Fiddling For Fun And Friends Great Eastern SR 35 - 1979
Ivan Hicks, first & second fiddles; Vivian Hicks, Piano; Del Wheaton, rhythm guitar; Tom Johnson, bass; Louis Arsenault, banjo & mandolin
Produced by Ivan Hicks; Engineer: Pat Martin; Recorded at Audio Atlantic Recording Studio, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 17 - 19, 1979
Friends' Fancy; Whislin' Rufus; Gram Lee's Waltz; Senior Citizen's Shindig;
Skipper's Fancy; Mom and Dad's Anniversary Waltz; Florence Killen's Fiddler's
Haven Hornpipe; Garnet's Tune; Reel De L'Aveugle & The Canadian Reel;
Fiddler's Waltz; Princess Reel; Mountain View Jig; Reel De Ste. Anne; Johnny,
Will Your Dog Bite?
Dear Fiddle Friends and Fans,
I am very happy to dedicate my first album to all old time fiddle fans and to the friends I have met over the years with whom and for whom I have had the opportunity to perform. Your support of old time music has contributed to making this album possible. I am especially grateful to my parents and my wife, Vivian, for their years of advice and encouragement.
Probably the most down-to-earth and enthusiastic music fan is the fiddle fan. Whether one attends a fiddle contest, a concert, a square dance, a festival, or a house gathering, the enthusiasm of the fiddle fan is incomparable. Howard Fritsch, a fiddler from St. Catherines, Ontario, once wrote, There are hundreds of different kinds of musical instruments in the world: stringed, wind and percussion. Each one appeals to certain people. some are enthralled by the strains of the pipe organ, others react to the piano, trumpet, sax, guitar, etc. But for many thousands there is nothing that compares with the good old down to earth music of the fiddle.
Now this amazing instrument is not loud, but a good one can be heard ten times farther than mere noise of the same volume, and for its size, there is no other which can produce such a great variety of embellishments to a tune. In fact, it puts the music right under your feet!
On this album I have included some old fiddle favourites that are frequently requested, such as Princess Reel, Whislin' Rufus, Reel of the Blindman, and St. Anne's Reel. Some of my own compositions have been recorded including Fiddler's Friends' Fancy, a tribute to all fiddle fans and friends; Gram Lee's Waltz, composed for my grandmother; Florence Killen's Fiddler's Haven Hornpipe and Garnet's Tune, named for two special friends, and Mom and Dad's Anniversary Waltz, composed as a tribute not only to my own parents but to all moms and dads who enjoy old time fiddling. Two of Robert Joudrey's compositions; Senior Citizen's Shindig and Fiddler's Waltz, have been included. Robert is a fine old time fiddler/composer and friend from Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.
A special thank you is extended to the back-up musicians. Besides my wife on piano, Del Wheaton, a long time fellow musician and friend plays rhythm guitar along with bass accompaniment by Tom Johnson. Louis Arseneault, a great musician from Moncton, New Brunswick adds some mandolin and banjo licks on a number of tunes. Their efforts have been greatly appreciated.
It is my wish that you get many hours of enjoyment from this album and that "it puts the music right under your feet."
P.S. Keep supporting old time fiddle music
Ivan Hicks, fiddle, mandolin, vocal; Vivian Hicks, piano; Del Wheaton, guitar and feet; Tom Johnson, bass and vocal; John Dalgleish, lead acoustic guitar; Menjo Norden, percussion
Produced by Ivan Hicks; Engineer: Pat Martin; Recorded at Audio Atlantic Recording Studio, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 1 and 2, 1980
Tracks: Jim, The Fiddle
Maker*; La P’tite Chatte; Florence Killen’s Waltz; Bonny Lea Jig; Draggin’
the Bow; Red Carpet Waltz; Le Crepuscule Reel; Fundy Tides*; Sheehan’s
Reel - The Silver Star Hornpipe; Tops’l Tavern Waltz; Litle Robbie’s Jig;
Loggieville Two Step; Balsam Fir Clog; Touch of the Masters Hand
I first met Ivan Hicks in July, 1976 when he entered the 27th Maritime Old Time Fiddling Contest in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Competing with some 40 fiddlers in his class, he reached the finals - a tribute to his obvious talent and versatility. With lively enthusiasm and an eye for perfection, he has improved his standing ever since. Finishing second in 1978, he won the Maritime Old time Fiddling Championship in 1979 and was the first winner of the coveted Olands Trophy. Representing the Maritime Contest at the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddlers Contest in Shelburne, Ontario, he competed with distinction finishing in the top ten in the Championship class against the best fiddlers in North America.
Ivan’s fiddle playing isn’t restricted only to competing in contests. A generous musician, he is always willing to share his talent. Entertaining in hospitals and senior citizens homes, teaching the fiddle to young children and instructing at workshops are some of the ways Ivan pursues his favorite pastime. he also realizes that talent alone is not sufficient to assure progress in music. You must work at your music and Ivan spends some time each day practicing his skill.
Because he is a genuine and warm person, Ivan makes friends easily. he will tell you unhesitantly that he cherishes most from his involvement in fiddle music the many fine people he meets and the new friends he makes. In turn, I would say, it is fiddlers like Ivan Hicks who make our participation in this field so enjoyable and gratifying.
