By Frank Ferrel

Four comments


Great fiddling here, by the well-known “Yankee Fiddler”. A few of the tunes are his own, Amelia is by Bob McQuillen, Andrea’s Waltz by Bob Pasquarello, and Peter Feeney’s Dream by Joe Derrane who appears on a few tracks.
The other musicians are Peter Barnes on piano, and John McGann on mandolin.

The CD is available from Great Meadow Music PO Box 4,
Westmoreland NH 03467 USA (603) 399-8361

“Fiddledance” ~ highs & lows

All is quite enjoyable, except the waltzes, which on our ears drag, grate. While my wife says ‘shmaltz’, me valuing the joy shmaltz can be, I said instead ‘smarm’. They drag painfully along, and hint of involuntary movemnt in in my feet. The problem isn’t tempo, it’s treatment, which is as some might describe it, ‘laid on thick’ like treacle, O.T.T. But that’s only two tracks and this is just two personal opinions, four if I count my feet. The rest of the tracks are fun, jolly, folks having their own ways with Irish, Quebecois, New England, and composed tunes. For future listening, to reduce the growth of frown wrinkles, we’ll likely skip over track 3 & 13 in future listens. Also, the tunes bear no blame here, as for one we have played Amelia, but with considerably more life and lift than here, even when there were more than 30 of us giving it a go. I’d love to hear how Bob Pasquarello takes his own waltz, hopefully not with all these ‘dramatic’ hesitations, which is jsut too affected for us… I might give it a go later, working past the treatment given it here, maybe starting with a raw transcription, then giving it some distance, and coming back to it later.

The Jean Carignan tunes are familiar. I’ll see if I can pull out names for them…