Native And Métis Fiddling in Manitoba, Vol 1, Falcon
FP - 187
Cape Breton On The Floor, Independent JC 126, 1981
John Campbell, violin; Margaret Campbell, piano
Produced by John Campbell; recorded at Baker St. Studio, Watertown Mass, May 1981
Tracks: Charlie Hunter Jig - Apples in Winter
Jig - Traditional Jig; Traditional Strathspey - Blackberry Blossom Reel
- O’Donald’s Reel - Pat Wilmot’s Reel; Mrs Grant of Lagan Strathspey -
Miss Maules Strathspey - West Mabou Hall Reel* - Saint Kilda’s Wedding
Reel; Miss Anne Amile Muray Strathspey - Mist Over Cape Mabou Reel - Carnie’s
Canter Reel - Cookie Shine Reel; The Wedding Reels; Urquhart Castle Strathspey
- Highlevel Hornpipe - President Grant Hornpipe - Northstar Hornpipe; Machines
Without Horses Jig - A Mike MacDougall Jig - The Backhoe Jig; Miss Jessy
Cumming Strathspey - Mary Campbell Jamison Reel* - Da Galley Watch Reel;
Dan J’s Favourite Jig - Susy McFadgen Jig - The weaver And His Wife Jig;
Mary Gray Reel - Dunphy’s Reel - Douglas’ Favorite Hornpipe
Here is John Campbell’s fifth album entitled “Cape Breton On The Floor”. Just as his past albums have pleased the listening audience, this one should rate highly as well.
John was born in Glenora Falls, Inverness County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and is married to the former Beatrice MacDonell from Port Hood, Inverness County, Cape Breton. They have five children: Sharon, Carleen, John, Brendon and Pamela. They reside at 26 Howard Street, Watertown, Mass., USA.
On his fifth album, John has chosen his sister Margaret Campbell as his piano accompanist. Formerly from Glenora Falls, Margaret now resides in Brighton, Mass.
Glendale ‘79 Live, Inter Media
Services IMS-WRC1-1273 - 1979
The Fiddlers of Cape Breton,
Celtic SCS 57 (Compatible Sterio)
Fiddle, Vol 1, Brownrigg Productions BRG GMI 001 – 1970’s
Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald, fiddle; Wilfred Gillis, fiddle; John Donald Cameron, fiddle; Jerry Holland, fiddle; Bobby Brown, piano & accordin; Tom Szcyesniak, bass; Peter Magadini, drums; John Allan Cameron, 12 string guitar
Musical arrangements by Bobby Brown and John Donald Cameron; Engineered by Chris Skene at Springfield Sound, Springfield, Ontario; Produced by John Allan Cameron & Bobby Brown
Tunes: Reel Medley – Trip to Windsor / Mrs.
Norman MacKeigan / Devil’s Delight; Jig Medley – Munster Lass / Light and
Airy / Janet Beaton; Slow March, Strathspey & Reel – Glencoe / Coromonie’s
Rant / Marie MacLean’s; Hornpipe Medley – Oriental / Jock Tamson’s / Olive
Branch; Strathspey & Reel – Captain Campbell / Sandy is My Darling
/ My Brother’s Letter; Reel Medley – Flowers of Edinburgh / Mrs. MacLeod’s
/ Fairy Dance / Mason’s Apron; Reel Medley – Picnic / Homeward Bound /
Return from India / Rachel Rae / Snowplough; Jig Medley – Wilfred’s Fiddle
/ Jessie Ann’s Favourite / Road To Skye; Strathspey & Reels – Dr. Keith
of Aberdeen / Carnie’s Cantor / Mary Clare’s; Strathpey & Reels – Highland
Whiskey / Earl of Crawford’s / Judy’s; Hornpipe Medley – Democratic Rage
/ Constitution / President Garfield’s; Strathspey & Reels – Bonfire
/ Red Hill / Walker Street / Timour the Tartar
This is the end result, a diversity of tunes, a final mix … a straight forward fiddle album in the Scottish / Irish tradition. Many of the tunes on this album were written by my uncle, the late Dan R. MacDonal, and it is to his memory that this album is dedicated.
The Cape Breton Symphony consists of: Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald – Scotty has always been a positive influence on my music and is recognized as one of the finest fiddlers of our time. Wilfred Gillis – A composer of memorable melodies, Wilfred is a versatile competitor at the annual Shelburne Fiddle Contest. John Donald Cameron – My big brother, responsible for selection, direction and good taste. Jerry Holland – You might remember Jerry as a young boy fiddling and dancing on the Don Messer show. Bobby Brown – A solid quality musician, Bob provides leadership and an innovative piano style.
John Allan Cameron
Bobby Brown, piano & accordion; John Donald Cameron, fiddle; Willfred Gillis, fiddle; Sandy MacIntyre, fiddle; Buddy MacMaster, fiddle; with John Allan Cameron, 12 string guitar; David MacIsaac, guitars; Al Bennett, classical guitar; Tom Szczesniak, bass; Paul Langley, acoustic bass; Brian Leonard, percussion; Matt Watson, percussion; Steve Ozorak, accordion; Kathy Fraser, piano;
Produced by Bobby Brown, John Allan Cameron and Kathy Fraser; Recorded at Sound Interchange, Toronto, Ontario.
