Sierra Noble

Spirit of the Strings, Arbor Records - AR 12312 - 20056

Sierra Noble, fiddle; Randy Heibert, guitars; Gerry McIvor, mandolin; Jimmy Flett, banjo, electric guitar; Tim Sutton, drums

Produced by Randy Heibert; Engineered, mixed and mastered by Daniel Natyna and Randy Heibert; Recorded at Soul R Music, Headingly, MB

Tracks: Bowing the Strings; Constitution Breakdown; Big Bear; Grandma Blanche*; Maytime Swing; Gilbert's Duck Dance; Raemona; Big John McNeil; Red River Jig; Red Carpet Waltz; Lucky Trapper Reel; Florence Kellen's Waltz; Medley: Fiddle Fingers / Old Man and the Old Woman / Liberty Two-step; Orange Blossom Special

This album is full of great old time and Metis fiddle standards. If you know my style, it's not only that. I also play Celtic, Bluegrass, Country, Middle-Eastern, classical and Folk. I wanted my first album to be a tribute to my first and favorite style of fiddle music, and to all the elders in the Metis fiddle community that have passed down the culture and traditions to me.

John Arcand, Gilbert Anderson, Mel Bedard, Emile Lavallee, Gary Lepine, and Tommy Knott... you guys are the best. I love you all! I hope I make you proud.

A Dedication to Nanny

The tune titled "Grandma Blanche" was written for my Great-Grandma. An amazingly talented knitter, world-class pie maker and the most caring, loving and humorous woman I've ever known. I wrote the tune in July 2001 at Emma Lake Fiddle Camp where I got a call from my sister Brook crying that Nanny had just died tragically in her apartment by fire.

Instantly, John Arcand and Gordon Stobbe took me under their wing and helped me and my mom through a very hard week. They also helped me write a tune for her. Her name was Blanche Gaylord and I loved her so much. This tune has brought a lot of tears to many people, even those who never met her. I now play this tune not only in memory of her, but for all the people who have lost their lives tragically. She always did love my fiddle music, so Nanny... this is for you. I love you, miss you, and I'll see you again someday.


Sierra began playing classical violin at 7 years old and she continues to study in the classical field. However, she was drawn to the unique musical sounds of the Metis fiddlers. As a talented young musician, she was introduced to the veteran Manitoban fiddler Tommy Knott. Tommy instructed Sierra in the old style Metis tunes that many students don't play anymore, hoping he could trust his people's music in the little girl's hands.

For several years now, Sierra has dedicated much time and energy to preserving the Metis culture through music, dance, fiddling and jigging. She learnt from many great fiddlers in Canada and with all her hard work has earned the title of Manitoba Junior Fiddling and Jigging Champion (2003-2004). Sierra plays many different styles of music such as Classical, Celtic, Bluegrass, Country, Old Tyme and Middle Eastern, and is loved by everyone that appreciates her talents.

"Sierra Noble exemplifies the very best of today's young person: talented, committed to making the world da better place, passionate about her music and full of the wonderful energy of youth. Although many of Sierra's contributions to the world deserve to be celebrated, now is the time to sit back and let her joyous fiddle show us the very best of her remarkable musical gift. Feet, get ready."

                                                                                .......Gordon Stobbe, Nova Scotia (and fellow fiddler)

"I have watched Sierra's talent grow over the years at a remarkable pace. Her enthusiasm and willingness to learn about Metis music and all styles of fiddling is to be commended. Her warm and caring personality is contagious and her passion for life comes through in her music and everything she does. You are listening to the launch of a great musical career. Enjoy!"

                                                                                 .......John Arcand

"I first met Sierra when she was 9 years old and even then I could see that this young lady would go places in the fiddle world. Sierra plays with a lot of fire and most importantly, she plays all her music from the heart."

                                                                                .......Patti Kusturok-Lamoureux

"I love her stylings and playing... she will go very far in her music."

                                                                                .......Tommy Knott, best grandpa in the world

A passionate young humanitarian, Sierra has worked on behalf of landmine, refugee and conflict issues since she was ten years old. In the past four years she has received 3 awards in recognition of her determined work and efforts. These include the Manitoba Teachers Society's Young Humanitarian Award, The Premier of Manitoba's Award for Volunteer Service and the prestigious Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal presented in Ottawa by Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada.

