Little Boys Reel

Little Boys Reel is from epic fiddler Erskine Morris (1913-1997) who grew up in Douglastown on the coast of the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec and was strongly influenced by Irish fiddlers such as Joe Drody.  He moved away around age 30 but sent cassette tapes of his fiddle tunes back to family and friends in Douglastown – thank goodness!  Ethnomusicologist Glen Patterson notes that this tune has all the hallmarks of a local Douglastown tune, including strong cross-string syncopations, repeated “hooks” (replacing quarter notes with two eighth notes), and melodic passages that are just a bit different than typical French-Canadian tunes.

Erskine Morris
Erskine Morris entertaining friends at a house party. Photo from blog created by Glen Patterson and Brian Morris, with hundreds of Erskine’s wonderful tunes.

Le Reel à Aristide

Le Reel à Aristide is associated with fisherman/fiddler Bertrand Déraspe who lives on the Magdalen Islands (Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine). This small group of islands was settled by Acadians and is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence northeast of Prince Edward Island.

According to Jacques Denis “when Bertand delivered his lobsters to Rivière-au-Renard, he always went to visit the Denis family in Petit-Cap. This is where he likely learned this reel” (liner notes to Airs piqués CD by Guy Bouchard and Mathieu Fournier, p. 6).

Lobsters and “tounes” – what a combination!

Bertrand Déraspe
Bertrand Déraspe

Le Gadelidrot

Le Gadelidrot is by flute player, composer and ethnomusicologist Jean Duval. The tune honors composer/musician Richard Forest, who at the time was reading meters for the power company Hydro (“lidrot” in the title) Québec.

Jean Duval
Jean Duval