Tracks: The Wind That shakes the Barley
- The Dei’l Among The Tailors - Soldier’s Joy - Speed The Plough; Joys
of Wedlock - Little House Around The Corner - Buttermilk Marys; C’a The
Ewes - Bonaw Highlanders - The Tushkar - St. Anne’s Reel; Lime Hill - Mr
Dow - Mrs Dow Stratshspeys; Jabe Meadow - Milburn - Napoleon Hornpipes;
Antigonish - Pink Rose - Favourite Polkas; Ariel - Irish American - Manhattan
Hornpipes; The Lad With The Pladie - The Blink Bonnie - Sheep Shanks; Kennedy
Street march - Scotsville - The Lasses of Stewarton reel; Old Man Dillon
- Machine Without Horses - The Weaver and His Wife Jigs; Glen Cottage -
Miss E. Elder - Lady Montgomery; The Mill Burn - The Auld Wheel - The Rendezvous
- Jamie Hardie - Timour the Tartar
Since our last album, we have been actively engaged entertaining all over Canada and abroad. during our performances on stage, radio and television, we have received many of your requests. It is with this in mind that we have compiled our latest programme of “Fiddle” music.
There are the airs, marches, strathspeys, polkas, jigs and reels all designed to provide you with a variety of music in the Scottish/Irish tradition.
We have once again utilized the creative talents of the old masters in harmony with contemporary composers such as our own Dan R MacDonald, Dan Hugh MacEachern and Wilfred Gillis. Scottish composer Andrew Rankine and Ronald Cooper of the Shetland Islands have also made their contribution.
Combining this with the fine talents of our supporting musicians, we are pleased to present Fiddle.
Bobby Brown, John Donald Cameron, Wilfred Gillis, Sandy MacIntyre, Buddy MacMaster
Produced by Bobby Brown; Recorded at Sounds Interchange, Toronto, Ontario
Tracks: The Cape Breton Symphony’s Visit
To The Shetlands - The Spring - St. Patrick’s - The Awl Man; J. Scott Skinner
Strathspey - Miss Rose of Tarlogie - Lady Mary Stopford - West Mabou; Margaret
Chisolm - Mrs Gordon of Park - Lochleven Side Jigs; Red Lion - Saratoga
- Wade Hampton Hornpipes; Queenie - Good Old John - Millers Reel; Trip
To Mabou Ridge - Inverness Gathering - Raigmore House; Clear The Track
- Alston - Bamford - Glen’s Hornpipes; Cathkin Braes Strathspey - Miss
Stewart of Fasnacloich’s Reel; Anthony’s Bridge - Victoria Bridge - Hillsdale
Road Jigs; Mr W. Jopp - James Hadden Esq. - Florida Crackers Hornpipes;
The thistle - Mrs Rachael Gibson - Sean Maguire; The Auld Fisher - Miss
Stewart Menzies - More Power To Your Elbow - Lisdoonvarna Puck
Bobby Brown: Bobby was born into a musical family. His mother was a professional vocalist of note, his father, a fine fiddler. It is no surprise then, that Bobby has carried on the tradition. Equally at home playing the piano or the accordion, he leads and manages the Cape Breton Symphony. His credits over the years are extensive in the field of Celtic music, and he has been deeply involved in every facet of the culture. His musical integrity has earned him a fine reputation and he certainly enjoys the high respect of his peers.
John Donald Cameron: Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, John became an excellent fiddler at a very early age. No surprise here, his whole family is steeped in music. Now surely there can be no one in Nova Scotia who does not know the Cameron Family. John Donald is also the historian of the group and his wealth of knowledge related to Celtic music and history is well known throughout our industry. His dedication to quality and integrity is a constant inspiration to the fellow members of the group.
Wilfred Gillis: Wilfred hails from Arisaig, Nova Scotia, and is well known all over the continent for his ability to play “A Fine Fiddle”. He is a talented composer of Celtic music and has enjoyed sharing high honours at various fiddle competitions throughout the country. His unique fiddle styling certainly serves to enhance the Cape Breton Symphony.
Sandy MacIntyre: Inverness, Nova Scotia, is Sandy’s starting point, and since starting he has never looked back. He plays fiddle, piano, bass and guitar and is also a talented step-dancer. When not performing with the Cape Breton Symphony, Sandy is busy making solo appearances throughout the North American Continent.
Buddy MacMaster: When it comes to Cape Breton fiddling, Buddy’s name is a household word. Although a native of Judique, Nova Scotia his reputation as a fiddler allows him to perform extensively throughout the North American continent and abroad. Buddy is one of Canada’s foremost Celtic musicians, and his contribution to the Cape Breton Symphony is indeed invaluable.
The Cape Breton Symphony is well known throughout the world for its expertise in playing of Cape Breton style fiddle music in the Scottish/Irish tradition. This album will certainly provide you with a hearty serving of “Just that”. There are the airs, marches, strathspeys, jigs, hornpipes, and reels, some of which are well known and some which may be knew to you.
Well then! When you mix all these ingredients together, the end result can only be “Good Entertainment”.
So! Relax! Make yourself comfy! Listen and enjoy.
