New England Tradition - the band
Bob McQuillen - piano, accordion
Peter Colby - banjo
April Limber - fiddle
America saw big changes in the 1960s and early 70s with new ideas, new mores, and new music. In New England, the contra scene was in ferment, with exciting things being done by bands like New England Tradition, The Canterbury Dance Orchestra and the Miller Brothers. This recording, featuring Bob McQuillen, April Limber and Pete Colby, is a classic and has lost none of its magic with time. Bob McQuillen has recently received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts recognizing his long contribution to folk tradition in New England.
NEW ENGLAND TRADITION was formed in 1978 with the purpose of continuing the rural contra dance tradition of southern New Hampshire. Our repertoire reflects the diverse cultural heritage of our region: French-Canadian, Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, and English tunes all make a contrubution.
Bob McQuillen played his first dance for Ralph Page in 1947. He has been a vital part of the tradition ever since, playing both accordion and piano in scenes to numberous to mention, all over New England and beyond. Bob is also known in the U.S. and abroad as a composer of dance music.
Peter Colby began playing old-time 5-string banjo in the late 1950's. In 1961, like Bob, he got his first dance experfience playing for Ralph Page. Peter evolved a unique style expecially well-suited for contra dance music.
April Limber first got hold of a violin at age eight and in 1972 began playing for contra dancing.
"Farewell to the Hollow" made its first appearance at the NOMAD Festival in Sandy Hook, CT in October 1988. Five years in the making, it was quite well received, but the joys of parenthood were soon replaced by feelings of great sorrow when Pete and April passed away so tragically only two months late. Newly remixed, and with the addition of two waltzes, it is to their memory that this album is lovingly dedicated.
Bob McQuillen, October 1991