1) Drive ‘er like ya stole ‘er!
alex maceachern’s – strathspey – dan hughie maceachern
prince of wales – reel – Donald MacPhedran
christy campbell’s – reel – traditional
michael rankin’s – reel – john morris rankin (socan)
edinburgh rock – reel – david lim
adam young – piano jason murdock – guitar
andrew tyne – banjo, mandolin
This is a thank you set for the Celtic Colours Drivers Association, who made this album possible (no, they do not drive stolen cars). I learned the first tune from Howie MacDonald, and rearranged the second reel from its standard strathspey setting. The final tune was learned from the playing of Manchester flute player Michael McGoldrick.
2) Greenberg Jigs
jackie and mamie’s jig – david greenberg (socan)
F. X. Kennedy “Big Alex” MacDonald “Miramichi” – jig –
david greenberg (socan)
oh dear, what can the matter be? – (traditional)
andrew tyne - guitar
There’s something about David Greenberg’s tunes; they treat a listener to a melody that is technically complex, yet simple and lively. It might be attributed to his musical versatility not only as a wicked Cape Breton traditional fiddler, but as a classical and baroque player. The last tune is easily recognizable, but the variations were added by Angus Chisholm. The talented Andrew Tyne joins me on his shiny new Martin guitar (the poor instrument does not know what it is in for).
3) Newmill Brig
newmill brig – strathspey – william macpherson
sir john whiteford’s – strathspey – neil gow
j. h. Alexander – reel – hector macandrew
lady gordon of gordonstown – william Morrison
jason kempt – piano jason murdock - guitar
Thanks to the Elgin Strathspey and Reel society in northeastern Scotland, the music and compositions of William Morrison have been well preserved on CD and in a book titled “The Elgin Fiddler”. I found the second strathspey in one of Gow’s collections at Cape Breton University’s Beaton Institute. I found the first reel in the Winston Fitzgerald collection and the final tune I learned from my first fiddle teacher Sandy MacIntyre.
4) Les tounes acadiennes
le reel de la baie sainte-marie (augustin robicheau)
le reel à dan (daniel leblanc)
big john macneil (peter milne)
adam young – piano Jason Murdock – guitar
christine doucet – feet
As a student studying French at Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, NS, I was extremely lucky to be introduced to the “style acadjonne” played by other up-and-coming Acadian fiddlers like Sebastien Dol, Christal Thibault and Natalie Saulnier. I’ve paired two tunes from “la Baie” by the late Augustin Robicheau and Grand Dérangement’s lead fiddler Daniel LeBlanc with the last tune, which is well known in both the Cape Breton and Acadian fiddling traditions.
5) Jerry Jigs
traditional – jig
jerry holland’s jig – howie macdonald (socan)
jerry’s pipe jig – jerry holland (socan)
adam young - piano
I learned the first and last tunes while studying at the Gaelic College, the first tune from the playing of piper Bruce MacPhee. Howie’s compositions have a great feel for dancing, whether in a square set or in a skin-tight elvis costume. Howie, you whilll keep making those dyandy tunes.
6) Trolley’s reel
trolley’s reel – colin grant (socan)
balmoral castle – alexander walker
ruidhlidh na colich dhubha – traditional
adam young – piano jason Murdock – guitar
andrew tyne – banjo
For Jason, Adam, Tyne and I, this set turned out to be one of our favourites to record. These three guys put in a lot of time and hard work into making me sound good, and I appreciate it every time we play. I composed the first tune for Troy MacGillivray, a talented fiddler and piano player from Antigonish after an “O so slightly uncomfortable” gig in Halifax. I found the second tune in the Alexander Walker collection, and the final tune I learned from the playing of Mairi Rankin and Glenn Graham. Can anybody tell me how I pronounce that? My gaelic is a wee bit rusty.
7) There’s A Lady
there’s a lady – march – colin grant and jason kempt (socan)
jason kempt – piano & keyboards
We composed this tune for Wendie Muise, a talented singer and actress with Cape Breton band The Accents who passed away from cancer in June, 2006. She was a lively and kind-hearted woman who will be remembered first and foremost for her boundless energy and wicked sense of humor, in addition to her innumerable contributions to the community of Glace Bay in music and theatre. The name of the tune is based on a song of the same name that was written for Wendy by close friend and Accents singer Jennifer Crocker.
8) JinGrant on the Sheepskin Fiddle
old adam – jig – p/m donald shaw ramsay
the price of a pig – jig – dr. angus macdonald
the 3rd period – jig – john grant
alex currie’s – jig – (trad. source alex currie)
marie macinnis’ – jig – dan hughie maceachern
john grant – highland pipes colin grant - guitar
My father, John Grant, grew up in Halifax and was the middle of a family of three boys to take up playing the bagpipes. He has enjoyed forty years of piping both as an amateur solo player and with numerous pipe bands. The highlights were the years that he played with the Clan MacFarlane, a grade one band in St. Catharines, Onterio. Since moving to Cape Breton in 1998, he has appreciated the traditional Cape Breton style of piping. The third tune in this set is one that came to him while watching a hockey game that my sister Gillian was playing at the Mabou Arena. Other jigs in this set were found in the Gathering of the Clans piping collection, published by Barry Shears.