Old Native And Métis Fiddling in Manitoba, Vol 2, Falcon FP - 287
Highland Melodies of Cape Breton, Rounder Records 7012, 1979
Winne Chafe, fiddle; Patricia Chafe, piano
Produced by Mark Wilson; Recorded at the Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Tunes: Jeannie Carruthers march / Auld Lang
Syne strathspey / Bridge of Bamore reel / Ann MacQuarie reel; Donald MacPherson
lament / Cradle Song slow air; Sitting in the Stern of a Boat slow air
/ Mr Douglas of Springwood Park strathspey / Loch Earn reel; Allan J. MacEachern’s
Welcome to Edinburgh Castle 6/8 march; Chapel Keithack slow air; Braes
of Marr slow strathspey / Duncan Davidson dance strathspey / Randy Wife
of Greenlaw reel / Miss Jeannett Beaton reel; Lamentations for James Murray,
Esq., of Abercairney lament / Dunie Mains strathspey / Lord Seaforth dance
strathspey / Dismissal reel; Morag of Dunvegan waltz / Filoro waltz / Leaving
of Lismore waltz; MacNeil of Uigdale 6/8 march; Peridot march; Rosebud
of Allonvale slow air / Largo Law dance strathspey / Sir Reginald MacDonald
reel / Lying in the Casket reel; Valley of Silence elegy; Memories of Joe
MacInnis slow march / Roaring River dance strathspey / Lord Mary Stopford
reel / The Fairy Dance reel
Scottish traditional music has always been part of daily life in Cape Breton, whether it is sung in ‘the Gaelic,’ jigged in peurt-a-beul fashion or played on the pipes, fiddle or piano. When my great-great-grandfather, Rory MacMullin, arrived from the old country and built a home in Beaver Cove near Boisdale, he invited his relatives to come settle in the new world: “Brother, her is a land where from one maple tree, I can make soap, rope, sugar, heat, light and music – by making myself a new fiddle.” This gentleman was known to travel around with his fiddle on his back, ready to compose music whenever the mood should strike. In practically every home, a fiddle hung in a prominent place on the kitchen wall, ready to be tuned up to play the haunting music of the homeland after the evening meal. Perhaps a friend might drop by and the evening would begin with several droll tales in Gaelic and possibly some waulking songs. Finally the fiddle would be brought down and one of the fine old strathspeys like “George the Fourth” would prompt the step dancers into a spontaneous Scotch Four. Often the festivities would proceed until quite late, even though people had to get up early and work late in pioneer Cape Breton. My great-grandfather, for example, walked fifteen miles every morning to the colliery in Sydney Mines, but a good fiddler always provided an excellent excuse to Ceilidh the evening away in dancing and fun.
This music of my forebears was always spontaneous and played from the heart. From a musical point of view, it may not have always been strictly correct, but it invariably was performed with an irreplaceable spirit and vitality. It is this feeling for the old Scots’ music which I feel is our greatest heritage in Cape Breton and somewhat distinguishes our playing from that of present day Scotland. Our old time stepdancers would have difficulty dancing to a modern Scotsman’s strathspeys or reels, especially to his brisk conception of ‘Scotch snap.’ My father, Rod MacMullin, was a wonderful country dance player of the old school and we played together for many years as a father and daughter team. When I was nine years old, Dad sent me to study violin with Professor Jamie MacDonald of North Sydney. I have kept my love of classical music through the years and have played in various symphony orchestras in Cape Breton and elsewhere. This training has led me to specialize somewhat in the slow airs and marches of the great Scots composers like Scott Skinner, where a firm grasp of classical technique is needed to follow the bowing and hand positions indicated in the original music. I was also inspired by several fine players of slow airs of the last generation, notably the late Little Jack MacDonald (whom I saw often when we lived in Ottawa) and Angus Chisholm (when he came to play, fiddle connoisseurs felt like the Almighty had walked in the house). More recently, I have been privileged to know Ron Gonnella and Hector MacAndrew, the present masters in Scotland, and their encouragement has gratified me enormously.
I have been instructed to discuss some of y ‘accomplishments’ in these notes, and I will confess that I am proud to be the only woman to ever win the international Old-Time fiddle contest in Pembroke, Ontario – and with a selection of Scottish music at that! After the contest, I was amused to read in the newspaper that my victory had forever displaced the stereotype of the fiddler as the bearded old man whittling on a tree stump. I also led a contingent of Cape Breton musicians on the CBC “Let’s Have A Ceilidh” television show and still produce an annual series of concerts and radio shows. I have represented Nova Scotia in Scotland several times and have been invited to various folk festivals in this country.
I hope this is enough information about myself, so that I can turn to the easier task of describing my accmpanist and the composers of the music I play here. My pianist is well-known to me, since she is my daughter Patricia who is now eighteen and fortunate to have been trained classically and in traditional music by her mother and grandfather. She often appears with her family in concert appearances and her capacity for composition is evident in The Peridot March.
Many of the tunes I play with no known author can be found in the great collections of traditional music which have been assembled in Scotland since the 1760’s – in particular, the Skye, Captain Simon Fraser’s and the Athole are still extensively used by Cape Breton’s fiddlers. The repertory does not rest here either; the six Kerr booklets, Cole’s Thousand Fiddle Tunes and O’Neill’s collections have introduced us to the Irish idiom of music. Many a good 2/4 march or 6/8 jig from the pipe books frequently turn up as a ‘new tune’ at a concert, ceilidh, or square set.
Many tunes by the great Gow family are also found in these collections. Neil Gow’s playing was especially revered by the aristocracy and other patrons of the fine arts in Scotland and many of his tunes, such as Lamentations for James Murray of Abercairney, are dedicated to eminent people of his day. His son, Nathanial, composed the happy reels Loch Earn and Fairy Dance, (which Mark Wilson tells me is played in the Appalachian mountains as Old Granny Hare!). Neil’s great successor, William Marshall, excelled in pastoral airs such as the beautiful Chapel Keithack. An exposure to classical music while in the service of the Duke of Gordon seems to have had a distinct effect upon his remarkable compositions.
