Eh?!, Falcon Productions - FP111 - 2011
Emilyn Stam, fiddle, accordion, vocal, piano; Anne Lederman, fiddle, piano, accordion, guitar, kalimba, shakers, bones, feet, vocal; James Stephens, fiddle, guitars, bass, vocals; Andy Hillhouse, guitar; Joe Philips, standup bass; Ben Grossman, udu, cahon, bodhran, riqq, triangle, tambourine, shakers; Rob Graves, tambourine, dumbek; Chris Schiller, cymbals
Produced by Anne Lederman, Emilyn Stam and James Stephens; Recorded at Stove Studios, Chelsea QC by James Stephens; Additional recording at Chez Glendale, Toronto by James Stephens and at Ben's home in Guelph by Ben Grossman; mixed by David Bignell and James Stephens at Heat of Sound, Ottawa; mastered by Andrew St. George; photos by Martin Gould; cover illustration and colourization by Fen Prior-Delahanty based on a photo by Martin Gould; Additional cover colouriztion by Alise Marlane; design and layout by Richard Boudreau
Tracks: Pitou; Kristens Visit / Twelfth Night*; Trip To Chelsea* / Balkan Brandy** ; Rachel Rae / Devil Among The Tailors; Grandy's Devil Tunes; Fietsen sans mains***; Riley Boys; Springtime in Paris** / Dan Day Dance**; From The Rock: A Newfoundland Set; Grean Tea*** / Hiccup Jig; Lovely Nancy / Prayer For Oliver; Here Where Old Friends Meet*; Estonian Waltz; Reel Bheara / Bunker Hill; Le Set / La Cardeuse; Lightning Strikes Once*
* by Anne Lederman ** by James Stephens *** by Emilyn Stam
1. Pitou - from Louis "Pitou" Boudreault, via Lisa Ornstein. A legendary tune from a legendary Québécois fiddler. James and Anne both learned this Louis Boudreault classic from wonderful recording of Lisa Ornstein and André Marchand on "Danseries de la bell province." Long before Eh?! was a twinkle in anyone's eye, we would play this together whenever we crossed paths. Finally, we left the crossroads and struck out on our own.From the land of the muskeg and the shining birch tree, Eh?! is devoted to exploring the myriad pathways between old and new music. Think of it as music with deep roots, soaring branches and birds leaving the nest, heading for distant horizons.
2. Kristens Visit / Twelfth Night - Good things come in trees. These and the following two tunes came about as a result of James and Anne both messing with triple time in various forms before our first get-together as a band. Kristen is a lovely young woman Anne had the privilege of teaching for several years before she grew up and went away; fortunately, she does come back from time to time, usually around Christmas.
3. Trip To Chelsea / Balkan Brandy - Chelsea is where James lives, in a lovely house in a snow-covered wood, or so it was when we first got together to play. Anne wrote the first tune in anticipation of our first gathering as a band. James started off his experiment in triple time with a tune in "brandy" rhythm, but it escaped into a Balkan metre of 7 by the B part, hence, "Balkan Brandy" it became.
4. Rachel Rae / Devil Among The Tailors - Ian Bell's wonderful tribute to traditional music as a way of remembering people, places and times. It names names.
5. Grandy's Devil Tunes - From the playing of Grandy Fagnan, Camperville, Manitoba. Two wonderful, quirky old tunes from Grandy Fagnan, the Métis gentleman whose tape turned up on Anne's doorstep in 1984 and started her on a quest from which she has never returned. The kalimba just seemed like the right thing to do.
6. Fietsen sans mains - The feeling of soaring down an unknown bike path, dropping your hands, your mind wandering to all the places your adventure could take you... "Fietsen" is Dutch for "biking," "sans mains" French for "without hands."
7. Riley Boys - Learned from the singing of Canadian vocal group, Finest Kind (a band in which James is an occasional guest member), this song comes from the pen of Carol Denney, a singer, songwriter and community activist from Oakland, California. Written in reaction to the Iraq war, it is a tribute to the war dead (the metaphorically named "Riley boys") who are sometimes forgotten in the very polarized views of this particular conflict. For us, the Riley Boys have come to include victims of war everywhere.