In 2000, Sierra organized her first winter Clothing and Toy Drive for refugee families new to Canada. In her first year, Sierra helped over 200 refugee children and since the clothing drive has only continued to grow. She now provides warm clothing to hundreds of families each year.

Sierra likes to use her music to grab the hearts of her fellow Winnipeggers. In the summer of 2004, she produced a benefit concert called Sierra's Hope Concert for a Landmine Free World. It was held at the Forks Market, Winnipeg, with over 6 hours of music from local bands and hosted by the beloved Fred Penner. The concert helped raise over $1000 for aid and relief in Rwanda and will no doubt grow with time.

One message Sierra likes to offer to the public comes in the words of her dear friend from Cambodia, Song Kosal. Sierra would like everyone to act upon Kosal's words: "Take 5 minutes each day to reflect peacefully about the world and the people around you. And each day, do one thing to make peace grow like a flower."

Thank You's

I want to send a big thank you to all the people who have helped me along the way. My sisters Brook, Terra and my mom Sherry have always helped and supported me. I want to thank my first violin teacher Elizabeth Knox, for believing I could be a successful violinist. I want to thank my first fiddle teacher Tommy Knott for always teaching me the old tunes! Also, a big hug and thank you to Johnny Arcand, Patti Kusturok-Lamoureux, Gordon Stobbe, Randy Heibert, Mark Morriseau, Gary Lepine, Dale Brown, Mel Bedard, Joe McLellan, John Weier, The Knott family, The Lavallee Boys, Emile Lavallee and Oliver Schroer for always being a great support and an amazing inspiration.

I want to also thank all of the media that have helped me through the years. Some include (not all because you all know I can't always thank everyone much like I'd like to) CBC, A-Channel, Global, CTV, APTN and NCI. I'd also like to thank Festival Du Voyageur, the Winnipeg Folk Fest, and also the Winnipeg Fringe Festival who have both supported me since I was just little. I also need to send huge than you's out to Arbor Records, Rick Rochuk, Mitch Podolak, and Manitoba Film and Sound for all the support, help and guidance they've offered me recently for this project. I would also like to thank the Metis and Aboriginal community.

I have to thank all of you! Without an audience, an artist plays to no one and if any of you know me, I don't like to do that. So, thank you to everyone.

But most of all, more than anything... I would like to send a very much needed thank you to the Creator, for the blessing he has given me to have the gift of music and being able to share that gift with the world.

All My Love & Hugs,


"The essence of the music comes from the spirit of the people"


Per Norgaard

Jigs & Reels Vol 2, Folkways FW 8826, 1960

Per Norgaard, fiddle; Verner Mikkelson, accordion; N. Roy Clifton, piano; Ronald Duncan, percussion

Edith Fowke, liner notes (missing); Produced by Edith Fowke

Tracks: Gentle Shepherd / Mrs Jamieson's Jig; Haste To The Wedding / Major Mackie's Jig; Lannigan's Ball; The Haymakers; Verner's Jig; Tuggerman's Jig / Off she Goes; The Crooked Stovepipe / The Rakes of Mallow; Glissé à Sherbrooke / The Long Eared Mule; Ragtime Annie; The Logger's Hornpipe / The Frenchman's Reel; Highroad to Linton / The Devil's Dream

North Atlantic Strings

The North Atlantic Strings, Patio Records PR004 - 2004 - www.patiorecords.com

Joe Cormier, fiddle; Edmond Boudreau, mandolin; Doug MacPhee, piano; Bobby Robichaud, guitar; Gerry Robichaud, fiddle; Andy Cormier, flugelhorn; Matt Leavenworth, fiddle, guitar; Larry Flint, bass

Produced by Terry Eagan and Matt Leavenworth; engineered, mixed and mastered by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA, USA. Executive Producer, Terry Eagan.

