears were opened.

jigs for a rainy day: Come in from the rain / 6/8 pour linda / barney brannigan: The first jig seeped into me leaving no memory of its source. The second was a gift from Guy, High Priest of Crooked Tunes, and Barney is a slip jig from a classic recording by Andy McGann, Paddy Reynolds and Paul Brady.

taklax's polska / isavainian polska: I learned these from Kari Reiman, a friendly Finn travelling with the great band Ottopasuuna some years ago. I've slowed these polskas down a bit, the better to enjoy their twisty melodies.

last saturday: Some of my favorite chansons à rèpondre (call and response) from Québec feature an unlikely story followed by a preposterous refrain. Here's my humble homage to their creators - a vision that came to me in the checkout line at Riverside Market while thumbing a copy of People.

lake superior a.m. / blackout in Joliette: Through divine intervention, Ray transformed the incessant sounds of mosquitos and seagulls into this flowing melody. About the only good thing that came out of the 1997 Premillenial Ice Storm of Lanadière was the name for the second tune, which I owe to the sudden awakening in me of some Balkan gene, dormant since birth.

the second story: A tune I've always loved, floating here in the warm ocean of Pete's piano.

reel from Jules Verret / motel henri: A tune learned at the Interlude in Joliette, and one from Jean-Claude Mirandette, free spirit of Ste-Émélie-de-l'Énergie, the village with the coolest name in Québec.

this planet: The sort of dreamy (megalomaniacal but earth-friendly) thoughts that might occur to one basking in a hammock south of Tulum, somewhat sticky with mango juice. In reality, I wrote this one Hallowe'en night, probably imagining candy wrappers filling the Grand Canyon.

Elmer Briand

The Cape Breton Fiddle of Elmer Briand, Celtic Records, SCX-56 circa 1962

Elmer Briand, fiddle; Donald MacKinnon, guitar; Kathleen Beaton, piano

Producer and Engineer: Al Feeney; Recorded at Audio Atlantic Studios, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Tracks: My Beautiful Dinan*, The Margaree Valley*, The Loria Briand*, The Acadian*, My Loving Elizabeth*, Kimberly Jacquline*, Anna Mae Grant’s Strathspey* - Mary MacDonald Lehto’s Strathspey* - My son Don Reel* - Rodie the Plumber Reel*, Mrs Kathleen Beaton’s Jig* - Cheticamp Reel*, The Temperance Reel - Johnnie Wilmot’s Fiddles*, Ferguson Lake Clog* - Blaine Corey’s Clog*, Beautiful Lake Ainslie Air* - Carlisle Lasses Strathspey - Bonnie Lass of Ballantrae - Carnie Canter’s Reel, Mr J. Forbes Reel - As A Thoiseach Reel - Prince Charlie Reel

Elmer Briand was born of French Acadian parents on June 8, 1922, in the small community of L’Ardoise, Richmond County, Cape Breton. Here is was (as written - ed) commonplace for people to gather together and spend their free time in a community effort of entertainment. It was not surprising, therefore, that Elmer started playing the fiddle at the age of 12. However, life and times were hard and he soon joined the shore fishermen and later the deep sea fishermen. But because life was difficult Saturday nights were enjoyed much more.

Elmer left Cape Breton to come to the “big city” of Halifax. However, times became worse as the Second World War broke out and he joined the Merchant Navy. When Elmer returned after the war he began playing over CHNS and CJCH radio stations and also played for artists like Hank the Yodeling Ranger and Pop Brown and His Merry Makers. It was here that he met Don Messer. He soon began to compose music for Don and made three guest appearances on his television shows and was later invited by Don to make an appearance on his 90 minute movie produced by the Canadian Film Board.

Elmer also visited Shelburne, Ontario for the Champion Fiddlers Contest and one occasion was judged in the top ten of 129 contestants.

Elmer has two children and two beautiful grandchildren who are both being introduced to music.