8. Springtime in Paris / Dan Day Dance - The first tune was written by James for his pal, Brian Pickell, who lives in beautiful Paris, Ontario, where he spends the winter waiting for spring to arrive. Dan Day Dance was written for another pal, Dan Gorno. Dan can be found calling dances, playing percussion, making pottery, and generally leading the charge in Michigan and Ontario, unless he's somewhere else. We had a big party for him in Toronto and this tune commemorates that fine occasion.
9. From The Rock: A Newfoundland Set - Jim Hodder's Reel (by Emile Benoit), Daniel's Harbour (trad) and Parson's Pond Jigs (trad). Anne and James learned these from Kelly Russell and Christina Smith. We love Newfoundland. Anne wants to move there and live happily ever after.
10. Grean Tea / Hiccup Jig - After a full day of fishing in Takysie Lake in B.C., a nice cup of tea was perfect to keep me awake long enough to misspell and compose Grean Tea. Brian Pickell is our buddy and becoming a legendary composer of new Canadian fiddle tunes. We hope he forgives us for what we've done to this one.
11. Lovely Nancy / Prayer For Oliver - this is an Ozark mountain version of an Irish version of an old English ballad, learned from the singing of American cittern player, Gerald Trimble, and now sung by a Canadian fiddler - a favourite of James' for many years. The tune in the middle "Prayer for Oliver" was composed by 12 year-old Maddy Lough from Emilyn's home town of Smithers, B.C.
12. Here Where Old Friends Meet - Inspired by the first song on Swedish band Frifot's brilliant CD, "Slurring," these words gradually took shape and the melody morphed accordingly. A meditation on the ups and downs of friendship.
13. Estonian Waltz - Anne took a trip to Estonia to play at the Viljandi Festival in 2005. One day all the foreign performers were invited to a workshop to learn Estonian tunes. It seemed like a brilliant idea. This is the tune that stuck.
14. Reel Bheara / Bunker Hill - We live in Canada. Therefore, we play Irish music. We also love it and think, perhaps, not everything has been said that can be. We would like to dedicate these tunes to Seamus Craig and Matt Cranitch, whose lovely duet playing has always been an inspiration.
15. Le set / La cardeuse - From Lisa Ornstein. More classic French-Canadian tunes. We just really like them.
16. Lightning Strikes Once
Eh?! started off as a trio of fiddlers with too many strings on their instruments. We messed with old tunes and we composed new ones. As it evolved, we ended up with a pageant of textures and sounds encircling the scraping of bow on string - voices, piano, accordion, bass, guitars with four strings and six, mandolins large and small, bones, feet, shakers of all sizes, udu, tambourines, bodhran, cymbals, riqq, triangle, dumbek and kalimba. We hope both our ancestors and our descendants understand.
Special thanks to: Joe Phillips, Andy Hillhouse, Ben Grossman, Rob Graves and Christopher Schiller for their excellent musical contributions, to Ian Bell, Brian Pickell, Carol Denney, Emile Benoit and Madeline Lough for their beautiful pieces, to all the fiddlers and other musicians along the way who have inspired and taught us (far too many to list), to Martin and Fen for the great pictures, and to our families: Julia and Fen, Christopher, Erika and Gabrielle, Ken, Petra, Melissa and Justin, and of course Joan and Jeff.
Canada’s First Lady Of The fiddle, Rodeo Records RLP 78 circa 1960
June Eikhard, fiddle; Jackie Doyle, piano; Cecil Eikhard, bass; Al Cogan, electric Guitar.
Tracks: Sputnik Breakdown*; Uncle Henry’s
Reel; Tantramar Special*; Rose Waltz; Draggin’ The Bow; Pike County Breakdown;
Prince County Breakdown*; Canadian Cha-cha*; Teenage Calypso*; Waltz; Smash
The Window; June’s Polka*
June was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, December 1932. She started playing piano at the age of four. Later she began playing accordion, steel guitar, bass, etc., and recently when the band was shorthanded, she played four different instruments during one radio broadcast, to the amazement of the Station Manager.
One day when June was fifteen she picked up her grandfather’s violin and in a short time was playing jigs and reels. Since then she has become more versatile and plays a variety of styles such as western swing, southern style, cha cha, calypso.