Tracks: Loch Laven Castle / Kieran O'Hare's Reel (JP Cormier); Honey Maid Hornpipe (DR MacDonald) / Heather Hill (Heather on the Hill) (DR MacDonald) / Temperance Reel; Fred Wilson's Clog / The Milburn Hornpipe (W Gillis) / Mr Alexander Thom's Reel (J Daniel); Johnnie Wilmot's Fiddles (E Briand) / Tarbolton Lodge / Down The Broom; Niel Gow's Lament For (The Death of) his Second Wife (N Gow); Watching the Clock (E Poirier) / The Woodchopper's Breakdown (N Landry); Braes of Mar / Miss Jesse Smith Strathspey / Judy's Reel / Robert Stubbert Reel (J Holland); Bitter Creek Breakdown (T Jackson) / Winter Reel (E LeBlanc); Devil In The Kitchen / Drummond of Perth / Mullean Dubh / Bridge of Bamore; The Sweeps Hornpipe / The Americal Rifle Team (E Christie); The Firefly Hornpipe / The College Hornpipe (The Sailor's Hornpipe); Bonnie Lass of Bon Accord (J S Skinner) / Miss Lyall Strathspey / Miss Lyall Reel; Out the Buckhorn Way (L Sexsmith); The Road To Lisdoonvarna / Drowsy Maggie / Kitty's Ramble; Dutch Clog / Wabamun Breakdown (C Vollrath); The Grand Mira (Kenloch Jig) (M Gillies & A MacDougall) / SPIN-N-GLOW (F Ferrel) / Squirrel In A Tree; Cape North Jigs / The Old Dutch Chrun / Max MacDonald's Jig (JP Cormier)

Edmond Boudreau, Joe Cormier and Gerry Robichaud have been playing music in the Greater Waltham, Massachusetts, area for over 50 years. Edmond and Joe were childhood friends in Cheticamp, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Gerry grew up in St. Paul, New Brunswick, Canada. Each has played at dances at the Canadian-American Club in Watertown, MA, and French Club in Waltham, MA, for decades (not to mention all over the world)! Two of their most memorable moments (to me) together were on the weekend of April 27-28, 2001. On Friday, the threesome performed at the Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Mary Eagan Garden that adjoins the cancer treatment center in Waltham, MA, and on Saturday were on stage as part of an all-star Canadian and U.S. lineup at MusicFest 2001.

Gerry, Joe and Edmond spend a good chunk of time together on the golf course. What happens when the winter months interfere with their weekly games on the links? Well, they get together on Friday afternoons to play hundreds of their favourite tunes learned over their collective centuries of music-making and friendships. This wide-ranging collection reflects the spirit of those sessions, and will set your feet atappin' and hearts asoar!

With Edmond on mandolin, and Joe and Gerry both being fiddlers, dontcha think a guitar player is in order? Indeed, why look further than the one who has accompanied Gerry since childhood - his brother Bobby Robichaud! Bobby became a regular Friday-afternooner, and the four were quite agreeable when requested to capture their wonderousness on disk.

Lucky for us all, Doug MacPhee was available for the two afternoons we had scheduled to record. Doug, one of Cape Breton's most respected traditional pianists, was happy to come 'up' from Cape Breton to join in the project. He had played numerous times with Joe and Edmond, and Gerry remembered Doug vividly from the one time they played together 30 years earlier. Thus, the nucleus of The North Atlantic Strings was set. Two of the unplanned gems on the album are solo sets by Doug that were captured as he satisfied our urgings to play awhile for our own enjoyment.

Matt Leavenworth was a natural choice to co-produce the album. Matt is a brilliant fiddler and guitar player with an exceptional and discerning ear. having enjoyably and mightily contributed to The Country Masters album, Matt sidled right up to this project. He, too, treated us by playing a set on the CD, where you'll hear a little bit of the Emerald Isle sound to dovetail with the New England and Provincial tunes.

Andy Pinkham, who had engineered, mixed and mastered The Country Masters album that both Edmond and Gerry appeared on, was our natural choice for this project. In addition to being an audio wizard, Andy provided a comfortable setting for the guys to whirl their magic. Almost as if back in Edmond's living room, the guys nestled in a circle as they played into the microphones and beamed at one another.