Kathleen Beaton was born in Inverness, Cape Breton, and has made her home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Donald MacKinnon was born in Inverness, Cape Breton, at Lake Ainslie, and has since made his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Elmer Briand & His Cape Breton Fiddle, Celtic Records SCX-58

Elmer Briand, fiddle; Kathleen Beaton, piano; Joseph G. Poirier, guitar

Producer and Engineer: Al Feeney; Recorded at Audio Atlantic Studios, Halifax, NS

Tracks: Sheehan’s Reel - The Pigeon On the Gate Reel - Mr Charles Nicholson Reel, Francis (Bert) McDonald Jig - West Kirkton Jig - Peter Martin Jig, Loch Lomond Strathspey - Loch Lomond Reel - Ernie Arsenault’s Favourite Reel, The MacNeills’ March - Alexander Duff Reel, Jean Burns Waltz, the Marchioness of Huntly Strathspey - South of the Grampians Strathspey - Miss Robertson Reel, Doreen Marie Waltz*, Paul Wallace Reel - Archie Menzies - The Banffshire Reel, Mr & Mrs George LeFort to Son Mark Reel* - The Old Man & The Old Woman Reel - Walking the Street Reel, Lament for Sir Harry Niven Lumsden, Bart. of Achindoir - John of Badenyon Strathspey - Lady Montgomery Reel, Paddy Whach Jig - comne Under My Pladdie Jig - Pat Trail Taxi Jig*, Loch Gorm Strathspey - Sir David Davidson Reel - Duncan of the Plainstones Reel

The success of Elmer Briand’s first album (SCX 56) has established this artist as the latest Cape Bretoner to gain recognition for outstanding performance on the fiddle of the ever popular Scottish Canadian airs, many of which were composed by Elmer and included on this release.

Born of French Acadian parents on June 8, 1922 in the small community of L’Ardoise, Richmond County, Cape Breton, Elmer commenced playing the fiddle at the age of 12.

During the Second World War he served in the Merchant Navy and at the termination of hostilities began playing over radio stations CHNS and CJCH in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was here that he met Don Messer and later composed a number of instrumentals for this artist. He also made many guest appearances on Don’s show and appeared on a 90 minute movie produced by the Canadian Film Board featuring Don Messer & His Islanders.

Elmer has requested special thanks be extended to Roderick (Rody) MacDonald for the use of his private Scottish Collection from which he has included in this album some fine selections.

Elmer also wishes to acknowledge the great help that Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald contributed in assisting him to acquire his unique fiddling technique, which has contributed greatly to Elmer’s present success in music.

Joseph G. Poirier was born in Richmond County, Cape Breton and has since made his home in Spryfield, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Fiddlers of Cape Breton, Celtic SCS 57 (Compatible Sterio)
See Compilations

The Brisson Brothers Band

Ernie Levesque Calls Canadian Square Dances With The Canadian Twin Fiddlers, Banff Rodeo Records, RBS 1274 - late 1970s or early 80s

Guillaume Godard, fiddle; Denis Brisson, fiddle and vocal; Fern Brisson, steel; Hubert Brisson, bass; Smokey Martin, piano; Regent Brisson, drums; Ernie Levesque, caller.

Tracks: 1st Change with calls: Two Steps Ahead and Two Steps Back, 2nd Change with calls: 1st couple lead to the Right and Lady Go Seek, 3rd Change with calls: Ladies In The Facing Out, 1st Change with calls: 1st couple go To The Right Circle 4, Circle 6, Circle 8, 2nd Change with calls: Lady Around Lady and Gent Follow, 3rd Change with calls: Birdie in the Cage

The Canadian Twin Fiddlers, Guillaume Godard and Denis Brisson, are well known throughout the Ottawa Valley, as are the Brisson Brothers Band who accompany them on this fine album of Canadian Square Dances.

The Brisson Brothers, consisting of Regent, Denis, Hubert and Fern, were born in Embrun, Ontario, some 30 miles East of Ottawa and have been playing together for over 17 years.

They have appeared on TV and radio throughout Canada and are well known for their fine brand of Country Entertainment.

The Calling on this album was done by the late Ernie Levesque, who was the Champion caller in the Ottawa Valley and well known throughout Canada from his personal appearances on TV.

Ernie met a fatal accident shortly after the completion of this album and his many friends will be able to treasure this last souvenir of Ernie’s calling.

Marc Brogan

Grand Lake Fiddling, Maritime Express ME 1005, 1984

Mac Brogan, fiddle; Maurice Fleming, piano; Freddie Fulton, bass; Willard Morrison, guitar; Gary Morris, bass, percussion, guitar; Ivan Hicks, acoustic guitar

Produced by Ivan Hicks, Gary Morris; Engineer: Gary Morris; Recorded at Prime Time sound Studio, Sussex, NB, January - April, 1984

Tracks: Wilfred Bishop's Breakdown*; Renfrew County Jig; Lisa Lynn Waltz; Kiley's Reel; Debbie's Jig; Manitoba Waltz; Shingle The Roof; Darling Nellie Grey; Little Burnt Potato; Cheslatta Rag; Messer Memorial Waltz; Sputnik Breakdown; Donegal Jig; Cape Blomidon Reel

Fiddle music is a part of the heritage of New Brunswick, particularly of rural New Brunswick, where it was once an important part of social gatherings. No party seemed complete without the old-time fiddler. It was indeed an art, an art passed on from generation to generation.