June is married and has two children. Her husband plays bass and manages the Tantramar Ramblers, a popular group of Maritime musicians. June is proud to have as her piano player Jackie Doyle, well known in Canada having played in the past for Don Messer for twelve years. Jackie’s unique style has earned him the reputation as a leader in his field.
June also features on this Long Play the guitar magic of Al Cogan, well known Maritime electric guitarist.
June has played on TV and many radio stations in the Maritimes and has been seen on such CBC TV network programs as the Don Messer Show. She placed in the Championship Class at the 1959 annual Canadian Old Time Fiddler’s Contest held in Shelburne, Ontario, being the first woman to do so in the nine years history of the contest.
Tracks: Westmorland County Hornpipe*; Golden Jubilee Schottische; Perry’s Polka*; Pretty Snowdeer; Piper’s March; Country Girl Calypso*; Rodeo Reel*; Over The Waves Waltz; Highland Jig; Niagara Breakdown
June Eikhard, fiddle; Cletus “Leroy” Glazier, electric spanish guitar; Paul Gurry, Rhythm; Bill “Swapper” Leger, drums; Vic Adams, Piano; Lou Giroux, steel; Cecil Eikhard, bass
Produced by Dougal Trineer; Recorded in Stereo Sound Studios, Montreal, Quebec
Tracks: The Joys of Quebec, Magie &
Jig’s Two Step; Crooked Stove Pipe; Faded Love; Listen To The Mocking Bird;
Sputnik Breakdown*; Journeyman’s Jig; Maiden’s Prayer; Blue Spanish Eyes;
Maple Sugar; Blue Skirt Waltz; Mississippi Sawyer
June Eikhard is a native of Moncton, New Brunswick, and presently makes her home in Oshawa, Ontario.
While she plays several different musical instruments very well, her main credits belong in the field of old time fiddle music, where she is recognized as one of Canada’s most accomplished folk fiddle artists and composers.
The warm and sincere response from audiences, both in Canada and the United States, as she performs on radio, TV, jamborees, and a constant run of club dates, are very gratifying to her.
On this album (her third for Rodeo Records), June expresses the versatility and potential of her fiddle playing ability by recording her lovely and stirring renditions of Faded Love, Maiden’s Prayer and Blue Spanish Eyes, which along with the favourite “Jigs” and “Reels” included makes for a different but most enjoyable sound.
Cletus “Leroy” Glazier compliments several of the selections with his fine electric Spanish guitar stylings.
Rodeo Records are to be congratulated on their choice of musicians backing June on her album and their most talented A & R Director, Dougie Trineer.
Having personally heard June perform these numbers at many shows and clubs, and joined in the warm applause, I can very sincerely suggest that you take this album along home with you.
It’s a real treat. you will enjoy it.
Hank Snow Fan Club
Square Dance Tonight, Arc 508
Tracks: Cotton Eyed Joe; Rock Valley Jig;
Elliot's Hornpipe; Maple Sugar; New Brunswick Hornpipe; Darling Nellie
Gray; Red Haired Boy; Angus Campbell; Money Musk; Shannon Waltz; High Level
Hornpipe; Carleton County Hornpipe; Maid Behind the Bar
There are more square-dance followers in Canada today, than in the long history of this favorite pastime. Practically every community from coast-to-coast can account for at least one organized square-dance club. In Nova Scotia, where the 4 Elliot Brothers were raised, the "Saturday Night Dance" was always an event to look forward to. Carl Elliot and his brothers Gerald, Percy and Merile have been playing for square dances for over 18 years. After you hear the first selection on this LP album you will agree that here is one of the best groups ever to be heard on records. "The Nova Scotians" timing is perfect and their selection of jigs, reels and Old Country waltzes are real toe-tappers.
Tunes: Blue Mountain Hornpipe; Irish Farewell;
White Rose Waltz; Shelburne Reel; Souris Lighthouse & The Mouth of
the Tobique; The White River Stomp; MacKilmoyle’s Reel; Mother’s Reel;
Zenda Waltz; Snowflake Breakdown; Teenage Calypso; Gerald’s Favourite
The road to success for a fiddle player in Canada’s Maritime Provinces is one in which the opportunity for hard work is plentiful. Country dances are frequent and last far into the night, and the fiddler can count on an enthusiastic, but demanding audience and a modest fee when the dance is done.