9) Bee Flat
the bee’s wing – hornpipe – james hill
lady madelina sinclair’s birthday – reel – traditional
memories of dan beaton – reel – ronald gillis
colonel mcbain – reel – 18th century scottish
touch me if you dare – reel – traditional
adam young – piano jason murdock – guitar
andrew tyne – banjo
Here are a few more from the repertoire of Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald that seemed to fit well together. The final tune I learned from J.P. Cormier’s album “Now That The Work Is Done”.
10) From Glencoe to Skye
a night in skye – march – colin grant (socan)
lights out at glencoe – strathspey – colin grant (socan)
welcome sara melaney – strathspey – david greenberg (socan)
good boy yourself – reel - kinnon beaton (socan)
the lion’s den – reel – ward allan macdonald (socan)
the bride’s reel – j. scott skinner
adam young – piano jason murdock – guitar
The first two tunes in this set were composed after parties at Sabhal Mhor Ostaig in 2004, and at the Glencoe Mills hall in 2002, when a power outage didn’t deter some persistent dancers from continuing the square sets down on the low road in the beams of car headlights. I learned the third tune from David and Doug MacPhee’s recording Tunes Until Dawn. Besides being one of my favourite dance players, Kinnon Beaton happens to be a tunemaking machine, and this is one of his many great B minor tunes. I found Ward’s tune in Jerry Holland’s second collection, and the last reel is a Winston Fitzgerald corker.
11) Bobby Cuthbertson
bobby cuthbertson – hornpipe – p/m john wilson
the cottonwood reel – trad.
the castle hornpipe – king colbath
allie Bennett – guitar, upright bass adam young - piano
I’m very fortunate to have my fiddle and guitar teacher Allie Bennett on guitar and upright bass for this set. The first and last tunes are Winston Fitzgerald standards and the second tune is a traditional American hornpipe that came to Cape Breton during the 1920s from the north-eastern States.
12) Off the Beaton Track
Lady Charlotte Bruce – strathspey – William Shepherd
Duchess of Athole – strathspey – Neil Gow
Yester House – strathspey – traditional
Lady Erskine – reel – James Walker
Miss McLauchlan – reel – John Bowie
Jenny Sutton’s – reel – Neil Gow
Adam Young - piano
The Beaton Institute at Cape Breton University in Sydney is home to a huge collection of Scottish and Cape Breton music; manuscripts, books, and recordings, and I was lucky to be able to find all the tunes used in this set in some of their old collections . A big thank you goes out to the staff members at the Beaton for their help; Anne Connell, Anne MacLean, and Sheldon MacInnes. Adam and I This track was also featured in Cape Breton Lyrics and Laughter, a music and comedy production I’ve been a part of for five summers now. This track can also be found on L&L’s self-titled CD, released in July 2006.
killiecrankie – march – traditional
adam young – piano allie bennett – upright bass
This tune commemorates the Battle of Killiecrankie…
14) Little Sara took the Model T up Anthony’s Hill
the model t – jig – allie bennett/ashley macIsaac (socan)
little sara – jig – dave panting (socan)
anthony’s hill – jig – ian macdougall
jason kempt – piano mike fougere - guitar
Mike Fougere is a good friend and talented player from Truro who has put up with me through four years at Sainte-Anne. These are a few tunes we’ve always played at the Tuesday night jam sessions at the campus bar. I first heard the Model T jig on Mary Jane Lamond’s album Bho Thìr Nan Craobh (From the Land of the Trees) and later learned it from Allie. The second tune comes from the band Rawlins Cross and the last tune I learned from Ian’s debut CD “From Foot Cape”. Come to think of it, I think Ian was at that party in Glencoe too; but it was real dark, so I’m not sure.
15) The Bow and Arrow set (live)
clochandicter – march – charlie sherrit
daft willie dawson – strathspey – john lowe
iggie and squiggie – reel – jerry holland (socan)
sir david davidson of cantray – reel – john lowe
johnnie finlay – reel – donald r. riddell
freddie’s reel – john morris rankin (socan)
jeff gosse – fiddle adam young – piano
jason murdock - guitar
The Bow and Arrow pub on Yonge street in Toronto is where the family always went on Sunday afternoons for our weekly dose of Cape Breton tunes, songs and square sets (on a 5 x 10 foot dance floor?) with my fiddle teacher Sandy MacIntyre and the Steeped in Tradition band. I always aspired to play half as well as my buddy Jeff Gosse, who was ripping off Tulluchgorum at the ripe old age of 12. It was a privilege to play with this guy, and it still is – when he visits Cape Breton every summer. To this date he still doesn’t have a CD; hey Jeff, what’s up with that anyway?