Malcolm Hiram Brogan, or Mac, as he is affectionately known, comes from such a heritage. One might say that Mac was weaned on old-time music, for he comes from a family so talented in music that a band, led by father Hiram, could be mustered at the drop of a hat. Saturday night house parties, featuring old-time square dance music, were common at the Brogan home in Chipman, NB, in days gone by.

It was as a guitar player with the family band that Mac Brogan began to exercise his musical talents at the age of twelve. By the age of sixteen he had switched to the fiddle and was leading the Casa Loma Dance Band at regular dances in the Minto-Chipman area, where his group became very popular. Their popularity spread to the greater Fredricton area, as indicated by their being featured on C.F.N.B's Capitol Co-op Jamboree.

When ill-health curtailed Mac's activities, he did not abandon his first-love, the fiddle. He continued to play, to enter contests, and to win. The living room of the home which Mac shares with his wife, Gladys, and their family of eight, is decorated with well in excess of fifty trophies. this is exclusive of the many gifts and cash prizes which his fiddling skill has brought him.

Mac Brogan's Grand Lake Fiddling reflects this skill and is a tribute to our heritage of old-time fiddle music. Featured with him are friends who have been with him in music since the earlier dance-band years: Willard Morrison, guitar, Freddie Fulton, bass; and Maurice Fleming, piano.

Mac's own composition, The Wilfred Bishop Breakdown, is a special salute to Wilfred G. Bishop of Salmon Creek, who, as local lumberman, long-term politician and Cabinet Minister, shares the heritage which Grand Lake fiddling seeks to honor in this, New Brunswick's Bicentennial Year.

Margaret Brogan

Johnny Brown

Fiddling Old Time & Country Style, London EB 64

Tracks: Pop Martin's Breakdown*; Debbie's Jig; Blue Mountain Hornpipe; Romeo's Jig; Honky Tonk Waltz*; St. Ann's Reel; Little Judique Reel; Three Fiddle Rag**; Scoot'n Lanie*; Orange Blossom Special

**written as Jackson & J Brown

Johnny Brown with The Canadian Nighthawks, London EB 94

Johnny Brown, fiddle; Scotty Stevenson, guitar; Buddy Ackers, Pedal Steel, Ruthie MacLean, bass; Bernie MacLean ?

Production notes not available

Tracks: Maple Sugar; Cotton-eyed Joe; Snow Deer; Faded Love; Nancy's Fancy*; Blue Mountain Rag; Walkin' Up Town; Carrie's Jig*; Red Wing; Maiden's Prayer

Johnny Brown was born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia and at an early age became interested in the fiddle. He has played with several groups and joined Scotty Stevenson and the Canadian Nighthawks in 1958. He writes his own fiddle tunes and has recorded several of them, such as Nancy's Fancy and Carrie's Jig, which are included in this album. Johnny's first album also includes some of his own numbers.

Johnny has included "Maple Sugar" in this album as a tribute to the late Canadian Fiddling Champion - Ward Allen.

We are certain you will enjoy this fine album of fiddling tunes.

The Canadian Nighthawks

Scotty Stevenson

Scotty was born at Onoway, Alberta on a small farm. He became interested in country music at the age of 15 but it wasn't until he moved east that his big break came. He was signed by London Records in 1960 and his biggest hits are still available: "Alberta" - "Twelve Foot Davis" - "Take Me Back To Old New Brunswick" and "Where Has My Blue-Eyed Baby Gone".

Scotty is married to a lovely girl, Ella May, who also hails from Alberta. Their two young children named Debbie and Derryl are very faithful country-music fans.

Buddy Ackers

Buddy Ackers was born and raised in Montreal. In 1959 he joined The Nighthawks with whom he plays steel guitar. Some of his own compositions have been recorded including: "Nighthawk"; "whiskey Break"; and his latest "I Dedicated This Song To You My Love". Buddy is married and has two children, Debbie and Terry. His wife's name is Joan.