Ivan’s first album, Fiddling For Fun And Friends was and instant success. Dedicated to his fiddle fans, it contains a wide variety of good old down east tunes and appeals to the many followers of fiddle music in The Maritimes. I predict similar success for this second album.
On behalf of his many supporters and admirers, I am delighted to present Ivan Hicks and the fine music of a truly great artist.
Jim Delaney, Chairman
Maritime Old Time Fiddling Contest
Dear Fiddle Fans,
Due to the response expressed by fiddling enthusiasts for my first album Fiddling For Fun And Friends, I have been encouraged to record this second album. In keeping with the theme of friendly Maritime fiddling, I am pleased to present tunes of maritime composers and have enjoyed adding a Maritime touch to other tunes on the album.
As one can recognize a person’s homeland by the accent, a clergyman by the collar, and a policeman or nurse by their uniform, likewise a Maritime fiddler can be quickly identified by his/her style. The Maritime Provinces have long been regarded as the breeding ground for good old time fiddling. Fiddlers who have contributed to the Maritime fiddling tradition and have been recognized for their talents include the Cape Breton Symphony, Angus Chisholm, Lee Cremo, Carl Elliott, Winston ‘Scotty” Fitzgerald, Bill Guest, Ned Landry, Don Messer, Earl Mitton, Johnny Mooring, Jerry Robichaud (to name but a few). It is interesting to note that when one attends a fiddle gathering, a contest or a workshop, or a festival in the Maritimes there are always new faces amongst the fiddlers. It is encouraging to see that there are many young fiddlers with promising futures. they have the responsibility of upholding this Maritime fiddling tradition.
Two of my own compositions have been recorded including Jim, The Fiddle Maker, dedicated to Jim McCleave of Oxford, NS (maker of the fiddle I am playing on this album), and Fundy Tides. I have included three of Robert Joudrey’s tunes - Bonny Lea Jig, Tops’ Tavern Waltz, and Balsam Fir Clog. Cliff Manley, formerly of Truro, NS and now residing in Ontario, has given me permission to record his Florence Killen’s Waltz, named for a great supporter of fiddle music from Truro, NS. Matilda Murdoch, an accomplished lady fiddler from Loggieville, NB wrote the Loggieville Two-Step.
I wish to express a sincere thank you to my back-up musicians on this album; to my wife, Vivian, for her continued support and dedication; to Del Wheaton and Tom Johnson, two members of our old time band, Maritime Express for their time, interest and assistance; to John Dalgleish and Menjo Norden, two members of our dance band, the Marshwinds, for their contributions.
It is my hope that this album contributes to the preservation of fiddling “The Maritime Way”.
Sincerely and Fiddlingly yours,
Ivan Hicks, fiddle, guitar, mandolin; Vivian Hicks, piano; John Dalgleish, Banjo; Tom Johnson, bass; Menjo Norden, percussion; Del Wheaton, Rhythm guitar, clogging, Philias (the wooden man); Garnet o'Blenis, saxophone; Winston Crawford, bagpipes
Produced by Ivan Hicks, Owen Vallis, Menjo Norden; Engineer: Gary Morris, Owen Vallis; recorded at Prime Time Studio, Sussex, NB, January - April, 1982
Tracks: New Brunswick
Medley: New Brunswick Hornpipe/ Mouth of the Tobique/ Blue Violet Breakdown;
Don Messer Medley: Harvey Jig/ Belldune Reel/ Mactaquac Reel; Purple Violet
Waltz*; Northumberland-Kent County Medley: Baie Ste Anne Quadrille/ Kent
County Jig; Bill Guest Medley: Bay of Fundy Reel/ New Brunswick Hop; Acadian
Medley: Le Reel du Point de l'étang/ Durelle's Victory Breakdown;
Earl Mitton Medley: York County Hornpipe/ North Shore Breakdown/ French
Reel; Ivan Hicks Medley: Riverview Jig*/ Apohaqui*; New Brunswick Waltz;
Miramichi Medley: Miramichi River Jig 'Off She Goes'/ Miramichi Fire/ Mason's
Apron; Marsh Winds Waltz; New Brunswick Breakdown Medley: White Rapids
Breakdown/ Carleton County Breakdown; Woodchopper's Breakdown
Of the many flowers that brighten the New Brunswick forests in springtime, the Purple Violet (Viola Cuculata) is probably the one most frequently seen. It was adopted as the province’s Floral Emblem by Order-in-Council in 1936, at the request of the New Brunswick Women’s Institute.It's Bluegrass, Maritime Express ME 1002 - 1983
Fellow old-time fiddling enthusiasts:
The art of old-time fiddle playing is ‘fit as a fiddle’ throughout New Brunswick, Canada’s Picture Province. This heart-warming observation is exemplified by Ivan Hicks of Riverview on this his latest album appropriately entitled Purple Violet Fiddling, featuring tunes composed by New Brunswick fiddlers.
Ivan has been a major influence in the drive to keep vital this time-honoured form of entertainment and has backed up his lifelong interest and dedication on its behalf through group teaching, workshops, personal appearances and recordings.