But it all combines to produce good fiddle players, as witness Don Messer, Earl Mitton, Cec McEachern, Joe Isaac and a host of others.
Carl and Gerald Elliot were schooled in this Down East environment as well, and the skill they acquired with jigs and reels is exhibited here in a selection of Eastern favourites. Along with brothers Percy and Merile, the Elliotts are in great demand in the Toronto area where they now make their home.
This is their second ARC recording, and it’s easy to see that nothing has been lost of the authentic Down East touch
Carl Elliott, fiddle; Bill Elliott, rhythm guitar; Mike Elliott, bass; Percy Elliott, piano; Bob Hudson, drums; John Cameron, bones
Tracks: Cape Blomidon Reel; Gilles Roy Two
Step; Stone Outside Dan Murphy's Door; St. Patrick's Jig; Village Carousel
Waltz; Teetotaller's Reel; Concert Reel; Tableau Clog; Blind Man's Reel;
Lone Star Rag; Kern County Breakdown; Black Velvet Waltz
Having A Good Time!
This pretty well sums up Carl Elliott's philosophy on fiddle playing for whether he is on a jamboree, at a dance, in a club or recording session, he is first of all playing his fiddle for the pleasure of making good music and helping people to enjoy themselves.
Fiddling and making good music has been an integral part of Carl's life from the early years in Economy, Nova Scotia, with his mother and brothers and sisters, to the present time with his wife Jean and their talented children, Glenda, Bill and Mike.
Carl and his brother Gerald have three previous fiddle albums to their credit which were very well received, and made the Elliott name a prominent one on the old tyme fiddle scene.
This, his first album for Marathon Records, has a fine selection of 'hoedown' tunes, and also some 'waltz' and 'swing' numbers which he plays equally as well.
Interestingly enough, two of the accompanying musicians on this album are Carl's sons.
Fifteen year old bill Elliott plays rhythm guitar and is already playing a good 'hoedown' fiddle himself.
Eleven year old Mike Elliott plays an excellent bass and like his brother, is also taking a serious interest in the fiddle.
Old tyme fiddle music is an important part of our Canadian culture and it is very encouraging to have young people like Bill and Mike Elliott take a sincere interest in playing it.
Any art form must have the participation and interest of young people to help sustain and promote it, and the Elliott name which has been so closely associated with old tyme fiddle and square dance music for so many years, will continue to help carry on the traditional 'hoedown' fiddle sound through the naturally talented efforts of Bill and Mike Elliott.
The other musicians on this album are:
Percy Elliott: Carl's brother and one of the finest piano accompanists of old tyme music around, who played on Carl's earlier albums.
Bob Hudson: An excellent and versatile drummer with a good deal of 'session' experience, who also played on Carl's previous albums.
John Cameron: A former Maritime step dancing champion who still performs on shows and jamborees. John plays a real good set of 'bones', which can be heard helping out the rhythm section very nicely.
So there it is friends and here it is, a fine album of hoedown, waltz and swing fiddle tunes, with another soon to be released by Carl Elliott; which anyone who appreciates a good fiddle sound should have in their collection.
As you listen to the sometimes 'hard drivin'' and sometimes 'easy swingin'' music on this album, you will better appreciate the expression that Carl Elliott as always is, 'Having A Good Time', as you also will.
Carl Elliott, fiddle; Mike Elliott, bass; Bill Elliott, guitar, Percy Elliott, piano
Tracks: Brenda's Reel; Hometown Hornpipe;
Rustic Jig; Silver Wedding Waltz; Busy Fingers; St. Laurent Reel; Treadeau's
Reel; Bailey's Breakdwon; Mason's Apron; Turn of the Century; Golden Wedding
From his early years in Economy, Nova Scotia, to the present, Carl Elliott has made music his way of life. Carl continues in the musical belief that the family that 'plays together stays together'. Just as his mother, brothers and sisters were musically inclined, so it is with Carl's own family. On this album, Carl's son Bill sits in as rhythm guitarist while younger son Mike proves his proficiency on the bass. Both boys also know their way around a fiddle, which is not surprising when you have a Dad who happens to be one of the top down-east fiddlers recording today. Brother Percy also contributes to this all star, all family aggregation. That's 'Perce' on piano, one of the best 'old tyme' piano accompanists around.