Coming up to almost contemporary times, we have the prolific composer J. Scott Skinner whose motto was “talent does what it can, genius does what it must.” The warmth, compassion and pride found in his airs and slow strathspeys clearly display his great genius. It is said that he could compose virtually at will and often paid his bills with a tune. Frequently he was without manuscript paper and his music might originally be penned upon soap wrappers or toilet tissue. He compiled several massive collections of his music, made records at the end of his life and was rightly known as ‘the strathspey king.’ I am especially fond of his repertory of slow airs and feature these extensively in concert. I hope the listener will be moved by the grace and beauty of Donald MacPherson’s Lament, The Valley of Silence and the other Skinner compositions found on this album.
The most recent Scottish composition heard here is the happy 6/8 march composed by accordionist John Carmichael, which I had the pleasure of hearing at a historic Ceilidh at Edinburgh castle in 1975. The tune was dedicated to our Deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable Allan J. MacEachern, who was then visiting Scotland with a host of Nova Scotian musical talent.
The Cape Bretoner loves to play his ‘own’ music as well and manuscripts of these ‘frozen notes’ are passed frequently from fiddler to fiddler. The first collection from Cape Breton was gathered by the fidler and piper Gordon MacQuarrie in 1940 and included many of his own compositions and those of other noted musicians of the thirties. Sandy MacLean’s Dismissal Reel can be found in this collection for example. A newer collection is one by Dan Hughie MacEachern of Queensville and we anxiously await publication of the many great tunes of the late Dan R. MacDonald and Doug MacPhee’s compilation of unpublished traditional fiddle music. Memories of Joe MacInnis is one of the last tunes Dan R. wrote and I hope my playing of this beautiful march will bring back memories of Dan R. himself to every Cape Bretoner.
Cape Breton Scottish Memories, Inter-Media Services, IMS-WRC1-759
Winnie Chafe, fiddle; Patricia Chafe Hyde, Piano and Organ; Ann MacMullin Boozan, Bagpipes
Engineer: Dave Miller; Recorded live through the mobile services of Inter-Media Services.
Tracks: Allan J MacEachen's Welcome to Edinburgh
Castle (March); Bovaglie's Plaid / Hector The Hero (slow airs); Mrs Crawford
/ Jeanette Beaton's / Lady Mary Stopford (strathspeys); Darqui (Lament);
Silver Wells (slow strathspey) / Blair Drummond (strathspey) / Smith's
Burn & High Road to Linton (reels); Memories of Fr. Charlie (lament)
/ Macdonald Dark Island (slow air); Miss Lyall & George IV (strathspeys)
/ Traditional Reel & Mabou Reel; Glencoe (lament); Farewell To The
Creeks (6/8 march) and Cold Winds from Ben Wyviss (6/8 march); Thorn Bush
& Hoch Hey Johnnie Lad (strathspeys) / Inver Lasses / Annie is My Darling
(reels); My Isla & Rowan Tree (slow airs)
At a time when Clans disbursed and Highlanders fled Scotland in search of a new life, Clan Ranald MacDonald of South Uist and Clan MacMullin (MacMillan) of Barra were among those who came in ships to Nova Scotia.
My paternal roots go back to that journey in the 1840s when my Great, Great, Grandfather MacMullin began life in Cape Breton. He cleared the land and used the wood to build a cabin. From the wood he also made soap, rope, fire, light and a fiddle on which he played many of the haunting melodies he had learned as a boy in the Highlands of Scotland. This was the beginning of a long line of fiddlers, singers, pipers and story tellers.
My maternal roots began on the Inverness side of Cape Breton in a small country area called Judique. My Great Grandfather of the clan "Ranald" MacDonald was a sea captain whose family specialized in the art of Scottish fiddling. Many notables were the sprigs of this clan - - "Little Jack" MacDonald; Dan R. MacDonald; and "Buddy" MacMaster to name a few.
The Scots boast a written music as far back as 1745. Published forms date back to 1815. Composers like William Marshall, Simon Fraser, Neil Gow and even Bobby Burns are some of the best known to present day fiddlers. More recent names like J. Scott Skinner, the genius of slow airs, have added a classical "Scottishe" has all but taken over the traditional strathspey in Scotland. This is not the case in Cape Breton. The syncopated rhythmn of the strathspey still remains here to rouse the step-dancer from his seat to dance the steps which have long since disappeared from the Highlands of Scotland.
If music for easy listening is your preference you will enjoy the many slow airs like "Bovaglie's Plaid", "Hector The Hero" or "Darqui". The strains of the bagpipes can be heard with the pipe organ and violin on the popular "Dark Island". If you like happy music listen to "Allan J. MacEachen's Welcome to Edinburgh Castle" - - a tune composed for the Honorable Allan J. MacEachen, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada on the occasion of a historic "Ceilidh" he hosted at Edinburgh Castle in 1975.
These are just a few of the many faces of Scottish music. Others, like the jigs, reels, strathspeys and marches which are included here are taken from the books of the Highlands; pipe books and the music of Cape Breton composers. The numbers are the most frequently requested of me whether I am playing in concert, TV, radio or just having a good time at a ceilidh in our home.
My wish is that after listening to this music you will experience some of the happiness I feel each time I play.