New Brunswickers from all walks of life and many ethnic origins have always been a musical people. They sang as they helped clear a virgin wilderness; during log drives on the province’s mighty rivers; at weddings and funerals, at harvest-time and community celebrations. During New Brunswick’s formative years there was little time budgeted for recreation; men and boys worked in the woods, in the fields and on the seas, while the womenfolk worked at home helping to keep the family together.
But when the evening shadows lengthened and the work for the day was done and the chores attended, father would tune up the fiddle and entertain the family and friends who dropped in for a chat. While the younger children would probably have gone to bed, Grandma would remember the years as she quietly rocked in the glow of the open hearth, and the older children would listen to the whispering undertones of conversation and the music - cherishing the hope that one day they too would be able to play the fiddle just like Dad.
Yes, the old-time fiddle was a true pioneer in the scheme of things. It has and continues to play a worthwhile role in the life of our province.
As Minister of Tourism for the Province of New Brunswick, I commend and heartily encourage all old-time fiddle enthusiasts in their efforts toward maintaining and thus keeping vibrant this important facet of New Brunswick’s rich cultural heritage.
Hon. Leland W. McGraw
This is my third album and it is dedicated to the many old-time fiddlers, past and present, who have given so much of their time and talent to enrich our musical heritage.
I have often heard it said that, music is the food of love, and I couldn’t agree more. The following poem written by Florence Killen, a special friend, expresses this well:My TreasuresFlorence Catherine Killen,
I’ve found such joy in the little things
Apart from the song the robin sings,
A simple home which is unique,
A haven where musicians meet.
I love the music which I share,
With precious friends who always care,
To make me part of their today,
I’ve treasured all and wish to say,
That friends and music are my wealth,
A cherished family, abundant health.
So as I journey to the end,
God make me worthy of each friend.
Truro, Nova Scotia
Purple Violet Fiddling is a tribute to my native province, New Brunswick, it’s fiddlers and its fiddling tradition.
Ivan Hicks, fiddle, mandolin, guitar & vocals; John Dagleish, banjo, guitar, vocals; Tom Johnson, bass, guitar, mandolin & vocals; Del Wheaton, guitar, bass, mandolin, vocals; Vivian Hicks, vocals on 'Little Green Valley'; Gary Morris, organ on 'Little Green Valley'
Producers: Gary Morris and Maritime Express; Engineer: Gary Morris; Recorded at Prime Time Sound Studio, Sussex, NB, Jan - March, 1983.
Tracks: Rocky Road
Blues; Why Do You Weep, Dear Willow; Shepody Bay Blues*; Have You Lost
all the Love?; Tressy's Wedding Gown; Black Diamond; That's What I like
About You; Little Green Valley; Medley: Busy Fingers - Blackberry Blossom
- Crazy Creek; Suppertime
Ivan Hicks is a well known and respected figure in the old-time and bluegrass music circles in the Atlantic Provinces. His love for music began in the late 1940s when he was playing mandolin with his fiddling father, Curtis, for weekend old-time dances in the Sackville, New Brunswick area. He started playing fiddle at the age of seven and for seven years, in the late 50s and early 60s, he was the fiddle player with the popular country group in the area, The Golden Valley Boys.Swingin' Fiddles Maritime Express ME 1003, 1984
After graduating from high school and university, Ivan took up school teaching as a profession, but also found the time to practice the fiddle and regularly entered most of the fiddle contests in the area. Having placed at or near the top of all the local contests, as well as winning top honours on two different occasions in the prestigious Maritime Old-Time Fiddling Contest, Ivan decided to concentrate on the teaching and entertainment aspects of his music.
Forming the group, Maritime Express, in 1979, coincided with the resurgence of old-time fiddle music and old-time country and bluegrass music in the area. This resurgence was due in part to the bluegrass and old-time music festivals and to the increasing amount of air play this type of music was receiving.
Besides Ivan, other members of Maritime Express include:
TOM JOHNSON - rhythm guitar, mandolin, bass and vocals. Tom is married to the former Barb Baughan and they have three children. Tom and Barb reside in Westcock, NB (just outside Sackville). He is retired from the Canadian Army and is employed by Mount Allison University. Tom is an outdoors person with a great interest in hunting and fishing.
DEL WHEATON - rhythm guitar, mandolin, bass & vocals. Del is married to the former Rosemary ‘Bea’ Baughan (Barb’s sister) and they have four children. Del and Bea live in Sackville. Del is a member of the VIIIth Canadian Hussars military band and has given much of his time to community work. Like Tom, he is one of the original members of the Maritime Express and was a member of The Golden Valley Boys country band.
GRUBB BROTHERS - Horatio (Del) and Lonzo (Tom) have become an important act with Maritime Express. Their clean, down-to-earth comedy routines have captured the hearts of the audiences wherever they have appeared. In a short time, they have done numerous TV and stage appearances and have had magazine articles written on them.
JOHN DALGLEISH - banjo, guitar, and vocals. John is the most recent member of Maritime Express, having joined the band in 1980. He is married to the former Marie Saulnier, Memramcook, NB. They have two boys. John works as an electronics technician at the University of Moncton. In fact, he loves tinkering with anything in the electronics medium and working with computers.