Ruthie and Bernie MacLean

This man and wife team were both born in Sydney, Nova Scotia. They formed a duet at a very early age and they played to audiences throughout the Maritimes. Both Ruthie and Bernie left Nova Scotia in 1958 to join Scotty in Montreal. Then followed a string of best selling songs on the London label. Ruthie and Bernie have one charming little girl named Elaine.

Everybody Up For A Paul Jones, Arc 708

Produced by Ben Weatherby

Tracks: 15 minutes of continuous music on each side of various Paul Jones dance music.

The fiddle sounds! It’s Paul Jones time! Pretty girls, party pert, bright eyes glowing, all join hands to form a circle facing out. Around this circle rough, high-spirited lads form another circle facing in. Away they go, lovely faces, lithe young bodies, whirling dizzily, blurrily round and round. where they’ll stop nobody knows, in a Paul Jones anything goes!

In the old days, a mischievous Paul Jones fiddler often played matchmaker from his stand. Closely watching the contrarily spinning circles, he stopped the music when special boys and girls came up opposite one another. If he didn’t go quite this far, he did at the very least keep surprising everybody with tricky tune stops. An old time Paul Jones was a most unpredictable, most exciting affair. It still is!

With “matchmaking” and “surprise” firmly in mind, fiddler Johnny Brown has captured the frolicking essence of an old time Paul Jones on a disc divided into neat bands of music with predictable silent spaces, bur broken up mischievously, surprisingly. Johnny Brown comes from the East and plays with Scotty Stevenson’s band in Montreal. he got this idea on one of his many cross-country tours. One of Canada’s top fiddlers, he has bowed many a rollicking Paul Jones. This Arc album is one of them... so all join hands!

Johnny Bruneau

Hoedown Party with Johnny Bruneau and the Northern Ridge Runners, International Artists IA 3026

Tracks: Boil The Cabbage Down, Angler’s Jig, Memory Waltz, Possum and the Coon, Maritime Polka, Martha Camp, Mississippi Sawyer, Cathy With The Raven Black Eyes, Willy’s Jig, Walter’s Waltz, Casa Loma Hornpipe, Mountain Pie Breakdown

Northern Ontario is changing rapidly. Until very recently this rough but beautiful region could boast of few gathering places catering to its populace's need for fun and relaxation. Today, scarcely a week passes without a new nightclub (read 'Bar' - ed) opening its doors to a fun-seeking public.

Fiddler Johnny Bruneau, who was born, raised and educated in the Northern Ontario town of Latchford, back before the nightclub boom, is now able to play regularly at clubs through-out this region. And play he does! Johnny Bruneau and his Northern Ridge Runners draw capacity crowds wherever they go.

In Latchford, as a boy, Johnny first played on an Eaton's mail-order fiddle purchased by his father and before his twelfth birthday was performing at dances in the area.

When WW2 began Johnny enlisted. Still in the army during the last years of conflict, he teamed up with two service buddies to do a weekly radio show on CHOV in Pembroke.

Upon being discharged Johnny returned to Northern Ontario, sought out other musicians, and began once again to play dances - this time in the Sudbury area.

Success followed upon success until Johnny had his own TV Show - The Northern Hoedown. This programme caused Johnny Bruneau to become the most popular musician in Northern Ontario, a privilege he enjoys to this day.

This is Johnny's first International Artist album. On it we have included many of the songs that Northern Ontario TV viewers and more recently 'North country night-clubbers' enjoy hearing him do.

Tony Burtnik

Old Time Old * Old Time New: Canada Wide Fiddle Standard Tunes, TB0181

Tony Burtnik, fiddle; Nicole Lacaille, piano, vocals, lilting; Rick Fielding, guitar, banjo

Produced by Tony Burtnik: Recording Engineer: Larry Thompson; engineer: Jim LaMarche; Recorded at Captain Audio Recording Studio, Toronto, March 30, 1981

