Midland Folk Festival 2012 Newfoundland Tunes Workshops

Newfoundland Tunes Workshop

Brothers’ Jig:Written by Emile Benoit for his brothers Ben and Joachim. The first part is very much like an old Michael Coleman jig commonly called “Coleman’s Cross”; their second parts are nothing alike. Here’s the cast of Emile’s Dream playing it. Note that one of them is taking the tune up an octave in portions, which is a simple variation and works on whistle.

Flying Reel: Another Emile Benoit composition, this reel was written while flying on an airplane — apparently Emile liked to fiddle when he flew. Here it is, once again on an airplane, with the cast of Emile’s Dream: Daniel Payne, Phil Churchill, and Kelly Russell.

Rowed Up in a Dory: Another common Newfoundland tune, my notion here is my take on Rufus Guinchard’s recording of the tune on his old LP Newfoundland Fiddler. There are plenty of other takes of this one on YouTube, but this recording is my favorite and closest to the notes I’ve put down.

Lizzie’s Jig: I think my take on this one probably comes mostly from the terrific CD Island to Island, though it also appears on Gerry Strong’s great Newfoundland flute album, Velvet in the Wind. Here’s Gerry’s version (backed by Andrew Dale of the once).

Newfoundland Spring: Another tune I associate strongly with Island to Island. Here it is played by Middle Tickle.

Newfoundland Singles Workshop

Who Stole the Miner’s Hat?: I first heard this one (in a set with the next two) on the CD Island to Island. According to Danny Mills, this one comes from the playing of Kevin Broderick. Here’s Mills playing the tune.

Hughie Wentzell’s: This one comes from the playing of Rufus Guinchard.

Fogo Island “Mussels in the Corner”: “Mussels in the Corner” is a very common Newfoundland tune. This spiced up, slightly crooked version presumably comes from Fogo Island. The earliest recording I’m aware of was on Island to Island, but it has been recorded more recently by the Dardanelles. Here’s Danny Mills’ take on it.

Off Go Those St John’s Girls: This was another accordion tune played by Rufus Guinchard, but my impression is he is not the only source of the tune. This version comes from A Crowd of Bold Sharemen.

Joey Clement’s: This tune is a single version of the double “Sydney Pittman’s” — I’ve no idea which came first. Christina Smith and Daniel Payne have each recorded it (on August Gale and Chain, respectively), here’s Daniel’s version. BTW, for this tune the chords in my notation come from Smith’s Easiest Dance Tunes From Newfoundland and Labrador (I think they’re Jean Hewson’s arrangement). Note that my transcription gives the parts backwards from Smith’s.


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