VIVIAN HICKS - piano, guitar and vocals. Vivian, Ivan’s wife, was the former Vivian Webb from Millstream (near Sussex), NB. Being a school teacher like Ivan, they met in Salisbury, NB. Although not a regular stage performer with Maritime Express, she looks after the band’s sound system and helps Ivan on a song or two during a concert and accompanies him on piano for a segment of old-time fiddling tunes.
Since their formation, Maritime Express has recorded three successful old-time fiddle albums, with this album being their first effort in the bluegrass music category. During the past four years, I have had the pleasure of being associated with Ivan and Vivian and the other members of the group, through their unselfish participation in our Bluegrass Jamboree Anniversary Programs, and through their many performances at concerts and festivals that I have had the opportunity to emcee.
On this album, the group has the opportunity to demonstrate their versatility, and to show you why they are one of the most popular acoustic music bands in the Atlantic area today.
I feel that it is a great honour to have been asked to make a few comments here, and I am certain that you will thoroughly enjoy listening to this recording each and every time that you play it.
Host - CKDH Bluegrass Jamboree
Ivan Hicks, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals; Vivian Hicks, piano; John Dalgleish, banjo; Del Wheaton, rhythm guitar, 'Philias', the wooden man, spoons, vocals; Tom Johnson, bass, vocals; Menjo Norden, percussion; Ephrem Richard, harmonica; Gary Morris, Keyboard
Producers: Ivan Hicks, Vivian Hicks, Gary Morris; Engineer: Gary Morris; recorded at Prime Time Studio, Sussex, NB January - March, 1984
Tracks: Money Musk;
Growling Old Man and Old Woman; Blue Pacific Hornpipe; Pacific Slopes Reel;
Mothers Reel; Margaret Ann Robertson; Medley in A: Kiley's Reel/ Uncle
Henry's Reel/ The Wind That Turns The Mill/ Bowing The Strings; Whiskey
Before Breakfast; Orange Blossom Special; Maple Sugar; Lord Alexander's
Reel; Medley of Jigs: Magie Mawhinney/ Little Bob River/ Johnny's/ Jimmy's
Favourite; Gladstone Waltz; Western Waltz; Ragtime Annie; Blind River Breakdown/
Jack Pine Reel
"Play the Maple Sugar!" That's a familiar cry from an old-time fiddling audience. So I tuck the fiddle under my chin and with a cue to my band, we're off. When I look into the smiles of my listeners, I realize that the excitement I feel is not mine alone. The smiles broaden, the toes begin to tap, and the mood heightens. You’re happy. I’m happy.
As I put the finishing touch to Ward Allen’sMaple Sugar, calls for Money Musk, Lord Alexander’s Reel, Growling Old Man and Old Woman, and Ragtime Annie are shouted out amidst the applause. A change of key and another cue is all that is needed to bring another string of favourites to life.
Many of the tunes here have been requested by you, the listeners. I thought it was time I recorded Mothers Reel for Ralph, Margaret Ann Robertson for Jim and Mac, and Jack Pine Reel (a tune Dad enjoyed playing) for Chester. It was fun working on these tunes, and we particularly enjoyed arranging Whiskey Before Breakfast (even if the Grubb Brothers did spill the whiskey) and Orange Blossom Special.
As you listen to this recording, perhaps you too will feel the warmth and friendship that grows between a fiddler and his audience. The soul of old-time fiddling is this unspoken communication which keeps my love for the fiddle alive.
I dedicate this recording to you, the many folks who have taken the time to write to me and to phone requesting our music. To the many loyal followers and supporters of “Ivan Hicks and Maritime Express”, a big thank you. I remain,
(Not really a fiddle album,
this record does feature the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers as well as Ivan
Hicks. Here's what is said about them on the jacket)
In September, 1981, we were teaching fiddling by the Suzuki method to youngsters in our own home on Sussex Avenue, Riverview, NB. Adults began to express such a strong interest in old-time fiddling that we decided to start a class for them. The demand for this group to play at different functions grew so rapidly that the name Sussex Avenue Fiddlers became their trademark.
The group usually meets once or twice a month in our home. Besides keeping old-time fiddling alive, the group enjoys the fellowship, learning new tunes and techniques, and playing for senior citizens, veterans, social events and benefits.
Vivian and I are thrilled to have the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers be a part of this Christmas presentation.
Thank you fiddlers and all the best at Christmas time from our home to your home.
Ivan and Vivian
Sussex Avenue Fiddlers:
Janice Babineau, Yvon Babineau, Lucille Belliveau, Gerard Breau, Albenie Cormier, Alyre Dorion, Donald Fawcett, Beth Fenton, Anna Frye, Emile Gallant, Jim Hardy, Crystal Jones, Nina Jones, Lionel LeBlanc, Pierrette LeBlanc, Harry Lord, Laurence Marie, Harold Mellon, Ted Nichols, Bonnie Porter, Clayton Reid, Ken Sawyer, Marvena Welling, Foster Wheaton.