Tracks: Uncle Henry Reel; Fiddle Strings / Bowing The Strings; The Rainbow Waltz / Ranger's Waltz; Old Box Stove / The Roll-Away Hornpipe; Turkey in the Straw / The Dawn Waltz / The Sailor's Hornpipe; Ethelbert Polka*; The Marion Waltz; House Party Jig / Beaver Lake Jig; The Four String Polka; Manitoba's Golden Boy / Sleeping Giant Two-Step / Nobody's Business Two-Step; Pete's Breakdown / Sitting Bull Reel; Margaret Jackson Reel; Billy Wilson's Clog / Globe Trotting Jig / Billy in the Low Ground / Don Messer's Breakdown; Mrs Watson's Henhouse Reel; Heather Bonn Reel; Tony's Waltz* / Florence Killen's Waltz; Judique Medley Jigs; Le Two-Step D'Armand; The Dean Brig O'Edinburgh / Banks Hornpipe; The Cobbler's Reel / Old Man and Old Woman / Growling Old Man & Woman; Barbara's Waltz / New Centennial Waltz; Let The Rest of the World Go By

Graham Townsend
13 Woodway Vineway, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada M2J 4H5
Phone 1-416-496-0993

The Most Versatile Folk-Fiddler on the Continent

Tony Burtnik was born in The Pas, Manitoba in 1924 and grew up in Ethelbert, 40 miles north of Dauphin, Manitoba. He started playing at dances and school concerts when he was 9 years old, with his father who also played fiddle. Tony learned by ear, with no formal training until he was 18, hearing the tunes and learning to play them just from the sounds. At the age of 18, he began studying with John Sawchuk, also a very accomplished dulcimer player. Tony studied both dulcimer and fiddle with Mr. Sawchuk in 1941, '42, and '43.

After settling in the Brantford, Ontario area, he competed in the Canadian National Exhibition fiddle contest in 1949, placing 2nd. It was here that he met James Miller, a great old-time fiddler who showed him, among other great tunes, Uncle Henry's Reel which you'll hear on this album. James Miller was also an avid collector of tunes, passing some of his collection on to Don Messer, who in turn retained these tunes in his own collection. tony also came 21nd in the CHML contest that year.

From 1950 to 1975, life led Tony in other directions, mainly that of his own litho printing business, which he owned for 20 years. During that time, he built it into a thriving concern, and the fiddle, sad to say, was put aside. It was as though a part of his life was set aside. However, in 1975, he sold his business and returned to the West, where he bought back a piece of his life, the homestead where he was raised. In the same year, he began to play again, reawakening another very vital part of himself.

In 1978, he found it necessary to return to toronto in aid of the people who had bought the printing business. They were inexperienced and struggling to keep it going, so for 1 1/2 years, he gave of his talents in this area to assist them in running it.

The sale of his business has made it possible for him to retire, except for tuning a piano here and there, which he is also very adept at doing. Tony still owns the homestead out west, which he visits regularly, and this, 1981, will be his 3rd year to travel coast to coast in his motor home, entering various fiddle contests across the continent. Some of the contests he will visit again are Barre, Vermont where he placed 1st in his class last year; Austin, Manitoba, where he was 2nd in the open class last year, and Pembroke, Ontario, where he came 1st in '78 and 2nd last year. In 1980, he also began to further his study of the fiddle with John Montague, a very highly respected teacher.

Tony intends to dedicate the rest of his life to playing and helping preserve the art of old-time fiddling, to the delight of his many fans. His is indeed an invaluable contribution to the fiddle world as you will hear in the album. He shows a love for not just one style, but several, and demonstrates the ability to cross over from one to another with ease. The album presents an interesting mix of styles, thus appealing to a very wide audience of fiddle lovers.

I personally feel that Tony Burtnik is one of our true Canadian pioneer fiddlers, and the people who add this recording to their collection will surely feel his love of the music coming right from his heart

Signed by The Master of It All

Graham Townsend

Master of Canadian, French Canadian, Irish, Scottish, Ukrainian, Jazz, Southern, Bluegrass, Cajun, Western Swing

I first met Tony Burtnik five years ago, at the Pembroke Fiddle Contest. Many of the contestants of that era tended to add frills, extra runs, staccato bowing, and the likes - but not tony. No - Tony's playing was just that - Tony's playing, pure, exact and simple. He possessed a tremendous feeling for the old traditional tunes and played them just as they were written.

This album is a beautiful mixture of the traditional tunes, modern tunes and of course a few of Tony's own compositions. You will note the different tempo used in different tunes. This is unique in nature, but it's an art that Tony has mastered playing any tune in the tempo that brings the best out of the tune.

I'm sure I speak for Tony's many friends and fans across Canada, when I wish him every success in this, his f first album. I know you'll want to add it to your collection, and hope there's more to come.

The very best of luck to you Tony.