A warmly satisfying addition to the album was Joe's son Andy Cormier. Andy, who played on youth hockey and high school hockey teams with my son Danny, was the key reason Joe and I met 25 years ago. As a longstanding wish to hear Joe and his nephew J. P. Cormier perform together was fulfilled on their "Velvet Arm Golden Hand" recording, so too was the hope to hear father and son on this one. You'll be looking for an eye-drying tissue when you hear Andy's flugelhorn and Joe's fiddle interweaving. Mm. mmm. mmmm!

The mission of Patio Records is, through sponsorship of live and recorded music, to help raise funds towards creating garden patios at cancer treatment centers. The first one opened for patients' comfort in 2001. With the second earmarked for Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, each album and concert ticket purchased brings us a little closer to creating another setting of solace. We are very grateful to have friends and family as the musicians on this album, and hope that your hearts are also warmed by their contributions to those deserving of our compassion. Each of the performers brings his unique playing gifts to us in a way we can feel their genuine goodness as well as instrumental brilliance.

Have a grand time listening to this spirited collaboration.

Most appreciated,

Terry (Eagan)

The North Atlantic Strings thank: Our families, friends and fans. Andy and Matt for their expertise and easygoing manner in helping bring out our best performances. Terry for wanting us to make the CD, gathering us together, and ensuring that we had as much fun in the studio as we do on Friday afternoons at home. And to all the authors who created the tunes we love to play.

Terry thanks: all the musicians - for your talents and goodnaturdness, friendship and generosity. JP Cormier and Flash Publishing - for donating 'Kieran O'Hare's Reel' and 'Max MacDonald's Jig'. Frank Ferrel - for contributing 'SPIN-N-GLOW'. (JP's and Frank's royalties will go into the garden patio fund). David MacIsaac - for your library's worth of knowledge and friendly responsiveness every time you are called with a tune and author info requests. You are the first person mentioned whenever a 'call to the expert' needs to be made. Steve Fruitman - for your www.backtothesugarcamp.com website that contains a wealth of important biographical gems on all sorts of musicians and their music that are important to Canadian heritage. Cecile Samson - for the cover photo 'Cabot Trail'.

The Nova Scotia Fiddlers

Old-Tyme Fiddle Favourites, Point Records - P-235

Tracks: Blue Water Hornpipe; Crooked Stovepipe; Arkansas Traveller; Economy Waltz; Wind That Shakes The Barely; By The Fireside; Londerry (SIC) & London Hornpipe; DeRochers Hornpipe; Big John McNeil & Dusty Miller Reel; Over The Waves Waltz

Nova Scotia Highland Village Pipe Band

Glendale 79 Live, Inter Media Services IMS-WRC1-1273 - 1979

See Compilations


Neil O'Brien

Old Tyme Fiddling, Norby 01

Neil O'Brien, fiddle; Gerald O'Brien, keyboards, Irish Tin Flutes & Accordion; Terry O'Brien, guitars & banjo; Mike O'Brien, drums, ebony block; Chris O'Brien, drums, ebony block; John O'Brien, piano & vocals

Produced by Gerald & Wayne O'Brien; Engineer: Wayne O'Brien; Recorded at In-Line Music Productions, Toronto ON

Tracks: Durang's Hornpipe; Biddy The Bowl Wife; Varsoviana Waltz; Canadian Breakdown; Wobbling Goose; Jimmy's Favourite Jig; Snow Deer; Out The Buckhorn Way; Swamp Lake Breakdown; French Two Step; Westphalia Waltz; Pigeon On The Pier/ Johnny Hamlin's Breakdown; Wayne's Old Tyme Waltz; Prairie Reel; Turkey In The Straw; Soldier's Joy; Rubber Dolly

I am very proud and happy to have had the opportunity to make this recording with my 5 sons playing with me. I am only sorry, that my brother John was unable to play piano on this record, as he had wanted to for many years. I've included a recording of Rubber Dolly taped many years ago in my living room. John is on piano & vocals, and I am playing fiddle.

I would like to thank all of my sons who worked so hard on this record, especially Wayne and Gerald for doing this at their studio, In-Line Productions in Toronto. I would also like to thank my daughter Maureen and my wife Nan who arranged the cover design and credits.