Ivan Hicks, fiddle, guitar; Vivian Hicks, piano; John Dalgleish, banjo; Del Wheaton, rhythm guitar; Tom Johnson, bass, sound effects; Menjo Norden, percussion; Gary Morris, guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer; Earl Hawton, percussion; Fran Rooney, steel guitar; Bill Guest, piano, second fiddle
Produced by Gary Morris; Engineer: Gary Morris; Recorded at Prime Time Sound Studio, Sussex, NB, March - June, 1987
Tracks: Shingle The
Roof; River John Sunset Waltz; Stan's Jig; Weeping Heart; Moonlight Waltz;
Island Ferry; Le reel de l'hiver; Ivan and Vivian's Lament; Marg's Jig;
Ralph and Norma Porter's Waltz; Clouds of the Evening; Leonard's Waltz
I can still hear the strains of “Shingle the Roof” in the community hall at Baie Verte, NB. It was there that I sat Friday night after Friday night with my mandolin, comic books and bubble gum and accompanied Dad as he fiddled away for the Melrose Quadrille.
Although the fiddle is now quiet in this hall, I have many fond memories - the great folks I met, the musicians, the ‘Characters’ who always added some excitement to the evening, the hot summer nights, the old wood stove, the smokefilled room - well, you know!
“Shingle The Roof” is a link with the past and a hope for a future. Square your sets for some good old-fashioned tunes and some brand new compositions.
Shingle the Roof: One of the many tunes I heard Dad (Curtis Hicks) play at the Baie Verte Community Hall with all four parts.
River John Sunset Waltz: A beautiful waltz written by Florence Killen, Truro, NS, named for her home community, River John, NS.
Stan’s Jig: A great composition from the late Eugene Laderoute, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.
Weeping Heart: Written by one of Nashville’s great fiddlers (Howdy Forrester) and has a very pleasing, free-flowing melody.
Moonlight Waltz: My arrangement of a great waltz composed by Matilda Murdoch, Loggieville, NB.
Island Ferry: I first heard this tune played by Clayton MaGee, a fine fiddler from Havelock, NB.
Le reel de l’hiver (Winter Reel): A tune popularized by a teenage fiddler, Jean Belliveau, Pré d’en Haut, NB, and composed by the late Eloi LeBlanc, Memramcook, NB.
Ivan and Vivian’s Lament: Written for Vivian and me by a fine musician and composer, Bill Guest, Halifax, NS.
Marg’s Jig: A catchy jig written for a friend, Marg Scott (by Matilda Murdoch).
Ralph and Norma Porter’s Waltz: A Bill MacInnis Sr. (Village Green, PEI) waltz to honour the Porters of Springhill, NS, two great supporters of old-time fiddling.
Clouds of the Evening: A four part tune that I learned from Harold O’Donnell, Norton, NB.
Leonard’s Waltz: A Beth Fenton (Riverside-Albert, NB) composition, named for her husband.
It seems strange to think that my violin was once a tree, but I do not know what else could have caught the music that lies within it, waiting for the touch. It must be centuries old, and through all those years it was listening and learning, weaving in with its growth the forest melodies to sing to generations yet unborn. Wind and wave and song of bird, crash of thunder, drip of rain and mating call - all these are in the fibre of my violin. And the thousand notes of sea and storm, the music of the waterfall and stream - what wonder that it is so nearly the human voice.
Love Letter of a Musician.
(This is an album of country
music by Ivan and Vivian Hicks)
Most Respected, Maritime Express 1011, 2000
Ivan Hicks, fiddle; Vivian Hicks, piano; various other musicians
Produced by Ivan Hicks; Editing: Wade Butland, Prime Time Studios, Sussex, New Brunswick
Tracks: Shingle The
Roof / Diamond Lil; NB Medley: New Brunswick Hornpipe / Mouth of the Tobique
/ Blue Violet Breakdown; Gram Lee's Waltz*; Mother's Reel; Fiddler's Friends
Fancy*; New Brunswick Waltz; Riverview Jig* / Apohaqui*; Loggieville Two
Step; Fundy Tides*; Garnet's Tune*; Purple Violet Waltz*; Island Ferry;
Weeping Heart; Florence Killen's Fiddlers Haven Hornpipe*; Ivan & Vivian's
Lament; Baie Ste. Anne Quadrille / Kent Co. Jig; Princess Reel; Mom &
Dad's Anniversary Waltz*; Winter Reel; Marshwinds Waltz*; St. Anne's Reel;
River John Sunset Waltz; Ragtime Annie
The tunes on this CD have been taken from the following previously recorded albums:
SR36 - Ivan Hicks, Fiddling for Fun and Friends (1979)
SR48 - Ivan Hicks, Friendly Fiddling the Maritime Way (1980)
ME1001 - Ivan Hicks, Purple violet Fiddling (1982)
ME1004 - Ivan Hicks, Fiddlingly Yours (1984)
ME1007 - Ivan Hicks, Shingle The Roof (1987)
Between 1979 and 1987, I recorded a number of solo albums mainly on cassette and vinyl. I decided that I would take 25 of the most requested tunes from my previously recorded albums and put them on CD. Most are my own originals, but there are some written by other composers. I hope you will enjoy.
