Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fiddlers Three

In the last few weeks I've been sent a couple of fine albums with fiddle tunes on, so I thought I would combine the two for you in a single post.

First up is father and daughter combination Dick & Judy Hyman, whose album "Late Last Summer" is due out on 23 October. They both have long and distinguished careers but remarkably this is the first time they have recorded together.

Since he started out playing with the likes of Lester Young and Charlie Parker in the 1950s, Dick has done just about everything. The list of names he has played with includes Streisand, Stravinsky and Aretha Franklin. He won an Oscar for scoring 'Moonstruck' and worked on a dozen Woody Allen films. His 1960s moog albums have been sampled by Beck and Busta Rhymes. Judy is no slouch either, having been a long time member of the Horse Flies, played regularly with Natalie Merchant, and scored films and television programmes.

Judy also wrote all the tunes on the new album, many of which are dedicated to family members or friends. The track I have chosen is "Hannah". The original Hannah is Judy's great-niece, and as it happens I have a niece of that name too. So this is for her.

"Hannah" - Dick & Judy Hyman

Wendy MacIsaac is one of the many excellent fiddle players to come from Cape Breton, where they have probably the strongest Gaelic music scene outside of Scotland and Ireland. On her latest album, "Seinn", she has teamed up with equally excellent traditional singer Mary Jame Lamond. Mary Jane does not feature on this one, but the songs are as good as the tunes and the album as a whole is well worth checking out.

"Yellow Coat" - Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac

I spent a week in Cape Breton many years back, including a few days in Cheticamp. This is a fairly typical street scene:


Although surrounded by Gaelic speaking areas, Cheticamp itself is a French speaking town, having originally been settled by Acadians. On the Saturday night I was there I went down, along with just about the whole town, to the Royal Canadian Legion hall and danced the night away to local country legend Wendell Roach.

"Hommage À Un Ami" - Wendell Roach

Back to the fiddling. I don't think you can have a post on fiddle tunes with having Dave Swarbrick in there somewhere. Here he is with the Fairport boys, way back when...

"The Hen's March Through The Midden/ The Four Poster Bed" - Fairport Convention

And here is that line-up live.


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