I am dedicating this recording to my late brother John.

Frank O'Connell

Velvet Country, Quest Records - Q103

Frank O'Connell, violin; Buddy Emmons, Steel Guitar; Pigg Robbins, piano; Ray Edenton, guitar; Roy Huskey, bass; Bob Forrester, drums

Recorded at Music City Recorders, Nashville, Tennessee - no date; Producer: Evan Kemp; Engineer: Steve Logan

Tracks: Faded Love; Village Carousel; Liberty; Andy's Waltz; Fiddle Stomp; Westphalia Waltz; Maiden's Prayer; Desire Waltz; Amazing Grace; Linda Lou; Lonestar Rag; Calgary Waltz

Frank O'Connell began his musical career on his eighth birthday, the day of his first violin lesson. He spent many years studying classical music and is a graduate of the London College of Music.

His years of training in the classical field are truly reflected in this recording by his supurb styling and musical arrangements of waltzes and country favourites.

Born in Penticton, British Columbia, Frank has travelled extensively throughout Canda and the United States performing in night clubs and lounges, and has appeared in numerous radio and television shows.

He is presently residing in Vancouver, B.C. where he is established as a successful businessman in the building industry.

After a recent appearance in Dallas and El Paso, Texas, Frank continued on to Nashville to do a recording session with some of Nashville's top musicians. This album is the result of that session. Sit back, relax and jojoy 'Velvet Country' done with a touch of class.

Special thanks to Howdy Forrester and Ruth Husky.

Frank O'Connell plays Fiddle Favourites: no label - no serial

Frank O'Connell, violin; Robbie Berg, steel guitar; Jerry Yuzon, guitar; Geeb Johnston, bass

Recorded at Beaver Mountain Recording Studio, Chilliwack, BC - Remastered at Breakthrough Studios Ltd., Kelowna, BC - 1999

Tracks: Red Skin Gal; Huckleberry Hornpipe; Bluejeans & Gingham; Medley - Concert Reel / Big John McNeil / Mason's Apron; Back Up And Push; Jerusalem's Ridge; Silver and Gold; La Paloma; Clarinet Polka; The Way To Survive; The Marion Waltz

Albert Ouellette

La Famille Ouellette - Nos Favoris: Musk - MEL-10813 - 1982

[Note: Side A is fiddle tunes; Side B is songs]

Albert Ouellette, violon; Jean-Yves Ouellette, guitare; Rina Ouellette Blanchard, Orgue; Jeannot Ouellette, Percussion; Ida, Rina, Jeannot Ouellette: Chanteurs

Produced by Albert Ouellette; Engineer: Gilles Olscamp; Recorded at Musk Sound Studio, Bathurst NB in July, 1982

Tracks: Side A - Violon: Albert's Reel; La valse des balles femmes; Blackwood Reel; La Moneymusk; Interlake Waltz; Le Nord Ouest jigue; Big John McNeil.
Side B: Un coeur ne viellit pas; Ce n'est qu'une question de temps; Angelique; Donne-moi un baiser; Un jour a la fois; Ça va venir decouragez-vous pas; Une vague bleue

L'Ensemble "La Famille Ouellette" ne s'est pas formée du jour au lendemain. J'ai débuté comme amateur dans un spectacle au sous-sol de l'Eglise de St-François comme violoneux. Plusieurs années ainsi! Un jour, je m'apercus que mes six enfants aimaient la musique et qu'ils sereient des musciens.

C'est donc en 1973 que l'ensemble "La Famille Ouellette" fit son apparition dans une salle de danse de la région. Depuis lors, nous sommes reconnus au Nouveau-Brunswick, au Maine ainsi qu'au Québec.

En 1981, j'ai reçu des invitations pour participer à des concours. Ayant le goût du défi et l'espoir de faire revivre les mélodies traditionnelles de mon joueur de violon préféré, Don Messer, j'ai accepté. J'ai gagné les trophées et le certificat d'honneur qui apparaissent sur ce disque. En terminant, j'aimerais remercier mon épouse et ma famille pour l'encouragement qu'ils m'ont apporté

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