Sincerely & Fiddlingly,
Ivan Hicks, fiddle, Mandolin; Vivian Hicks, keyboard; Raymond McLain, banjo, mandolin; Tony McManus, guitar, tin whistle; Gary Morris, guitar, percussion, keyboard; Terry Poirier, acoustic bass
Produced and Engineered by Gary Norris; Recorded at Prime Time Studio, Sussex, NB, February, 2000
Bridge Reel* / Hardy’s Reel*; Bill Harmer’s Reel*; Anne From Downeyville*;
Bell-Hawk Swing*; Fiddler From Douro*; Madeline; Out The Old Mill Way*;
MacDonalds of Highfield*; Fiddlers’ Gala*; Big Black Cat*; Memories of
Father James Smith*; White Pine Lodge Hornpipe*; Fiddler’s Roast*; Connections;
Out The Old Mill Way (reprise)*
We live in an age of connections, many fast and highly technical, others very personal and enduring. There are various musical connections – these include connections between those who make music and those who treasure it.Generations: Ivan Hicks and Ned Landry: Maritime Express Records ME 1013 – 2001
Ivan thought it would be interesting to explore the influences of other styles by blending Canadian Downeast Old Time fiddling with the Celtic guitar sounds of Scotland and the American bluegrass banjo stylings; all the while remaining true to his traditional Downeast roots.
The first connection was between Ivan and Tony McManus at Fiddle of the World, an international fiddling event held in Halifax, NS July 1999. Tony is the Celtic influence. Gary Norris, producer, engineer and musician on this recording, and Raymond McLain, who plays banjo and mandolin had known each other from previous musical events.
Raymond brings the bluegrassinfluence. Add to this the steady playing of Bassist, Terry Poirier, and the piano stylings of Ivan’s wife, Vivian, and you have an interesting connection of ideas, arrangements and musicians.
Vivian Hicks – Ivan’s wife, has accompanied him on the keyboard, given numerous workshops, organized many musical events and activities and has been instrumental in promoting and preserving fiddling in Canada.
Raymond McLain – was born in the hills of Eastern Kentucky into a musical family. The McLain Family Band played for 21 years before Raymond became a member of Jim and Jesse MrReynolds and the Virginia Boys. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in all American states and 62 foreign countries as well as on thousands of stages including the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall.
Tony McManus – self-taught Scottish guitar wizard, is one of the finest acoustic guitarists in the world. His incomparable ability and deep love of the traditional music from Scotland and Ireland translates into a steadfast and rich performance. Tony is in demand the world over for seminars, concerts, festivals and session work.
Gary Morris – has been in the music business for most of his life as a multi-instrumentalist, owner and operator of Prime Time Recording Studio, owner of music stores and leader of a dance band. He teaches music and is the organizer of the Valley Jamboree, Sussex, NB Canada.
Ivan Hicks – started fiddling with his dad, Curtis Hicks, over 50 years ago. He has entertained throughout North America, done numerous recordings, been inducted into the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame and North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame, is director of numerous fiddling music associations and is an avid promoter of old time fiddling.
Terry Poirier – comes from a musical family, his father Eddy Poirier being a multi-instrumentalist and recognized for his contributions to music in Eastern Canada. Terry has a great ear for a variety of styles of music and plays with consistency and accuracy.
Ned Landry, fiddle; Ivan Hicks, fiddle; Gary Morris, guitar, fiddle, keyboard, persuccsion, slide guitar, bass; Bruce Holder Jr., trumpet; Vivian Hicks, keyboards; Reg Gallant, acoustic guitar; Aubrey Hanson, tenor banjo; Tammy Feeney, keyboard; Gordon Stobbe, banjo; Sam Aucoin, steel guitar; Ellen Nightengale, keyboard; Allison Inch, fiddle, spoons; Janelle Dupuis, fiddle; Guy Leger, fiddle; Stacey Read, fiddle, keyboard; Harold Nightengale, guitar; Winston Rees, dobro; Sonny Weyman, electric guitar
Produced by Ivan Hicks and Gary Morris; engineered by Gary Morris; recorded at Prime Time Studio, Sussex and Saint John, New Brunswick and Creative Sound Studio, Moncton, NB
Tracks: Hillbilly Calypso* / Y2K Calypso**; Messer Story (told by Ned); Messer Medley: Little Burnt Potato / Whalen's Breakdown / Operator's Reel; Jig Medley: Cock of the North / One Hundred Pipers / Irishman's Heart to The Ladies; Tennessee Waltz story (by Ned); Tennessee Waltz; Gene Morris Polka*; Celina*; Bowin' The Strings* / Ontario Swing*; Golden Slippers; Harbour Lights; Old Time Medley: Year of Jubilo / Old Man and Old Woman / Turkey in the Straw / Red Wing / 1st Change Atlantic Polka / Lumberjack Special*; Story of Ned's Name (by Ned); My Little Bear Waltz*; Cooley's Reel; In The Garden; Down Yonder
*by Ned Landry **by Ivan Hicks
A Historically Important Recording
Legends! That's something in which New Brunswick is rich, fiddle legends in particular. These include such renowned fiddlers as Don Messer, Earl Mitton, Ned Landry and Ivan Hicks. Sadly, Don and Earl have moved on to Fiddler's Green, but Ned and Ivan are, thankfully, still with us.
"Generations" is more than a collaboration by these two musicians because they've had such distinguished, separate careers. In an archival sense, this recording preserves a big slice of new Brunswick's music history over a couple of generations. Not only does it bring two distinct fiddle styles together in stirring new renditions of favourite tunes, many composed by Ned Landry himself, but it includes dialogue and stories. Anyone interested in fiddling's past will find these inclusions fascinating - some of historical significance, some quite amusing.