Although Carl has toured widely throughout the provinces, the fiddling' Mr. E. now spends a good deal of his time back home in his native province, and is doing quite well for himself, I might add. He recently opened up his own dance hall and camp site in Port Au Pique, Colchester County, Nova Scotia. Every Saturday night the crowds pour in as the entire Elliott family hold forth on stage - giving the people what they want to hear - the best in down home country and fiddle music.
For those of you who can't make it down to Port Au Pique this record was made just for you.
Celtic Moon:Soundwright KECMSW93-2
[note: not an ordinary fiddle album]
Kirk Elliott: violin, viola, electric five string violin, acoustic guitar, electric guitars, celtic harp, accordion, penny whistle, keyboards, percussion, psaltery, bowed psaltery, baroque flute, chinese flute, mandolin, autoharp; Bohdan Hluszko, drums, congas, shakers; Garth Vogan,, electric bass; Don Rooke, dobro; Don Ross, acoustic guitar; George Meanwell, cello; Elissa Poole, baroque flute; Loretto Reid, uillean pipes
Produced and Engineered by Kirk Elliott
Tracks: Druids at the Disco*; The Red Haired Boy; Petty Harbour Theme*; The Ancient Irish Blues*; Carolan's Quarrel With The Landlady; St. Brigid's Ramble*; Celtic Moon*; Sheebeg Sheemore; Rain Forest Variations; The Jigs Are Up*; The Enchanted Coracle*
1. Druids at the Disco: Bulletin: Archeologists discover massive granite disco ball hidden near Stonehenge. Details at eleven.
2. & 3. Red Haired Boy and Petty Harbour Theme: A traditional pipe tune played on acoustic guitar with a capo up the wazoo and some accordions half lost in subspace. Then the them I wrote for a documentary film about the village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland.
4. The Ancient Irish Blues: I found this unique 17th Century manuscript behind some derelict oak casks while looking for a washroom during a tour of the Guiness Brewery. Honest!
5. Carolan's Quarrel With The Landlady: This has to be the mildest argument on record. Anyway, I'm sure they made up afterwards.
6. St. Brigid's Ramble: All aboard the mediaeval tour as we set out for Turin - shrouded forgotten lands, bringing with us but a loaf of bread, a bit of cheese, and a jug of wine ... well, maybe a six pack and the sports section ... a walkman and some tapes ... dental floss ... some 3 in 1 oil ... a cellular phone, just in case ... batteries, don't forget batteries ...
7. Celtic Moon: Two faces of the moon - which is which?
8. Sheebeg Sheemore (Si Beag is Si Mor): One of Turlough O'Carolan's all time greatest hits, tastefully plucked by two 90's guys.
9. Rain Forest Variations: After an opening improvisation, two flutes - Chinese and baroque - take a traditional Celtic air on a Southern holiday.
10. The Jigs Are Up!: (Angela's Jig, Petty Harbour Jig, If It Ain't Broke don't Fix It) I first became aware of the power of jigs while at a friend's wedding reception. While the adults were busy drinking, I sat by a fountain playing fiddle for young girls aged 3 - 6. I was amazed to observe their reaction to jigs - not reels, strathspeys, classical stuff, Old MacDonald - just jigs. After happily fueling their dance frenzy for about an hour, I got up to take a bow - and found -out that the tails of my tuxedo had been immersed in the fountain and had shrunk to the size of cocktail weenies.
11. The Enchanted Coracle: The tiny boat slips out of the mist and drifts towards us. Floundering through chilly water, we grab the sides and fall in, exhausted. Inside, warm blankets, fresh food, strong drink ... we float quickly into the black night...
This recording was, for the most part, conceived and created at home, where I have a studio and a bunch of instruments. Bed tracks for songs with bass and drums were done in Toronto at Studio 92 or Kensington Sound (The Ancient Irish Blues). Other stuff was recorded by me.
My heartfelt thanks to many: The musicians, especially Garth and Bo (the Consultants of Swing), and the designated DRs. The Ontario Arts Council, Doug, Donna, Carolyn, Toni, Kim, Nom, Jimi, Magoo, and Silvia, my Baltic landlady. Any remaining Druids.