Winnie Chafe, fiddle; Patricia Chafe Hyde, Piano; James MacPherson, organ; Produced by Winnie Chafe; engineered by David Miller
Tracks: Teri McLuhan's Welcome to Cape Breton**; Neil Gow's Lament for his Second Wife; Golden Rod Jig / Farewell to Manitoba** / Trip To Toronto; Margaree Waltz**; Scallaway Voe; My Mother's Waltz**; James MacPherson's Antigonish**; Mrs Ramsay of Barton / Bogan Logan / Sweet Molly / Mrs Kenney of Greenan / Malcolm Findlay; The Bonny Lass of Headlake; The Orcadian; Dan Hughie's Jig / Charlie Hunter's Jig / J.D. MacIntyre's Jig; Compliments To Miss Terry MacLellan**; Silver Star Hornpipe / Glasgow Hornpipe / Passion Flower Hornpipe; Clach - Na - Cuddin / John L Sullivan's / Lord Dalhousie / Drumadoon Reel
** by Patricia Chafe Hyde
Gordon MacQuarrie was a native Cape Bretoner and a prolific composer of Scottish fiddle tunes. As a young man he was enamoured by a very beautiful young lady named Hattie MacDonald who lived at Headlake, a pretty country area near Lake Ainslie in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He composed a tune for her that captured her beauty, her grace and her spirit, showing at the same time his gift for writing and his brilliance for composing. He named the tune - "The Bonnie Lass of Headlake".
Cape Breton does not lack present day composers. Patricia Chafe Hyde has written a whole collection of tunes soon to be published in book form. Some of her works are included here. Her music shows a maturity far beyond her tender years - so aptly expressed in "Compliments to Miss Terry MacLellan". Her versatility is evident in her spirited jigs, her delightful marches and her beautiful Scottish Waltzes. Patricia is an accomplished pianist and is the accompanist on this album.
I have included several tunes of other Cape Breton composers such as Dan R MacDonald, Dan Hughie MacEachern and Donald Angus Beaton as well as a new number written by John Mason entitled 'The Orcadian', a spirited number reflecting yet another dimension of Scottish music. I am happy to share with you the sounds of Patricia's grand piano; Jim's cathedral organ and my Stainer violin and may they prove to be an enjoyable experience for you
Winnie Chafe, violin; Patricia Chafe-Nagy, piano
Produced and engineered by J.R. Chartrand with G.J. Pizzariello at Changewind Studios, Ottawa, Canada
Tracks: Stella's Trip to Kamloops (march)** / Give Us A New One (strathspey)** / River Denys Reel** / Master McDermott Reel / Tom Rae's Reel; Caledonian Wedding Waltz / Silver Anniversary Waltz**; Apple Day (jig)** / Frolicking (jig)** / Jeux Canada Games March (6/8 march)**; Echoes (air)**; Steps A'Plenty (strathspey)** / John Campbell's Tune (strathspey)** / Donald Angus Swing (reel)** / Speed the Plough (reel); For The Love Of My Father (slow air)**; Plaisir d'Amour (slow air); Bean Iain Aonghais Nic Artair: Mrs. John Angus MacArthur's (strathspey) / Talisker (strathspey) / Traditional Reel / Little Donald in the Pigpen (reel) / High Road to Linton; The German Waltz; The P.E.I. Walts**; The Triplet Clog / Mrs Norman MacKeigan (reel) / Traditional Reel in D / Perth Shire Hunt
Echoes is recollections of the hard times, of simple joys and celebrations, of family and friendships. This offering is in remembrance of Rod McMullin, my father, who guided me through the wonderful world of music and a proud past, and of Michael Chafe, my husband, whose love and support helped me discover the "old magic" in the present.**Composed by Patricia Chafe-Nagy
There is a commitment to, and a spirit of hope, on our heritage that is expressed in many of the compositions by my daughter, Patricia, included in this collection.
The selections presented here have been chosen to conjure up memories and offer a glimpse of the fascinating variety of Canadian ethnic music.
I hope regardless of your heritage, you will perhaps hear echoes of your own and feel some of the love, joy and wonder we felt in creating and producing this work.
Winnie Chafe, violin; Donnie Campbell, guitar; Lonnie Jones, Bodhran & Snare Drum; Max MacDonald, voice; Doug MacPhee, piano
Produced by Allister MacGillivray; Engineered by Joe Bushell; Recorded and Mixed at Island Recording & Productions
Tracks: Scotsville Reels; The Gifts; Memories
and Molasses; The Waltzes; The Laments; The Kitchen Session; Highland Gaelic
Airs; The Lancer Set; My Lilly ‘Mo Shuil a’dDheigh’; Edinburgh Set; MacPherson’s
Rant; Pipers’ Pride
Legacy is a gift. My legacy, the gift of music was given by me at birth by God, my parents and my ancestors. The potential value of such a gift could never have been realized had it not been for the gentle guidance and support of my mother and father. My mother's methodology as a teacher was the driving force behind my classical training: my father's philosophy of the love of the music helped develop in me a profound joy and respect for my heritage, my music and my violin. This legacy given to me will live on in my children and grandchildren. It will also live on through my violin students, my family and friends because I have been blessed with a gift that must be shared with all. Therefore it is my wish that you may experience through this recording the essence of the past, the spirit of the present and the seeds of all legacies yet to come.