Ned and Ivan, born a generation apart, have between them experienced the popularizing and commercialization of fiddle music from early experimental radio broadcasts by "Don Messer's New Brunswick Lumberjacks" to such recent orchestrated recordings as "Don Messer's Violin" by Frank Leahy. Both have fiddled publicly since childhood; both have added significant tunes to this province's fiddling repertoire. Yet Ned grew up in dire poverty during the 1920s, Ivan in the more financially stable 1940s. Neither Ned nor Ivan learned to read music, quite unlike the current generation of young fiddlers, many of whom have learned by by ear and by note.
On this recording we are treated to another generation of New Brunswick fiddlers - Janelle Dupuis (East Memramcook), Stacey Read (Sackville), and Guy Leger (St. Anthony) who add their touch to such tunes as "Down Yonder", "Bowin' The Strings" and "Ontario Swing".
Both Ned and Ivan have been accorded many honours during their long careers and all have been richly deserved. I'm sure even the most musically critical will agree to that after they've listened to this recording.
Country and Folk Music Feature Writer
The New Brunswick Telegraph Journal
Saint John, NB
My Personal Thoughts...
I am honoured to be doing this recording project with one of Canada's legends of the fiddle. As a youngster I often heard Ned Landry tunes on radio and learned to play most of his compositions. I always enjoyed his interpretation of tunes and the distinctive Landry style.
On a number of occasions, I have had the privilege to share the stage with Ned, to accompany him on guitar and to play duets with him. The time we spent together in the recording studio laying down the tracks for this recording was enjoyable. There were many happy moments. I recall the ease with which Ned executed the many tunes on this album, his expression in such tunes as "Celina" and "In the Garden", the stories that accompanied tunes like "Tennessee Waltz" and the "Messer Medley" and his enthusiasm for this project.
As Ned continues to play his fiddle well into his senior years, he still inspires the fiddler and thrills his audiences. His tunes will continue to be an integral part of my repertoire and I anxiously await the next new Ned Landry composition. Thank you Ned, for a memorable experience.
Ivan Hicks was born July 6, 1940 in Upper Sackville, New Brunswick. His father, Curtis Hicks, was a well known fiddler, from Midgic, NB. Ivan grew up in a musical household - his father played various stringed instruments and his mother, Bessie Lee from Upper Sackville, chorded on the Hawaiian guitar. At the age of 5 Ivan learned to chord on his mother's guitar and this was soon followed by his interest in learning to play mandolin and the fiddle. By the age of 6 he was accompanying his dad on the mandolin at dances.
Since Curtis Hicks worked for the CNR and was unable to perform regularly, Ivan was asked to play the fiddle for square dances. During the mid-1950s he and a friend, Del Wheaton, formed a country and old-time band called The Golden Valley Boys that played concerts and dances and recorded radio shows. They recorded a 45 rpm single for Rodeo Records in 1958 featuring Ron Goodwin as vocalist (Hank Williams Speaking From Heaven b/w/ Get On That Train) and a LP for RCA in the early 1960s called "Maritime Jamboree".
Between 1959 - 64, Ivan attended Mount Allison University graduating with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees. In 1964, he started teaching High School in Salisbury, NB where he remained until retirement in 1996. During these years, Ivan helped for a dance band, Marshwinds, and a bluegrass and old-time band called Maritime Express. He met the former Vivian Paulette Webb of Lower Millstream, NB (also a teacher in Salisbury) and they were married in 1970. As fate would have it, she had a keen interest in old time fiddling and has accompanied Ivan on piano ever since.
Ivan has toured the Maritime Express across Canada and parts of the United States. In 1979 he decided to start his own independent recording label, Maritime Express, and has released numerous albums of bluegrass, fiddle and old-time country music. Ivan even recorded his late father, Curtis, for a documentary LP just before he passed away. But the other side of Ivan Hicks which must not go unmentioned is his ability to compose great fiddle tunes including "Gram Lee's Waltz", "Jim The Fiddle Maker", "Purple Violet Waltz", Y2K Calypso" and "Confederation Bridge Reel".
Highlights from Ivan's career include: two Maritime Old Time Fiddling Championships (1979 - 1980); finalist in the Canadian Old Time Fiddle Contest, Shelburne, ON; being inducted into the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame (1985) as well as the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame (1990), and playing concerts with such artists as Chubby Wise, John Hartford, Roni Stoneman, Graham and Eleanor Townsend, Calvin Vollrath and Kenny Baker. He has been the emcee for the Maritime Old Time Fiddling Contest, Dartmouth, NS (14 yrs) and has guested at various fiddling events throughout Canada and the United States. Ivan has also been called to judge at many old-time fiddle contests throughout Canada. He has been teaching and guiding youngsters in the art of fiddling for many years. IN 1996, Allison Mitcham wrote a biography of Ivan's life and music, "Ivan Hicks, Fifty Years of Fabulous fiddling".
In 1999 Ivan and Vivian co-ordinated Fiddlers of the World, a 5 day musical event featuring workshops and concerts, that brought fiddle players of various styles from around the world together in Halifax, NS.