Art Jamieson, MC



Special thanks to Graham Townsend for his expertise assistance; to Nicole Lacaille on piano, vocals and lilting; to Rick Fielding on guitar and banjo; to all my friends who encouraged me to make this album; to Art Jamieson, popular M.C. around Ontario; and last but not least to Ivy who shared her knowledge of music with me.

Dear Old Time Fiddle Friends: Here are my inside comments:

Side One

1. Uncle Henry Reel (opening theme) - This tune I first heard James Miller of Peterborough play it in 1949. He gave Don Messer the music for it, as well as The Mackilmoyles Reel and Gypsy's Feast.

2. Fiddle Strings - One of many of John Durocher's good tunes - he lives in Sarnia, Ont. Bowing The Strings - Composed and aired over the CBC by Ned Landry who resides in St. John, New Brunswick.

3. The Rainbow Waltz - A classic in my book, written by the very versatile fiddler, Graham Townsend. Rangers Waltz - First introduced by the Mom & Dads saxophone player, when it took the music world by storm.

4. Old box Stove (Jig) - One of Ward Allen's better jigs, a very popular writer of fiddle tunes such as Maple Sugar, Roll-Away Hornpipe - Recorded by Don Messer quite a few years back.

5. Turkey In The Straw - An old tune always a favourite. The Dawn Waltz - Don Messer's daughter Dawn had this fine waltz named after her. The Sailor's Hornpipe - I associate this tune with Popeye and Symphony Orchestras.

6. Ethelbert Polka - A melody I made up from sounds I used to hear around my home town in the '30s.

7. The Marion Waltz - Johnny Mooring, a big name when it comes to waltzes.

8. House Party Jig - Beaver Lake Jig - A very appropriate name for the first jig; the second one Andy wrote when vacationing in parts of Quebec. He also had lived and performed in P.Q. for about 2 years.

9. The Four String Polka - King Ganam (and his famous wink) on CBC-TV Show popularized this old tune.

10. Manitoba's Golden Boy - Sleeping Giant two-step - Nobody's Business two-step - The first two-step is a stirring piece about the provincial image on top of Parliament Building; the next two tunes go well together as a medley - all three legacy of Andy DeJarlis, Winnipeg.

11. Pete's Breakdown - From Winnipeg, Peter had "The Prairie Schooner" on radio and later the Red River Jamboree on local TV; Sitting Bull Reel - this tune by Andy DeJarlis has that native character which is very Canadian.

12. Margaret Jackson Reel - A traditional Irish tune and played by Sean McGuire, fiddler extraordinaire.

Side Two

1. Billy Wilson's Clog - Globe Trotter's Jig - Billy In The low Ground - Don Messer's Breakdown - For that way down East sound.

2. Mrs. Watson's Henhouse - Peter Dawson of Pembroke, Ontario, violin maker, composer, fine fiddler of old time music, owns a thriving music store too.

3. Heather bonn Reel - Graham Townsend in collaboration with Cec McEachern, very capable member of Don Messer and His Islanders.

4. Tony's Waltz - I hope you like it. Florence Killens Waltz - By Cliff Manning from Truro, Nova Scotia, named after a close music friend, Florence Killen also of Truro N.S. She has a lively piano style and many fiddlers visit her each year.

5. Judique Medley Jigs - The first tune is an Irish Jig called Pet Of The Pipers and the other two are names unknown from Cape Breton.

6. Le Two-Step D'Armand - One of many favourites of mine, courtesy Graham Townsend.

7. Dean Brig O'Edinburgh - Banks Hornpipe - A popular Scottish pastoral air and hornpipe. My year and half study of the violin with the late Broadus Farmer in Toronto helped me to use staccato bowing on this hornpipe.

8. The Gobbler's Reel, Old Man & Old Woman, Growling Old Man and Woman - Traditional French tunes which really get your toes a-tapping (clogging).

9. Barbara's Waltz - Joe Pancerzewski is a Westerner retired railroader, lives in Oregon, U.S.A. and composes old time waltzes which are very unique in structure, such as this one. New Centennial Waltz - Andy DeJarlis - Frequently referred to as "Old Time Waltz King" and I whole-heartedly agree.

10. Let The Rest of the World Go By - Bilingual vocals by Nicole Lacaille, an old and familiar song which is my "closing" theme when I have my own show.

Thanks for listening, and in the mean-time, I am,

Fiddlefully yours,

Tony Bartnik.

P.S. Your comments and opinions appreciated and acknowledged - please write.

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