Saturday, May 7, 2011
Two 1970s LPs are presented here by the great New Brunswick fiddler Gerry Robichaud. The first is 1973's "Down East Fiddling" on the Voyager label, the second is "Maritime Dance Party", a 1978 offering on Alcazar.
Robichaud was born in St. Paul, NB in 1931 and absorbed both the local Acadian style as played by his mother, and the popular "down east" tunes popularized on Maritime radio by fiddlers like Don Messer and Tommy Linkletter. He played extensively in his native New Brunswick until moving to Boston in 1955. There he continued as an expert exponent of this music, playing at the city's French club from the year of his arrival onward, as well as participating in (and often winning) numerous contests throughout the years. A pair of 1960s LPs on the Banff label established his reputation in Canada, much as the present albums did in the US in the next decade. Robichaud was featured in the 1983 documentary film "New England Fiddles" (see link below), and in 1996 Rounder records produced "The Slippery Stick", a spectacular CD featuring Gerry accompanied on guitar by his brother Bobby, playing tunes from their childhood.
Gerry Robichaud is one of the great surviving fiddlers from Canada's "golden age" and is a highly respected player. Much to my delight, a search of youtube finds videos of the 79 year old performing beautifully as recently as March of this year. Some of these clips feature Gerry playing alongside his granddaughter, so we can rest assured his great music will live on through generations.
Click here to see a youtube clip of Gerry and his granddaughter Melissa playing together on March 3, 2011
Click here to stream the 1983 film documentary, "New England Fiddles"
Click here for the detailed biographical notes on Gerry from Rounder's 1996 CD, "The Slippery Stick"
Gerry Robichaud, "Down East Fiddling"
Voyageur VRLP 310-S, 1973
1. Slope Road Jig
2. Golden Wedding Reel
3. Centennial Waltz
4. Sandra's Jig
5. Ottawa Valley Reel
6. Uncle Louie's Clog
7. Don Tremaine's Jig
8. Grand Valley Waltz
9. Rocket Richard's Reel
10. Prince County Jig
11. Mother's Day Waltz
12. Dickie Rogers
13. Peace River Jig
14. Daffodil Waltz
15. David's Jig
16. Twin Sisters
Jerry (sic) Robichaud, "Maritime Dance Party"
Alcazar/Fretless FR-201, 1978
1. Walker Street Reel, Temperance Reel
2. East Coast Jig, Buchta Dancers' Jig
3. Shelburne Reel
4. Spider Island Jig, Sue's Jig
5. Maxime Leblanc's Reel, Angus Robichaud's Reel
6. Debbie's Jig, Cadeau's Jig
7. York County Hornpipe, Shelburne Rotary Breakdown, Cuckoo's Nest
8. Gold And Silver Waltz
9. New Brunswick Hornpipe, Rainy Reel
10. Cotton-Eyed Joe, Pacific Slope Reel