1 Scotsville Reel Group: Scotsville is a small village in Cape Breton where great fiddling and composing were a daily part of life. Scotsville Reels / Sandy Cameron Reel / Largo Law Reel
2 The Gifts: This ancient air penned by prolific composer Neil Gow in the 1800’s, was written for a marquis as a royal gift. Rhonda, a light airy jig, was composed in 1996 by (daughter) Patricia (Chafe) in honour of a fresh young fiddler named Rhonda Langtôt. Marquis of Huntley / Rhonda
3 Memories and Molasses: My late Dad was an ‘ear’ player of Scottish music. His favourite march over the years was the first of this group. We added three violins to demonstrate the ‘old’ way of playing. Miss Forbes’ Farewell to Banff March / Don Side Strathspey / Molasses for Your Jigs reel / Walker St. Reel / Lord MacDonald reel
4 The Waltzes: A trip to Argentia, Newfoundland and a trip home from ‘out west’ inspired Patricia to compose the first two waltzes of this group. She wrote ‘New Ab Deen Rose’ in my honour in preparation for this recording and I am proud to include it as part of this legacy. Argentian Mist / Coming Home / New Aberdeen Rose
5 The Laments: These laments represent what’s known as ‘The Big Music’ of Scotland. Doug MacPhee and I played these at an historic ceilidh in Edinburgh Castle in 1975. Miss Graham of Inchbrakie / The Fallen Chief
6 The Kitchen Session: Here is a Cape Breton ‘set’ of tunes reminiscent of times at home in the kitchen playing fiddle with my dad while my mother created her own music with the fresh smells of bread and bonnach in the oven. High D and G March / Left Hand Strathspey / Highlanders Farewell to Ireland / Big Rory in the Pond / Inverinate House / Big John MacNeil
7 Highland Gaelic Airs: “There’s an enchanting tenderness and thoughtfulness imbedded in the rich harmonies as the ancient Highland airs are given a fresh treatment by Winnie Chafe and her ensemble. The dignity of the music is always a priority”… Allister MacGillivray. Gun Crodh gun Aighean / Chi mi Na Mor-bheanna / Ho-Ro mo Nighean Donn Bhoidbeach
8 The Lancer Set: These ‘old’ tunes were commonly played at parish dances where the Lancer sets were danced. Chorus Jig / Swallow Tail / Maggie Brown’s Favourite.
9 My Lilly – “Mo Shuil a’d Dheigh”: This is an ancient Gaelic Ballad with a new and innovative musical arrangement. It is also a personal favourite of mine.
10 Edinburgh Set: This is a combination of traditional tunes covering a broad range of sources. The simplicity of violin and piano alone underscore the purity of the Gaelic spirit. Queen’s Welcome to Invercauld Castle / Maggie Cameron / Miss Menzies of Culdare / St. Kilda’s Wedding / Devil’s Dream
11 MacPherson’s Rant: By himself on the Eve of His Execution in the Early 1700’s… The story of MacPherson beings with the word and continues on through the notes. This elegy not only delivers the defiance and pride of the Scottish spirit, but also immortalizes the love and beauty of the music which lies within the Scottish heart.
12 Pipers’ Pride: This trio of pipe tunes demonstrates the heavy influence of piping on fiddling and composition from the Highlands of Scotland to the hills of Cape Breton. Compliments to House Piper Ann Boozan / Compliments to Jamie MacInnis and Paul MacNeil – The Dualling Pipers / The Athole Highlanders.
I will be forever grateful to everyone who helped make this dream a true legacy. To Allister MacGillivray – musician, composer and producer. It was he who provided the advice, the genius and expertise as well as his enthusiasm and patience. To the wonderful musicians who gave their all. To friends who were generous with their time, knowledge and possessions: Arlene MacDonald, Mae Cameron, Dan Hugh MacEachern, Alex and Min MacDonald, Father Morley from Iona, Sylvia Ho, Carol Kennedy, Joella Foulds at Rave Entertainment. But I owe my greatest thanks to my daughter Pat. She has been my right hand throughout this project. Her dedication and generosity have been unlimited. Her musical genius has brought my work to a new level. And even if you won’t ‘do mornings’, Pat, you always get the job done with class. It is truly joyful to work with good musicians. To have my daughter at my side has been the greatest joy of my life.
JJ Chaison, fiddle, mandolin; Kevin Chaisson, piano; JP Cormier, guitar
Produced by Peter, Kevin and Donna Chaisson; engineer – John Mahar; Recorded at Studio Staccato, Moncton, NB
Tracks: Miss Lyall’s strathspey / Dusky
Meadow Reel / King’s Reel / Cape reton’s Welcome to the Shetlands reel
/ Dinkie Dorian’s Reel; The Hearty Boys of Ballymote jig / Dan Collins
Father’s Jig / Tar Road to Sligo jig / Hills of Glenorchy jig / Rakes of
kildare jig / Stan Chapman’s jig; Dedicated to the memory of Grampie Joe
Pete: King of the Fairies March / Bacon an d Eggs strathspey / Tarbolton
Lodge Reel / Cooley’s Reel / Hull’s Reel; Miss Wederburn reel / The Fox
Hunter’s Reel / Brenda Stubbert’s Reel / Donna Warner’s Scissors reel;
Darla’s Jig / Chapel Bell jig / Morrison’s Jig / Silver Spear reel / Hot
Rod Reel; Beaton’s Delight / Clumsy Lover reel / Jack Daniel’s reel / Sleepy
Maggie reel / Moulin DHU reel / Duncan Lament reel; Dedicated in memory
of Granpie Johnny Joe: Regina Stubbert jig / Traditional Jig in D / St.
Anne’s Reel; Memories of Mary Ann McKenzie slow air / Athole Brose strathspey
/ Traditional reel in D / Jenny Browser Reel / Dancing of Fingers reel
/ Jack Wilson’s Ball reel; Nathan Morrison’s Jig* / Judique Jig / Drummond
Castle jig / Francis Aucoin jig; Jean’s Reel / Willow Tree reel / Name
Escapes Me reel / Kyle’s Reel
JP Cormier appears courtesy of Borealis Records
JJ Chaisson’s violin was handcrafted by Clay Carmichael of St. Anne’s, Cape Breton, NS
I would like to start by thanking Phil and Gloria MacIntyre for their support in this project. Also a special thanks to Eugene Mooney for his encouragement and all the laughs. Thanks to Jac Gautreau and John Mahar at Studio Staccato in Moncton for their help in producing and mixing my first recording. To my uncle Peter for his critiquing and helping me get things together. To Kevin and J.P.A. special thanks for your great accompaniment. A special thanks goes out to my parents Kenny and Donna Chaisson for their love, support and encouragement. To my friends and relatives near and far for their help and warm feelings.