Ivan Continues in helping to preserve and promote old time fiddling in many different ways. Due to his youthful energy he has made numerous long-lasting friendships with the great folks he has met along the way.
Fredrick 'Ned' Landry was born February 2, 1921 in Saint John, NB. He was raised during the dawning of the Golden Age of radio, listening to the sounds of old time country, fiddle music, and classic jazz. This was also a time of great instability: he was only eight years of age when the Great Depression hit and like so many other underprivileged children, had to leave school to work in the lumber camps of New Brunswick. But it was here, at these isolated camps, that he experienced the sounds that would decide his future. When his day's work was done, he would listen in rapt attention to grizzly lumberjacks who idled away many an evening by fiddling traditional reels or hornpipes.
Ned always looked forward to the visits of Don Messer who was then touring the Kerosene Circuit of rural New Brunswick with his Backwoods Trio, featuring Charlie Chamberlain and Duke Nielsen. These events inspired him to learn to play the harmonica which eventually bought him a ticket out of the woods. He talked Messer into taking him along on the road - a gangly, tall teenager all too eager to help the band. It was during his time with Messer that Ned took an interest in learning to play the violin and what better teacher could he have ever wanted. Messer encouraged the lad to learn to play the tunes correctly, giving him endless hours of playing scales for perfect intonation and bowing skills.
In the mid-1930s Messer came up with a new game plan - to increase his trio into a small orchestra to emulate the sounds of the great George Wade and His Cornhuskers. The Cornhuskers featured various fiddlers and incorporated some of the sounds of the big jazz swing-bands into old time music. Ned was now primarily used as a back-up fiddler in Don Messer's New Brunswick Lumberjacks. This band became so successful that by 1939 they were offered a once in a lifetime reward - their own radio program on the newly formed CBC. The only problem was that this program was to be based out of CFCY Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and a number of the Lumberjacks decided not to go. this was still during the depression, as fellow band member George Hector explained to Gerry Taylor: "I was making $22.50 a week just for driving a car and keeping it shined... not bad for the hungry thirties. Don Messer wanted me to go to Charlottetown when he made the move to go on CBC but it seemed like too big a risk. I had steady money coming in and I had a family to bring up."
At this time, Ned, Don Messer, Charlie Chamberlain and Duke Nielsen were touring with the Franklin Theatres, appearing between picture shows throughout the Maritimes. It was during the tour of PEI that Don got the job at CFCY in Charlottetown to start the Islanders. During Ned's stay with Messer, he was asked in 1939 to take Don's place to play in Boston and New York for the International Sportsman Show with Major Bowes and won second place. Ned decided to leave the Islanders and move back to Saint John to rekindle the original New Brunswick Lumberjacks. Ned was playing at CHSJ for nothing and asked George Cromwell to find a sponsor. George went out and got the Maritime Farmer's Paper to sponsor the show. This is when the name of the band was changed to the Maritime Farmer Barn Dance.
One spring day in 1950, a company representative of RCA Victor was in Saint John on business, and there he visited a friend who also happened to be a close friend of Ned's. After dinner, the 'rep' was invited to listen to a recording made at the fiddler's home. So impressed was the RCA rep that he immediately asked to have the record to take back to his company in Montreal. A few weeks later, Ned's first records were being cut. Ned recorded some great albums for RCA over the years featuring many of his own compositions, including "Bowin' The Strings", "Ontario Swing", "Hillbilly Calypso", "Woodchopper's Breakdown", to name a few.
In 2001, Ned Landry turned 80. Although he had to deal with some health issues in the late '90s, he showed us what he is made of - the grit and determination of a New Brunswick Lumberjack. Ned still wields his legendary bow - still bowin' the strings after all these years.
Ned has published a number of books of his fiddle tunes including such greats as "Cajun Fiddlin' on the Bayou", "My Little Bear Waltz", and "Celina". He was inducted into the library of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville TN (1975), the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame, Fredricton, NB, and the North American Fiddler's Hall of Fame, Osceola, NY. He has played and toured with such great artists as Hank Snow, Mac Wiseman, Wilf Carter, Johhny Cash and Big Slim, The Lone Cowboy. He has appeared on major television specials, such as Country Hoedown, The Tommy Hunter Show, Stu Phillips Red River Jamboree, Countrytime with Vic Mullin, a CBC French TV series La Bastringue, as well as ATV's Up Home Tonight. He set a record at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern, drawing capacity crowds for six months straight back in the 1950s, a feat only to be broken by his cousin, Dr. Stompin' Tom Connors. In 1956 he decided to enter the Shelburne Fiddle Contest which he won; he returned in 1957 to claim his second successive Canadian Open title (he also won the contest for a third time in 1962). Ned received the prestigious Order of Canada (1992), was presented with a lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship (1996) and had a book published on his life and music, Ned Landry, Master of the Fiddle.
Special thanks to...
Mildred Landry, Janelle Dupuis, Guy Leger, Stacey Read, parents of the young fiddlers, Gary Morris of Prime Time Studio, Dan Britton of Creative Sound Studio, the many musicians who have shared their talents on this recording, Gerry Taylor, Steve Fruitman and the many fans who have enjoyed our music over the years.
Ned and Ivan
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