A special thanks goes out to my cousin Stephen Chaisson for helping me find the names of tunes and their composers. To Charlie, Buddy and their families over in Hunter’s Mountain, Cape Breton, thanks for everything. A warm thank you to my two grandmothers for their words of wisdom and love. I would like to thank the composers of the tunes I used for letting me use their beautiful compositions. To the Eastern Kings Arts Council and Cultural Heritage and Recreation Program for their financial support. Finally, I would like to thank the ‘Man Up Above’ for making it all happen at the age of fourteen. Hope you enjoy.
Atlantic Fiddling, CBC LM470
Two Sides of Jimmy Chapman: Down East Fiddling / Southern Fiddling, Banff Rodeo Records RBS 1160, circa 1960
Tracks: First Change Atlantic Polka; Grace MacPherson's Reel*; Honeymooner's Waltz; CNE Breakdown; Todd's Island Breakdown*; Buffalo Gals; Cripple Creek; The Waltz You Saved For Me; Mississippi Sawyer; Back Up And Push
Old-Time Fiddleg, SAR 3010
Russell Chapman, fiddle; Jerry Bird, Tenor Banjo; Bill Kirby, rhythm guitar; John Embree, bass; Recorded at Pro-Am Sound Studios, Moncton, NB; recording engineer: George S. Urquhart
Tracks: Chords; Liberty Two Step; Farmer's Waltz; When You And I Were Young Maggie; Carl's Favourite Jig; Acorn Hill; New Broom; Dreaming tonight of my Blue Eyes; Whistling Rufus; Seamus O'Brian; Sputnick Breakdown; Trail Blazers Two Step
About 15 years ago, Russell Chapman, Gerald Bird and Bill Kirby, formed the trio known as Russell Chapman's Old Time Band, with Wallace Angus as square-dance caller. They have been a popular dance band ever since, because of their style, and arrangements played with impeccable timing.
I have been privileged over the years to "sit in" on jam sessions with these fine people and in 1980 we suggested making some tapes on a good recorder. The tapes were quite good so the next suggestion was "Let's Make A Record."
One thing lead to another and this album was born. Wanting a bit more fullness to the sound without changing the basic sound of the band, they asked John Embree to play his up-right bass. John's "Doghouse" put a bottom on what was already good music. The fact that these musicians have played together nearly 15 years gives a clue to the kind of people they are, friendly, easy going and with a great sense of humor.
We were most fortunate in meeting George S. Urquhart of Pro-Am Sound in Moncton, N.B. His professionalism, easy manner and his encouragement was much appreciated. We had a lot of fun making this album and had many laughs. We only hope that you derive as much pleasure from listening to it as the boys in the band had making it.
Jess M Thompson
Old Native And Métis Fiddling in Manitoba, Vol 2, Falcon FP - 287
Shay Chee Man - Traditional James Bay Fiddling, Kwisiekan Productions Kwis 001, 1998
James Cheechoo, fiddle, Bearskin Hand Drum; Daisy Cheechoo, wooden spoons
Research & Liner Notes, John Cheechoo; Produced by Lynn-Harper Cheechoo and Clayton Cheechoo; Engineer: George Witham; Recorded at Wawatay Sound, Moose Factory, Ontario
The Tunes: Sigaboniekan; Elbow Swing; Swisiekan
#1; Kwisiekan #2; Rabbit Dance; Eeyou Breakdown; The Jig; Noah's Favorite;
Scratching Dance; Kissing Dance
In the dances, the tunes were often played for 10 to 20 minute lengths, depending on the type of dance and the number of dancers. usually, the 'Kissing Dance' was the lengthiest. The square dance and step dance numbers were slightly shorter in duration while the jig was the shortest. The 'Kissing Dance' was traditionally played as the last song of the dance.
James Cheechoo is a Cree from the James Bay region of Northern Canada. He is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, a reserve community located on the old island settlement of Moose Factory, Ontario. One of the oldest settlements in Ontario, Moose Factory dates back to the 1670's when it was established as a major fur trade outpost for the Hudson's Bay Company (HRC). The island is situated on the Moose River near the south shore of James Bay.
James is a self-taught fiddler. The fiddle has been a central musical influence for James since he first began learning the instrument at the age of 12. Now at the age of 68, James has retired from his trade as a carpenter, but his passion for fiddle music continues.
Shay Chee Man, the title of this CD, marks James' debut as a recording artist. For James, Shay Chee Man represents the fulfillment of a long held dream to record the music he has always loved to play. This recording exemplifies his personal life-long commitment to a folk music tradition that has existed in James Bay since the days of the northern fur trade.
Shay Chee Man is about history, music, and tradition captured in the memory of one of the few traditional James Bay Cree fiddlers living today. This compilation of 10 traditional fiddle tunes is historically significant in that it echoes an earlier time when the Cree and European cultures had merged upon a common social ground in various James Bay settlements during the fur trade era.
This compilation is not only significant for its story but also for the fact that the tradition of playing this music began to fade out in practice around the middle part of this century. For this very reason, James is especially honored to present Shay Chee Man as a way of preserving the memory of this piece of James Bay Cree history.
Shay Chee Man
The word 'shay chee man' is an eastern Cree word which literally translates as 'big boat'. In its proper context, 'shay chee man' means 'ship'. Historically, 'shay chee man' refers to the triple-masted sailing ships which made their way to James Bay every summer from England during the fur trade era. Prior to the centralization of ports at Montreal, James Bay was a destination point for the HBC sailing ships from the late 1600's to the early 20th century.
According to James' account based on Cree oral tradition, it was by way of 'shay chee man' that the fiddle and the music was first brought to the Cree of James Bay. On board these ships were Irish and Scottish people who played the fiddle as a source of entertainment for the long journey and for the stop-over on the bay.
As the fur trade outposts evolved into more permanent settlements made up of families that were created by marriages between European men and Cree women, the fiddle gradually became accepted as a part of settlement life on the bay. From these 'mixed' marriages were born the Metis generations who carried on the fiddle and music for local entertainment and for maintaining ties to their European heritage.
According to what James remembers of the story, the Metis were a cross-cultural bridge through which the influence of the fiddle was spread among the Cree people. While the Cree were out on their traditional lands for most part of each year, their summer and new year's visits at the settlements allowed them to witness and participate in the playing of the fiddle and in the dances which accompanied the music.
The Music and Dances
Although James is an ancestral descendant of the Moose Cree, he was born in the eastern James Bay coastal settlement of Eastmain, Quebec, on February 6, 1930. His father, Noah Cheechoo, temporarily moved from Moose Factory to work for the HBC at Eastmain. While there, Noah married a local Cree woman named Sara Cheezo.
The youngest of 7 children, James grew up hearing his father and older siblings playing the fiddle and the old tunes at home. He began learning the fiddle at age 12 using his father's violin. At age 14 he purchased his first fiddle and participated as a fiddler in local community dances at Eastmain.
James recalls that during the 1940's the old tunes were still the only tunes around to play. The tunes were traditionally accompanied by a two-sided home made skin drum that was placed on the lap and played with two sticks. The square dance, step dance and jigging forms were specialized for each tune.
During the slow summer months, the community dances would generally start from 8 pm and go on until 6 am the next morning. Over the course of a whole night, the tunes and dances would be repeated, with 3 or 4 fiddlers taking turns and with everyone taking a break every now and again. The children were usually sent home early and alcohol was not consumed as a part of the social gathering.
James remembers that by the 1950's the phonograph was influencing many local fiddlers to play more modern fiddle tunes originating from fiddle recording artists in the south. With the new tunes, the skin drum was replaced by the guitar and the dance patterns were no long set and specialized. From then onward the old tunes, the dance forms, and the skin drum accompaniment quickly fell out of favour and were virtually left behind.
Preserving A Story
Although James has been no stranger to many modern fiddle tunes over the past 40 or 50 years, he has not forgotten the old fiddle tunes which served as his initial learning base for the fiddle. His memory of the old tunes carries with it an experience in an old social past time which bridged Cree and European cultures in James Bay. It is an experience which no longer exists today.
However, James hopes to bring Shay Chee Man forward from the past to raise awareness of the old music and the story of the music as it reflects the history of the James Bay Cree. Along with his wife Daisy, who accompanies with the wooden spoons on this CD, James is proud to present his debut recording Shay Chee Man.
James would like to personally dedicate this CD to his family, relations and the Cree people of James Bay.
Graham Townsend Presents The Cheechoo Family, Condor 977-1499, 1984
Sinclair Cheechoo, fiddle; Thelma Cheechoo, vocal; Vern Cheechoo, vocal, acoustic guitar; Graham Townsend, fiddle, piano; Ken Ducharme, lead guitar, bass; Evan Egget, Steel Guitar; Neil Renwick, drums; Debbie Inglis, Phil Main, background vocals
Produced by Graham Townsend; Engineer: Harry Busby; Recorded at Ernie King Sound, Wingham, Ontario
Tunes and songs: Sinclair Cheechoo Special*; Evangeline; James Bay Doings*; I Want To Be With You; Midnight Breakdown*; Sweet Little Flower*; I’m Just An Old Chung of Coal; Big Dipper Swing*; You’re My Woman; James Bay Trapper*; In The Stillness of the Night; Tidewater Humdinger*; Indian Moccasin Shuffle*; Beaver Creek Reel*
(note: not strictly a fiddle album)
Sinclair Cheechoo, fiddle; Kerry Hannah, bass; Jim Flett, rhythm & spoons; Charles Bandura, drums
Engineer: Kerry Hannah; Recorded at Sunshine Sound Studios, Winnipeg MB 1987
Tracks: Soldier's Joy; Deringe Hornpipe; St. Anne's Reel; Ragtime Annie; McNab's Hornpipe; Fort George Special; Flop-Eared Mule; Bread and Butter; Seven Mile Long; John MacDougal Reel*; Shooting Stars*; Boil Them Cabbage Down; David Iserhoff Special; Migrating Canadian Geese*
Down East, West River Recording Enterprises Ltd., WRR-1, 1977
Gary Chipman, fiddle; Wayne Dunsford, bass; Art Large, piano; Bruce MacEwen, Electric guitar; George Reid, drums; Lloyd Yeo, banjo; Produced by Gary Chipman; engineered by Don Doiron, Wayne King
Tracks: Rippling Water Jig; Flowers of Edinborough; Highlevel Hornpipe; Cotton Eyed Joe; Mother's Reel; The Waltz You Saved For Me; Carleton County Hornpipe; Lorn Wilson's Reel; Tuggerman's Jig; Pete's Breakdown; Big John MacNeil; Loggers Breakdown
Dedicated to the music of Don Messer and his islanders.
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