Le Violon

By Graham Townsend

Two comments

Le Violon

I don’t think there are any GT recordings on the Session as yet, though he was prolific in that respect and also as a composer. Many of his compositions are on the Session already.
This recording on the Rounder Record label released in 1976, when he was 33 years old and around the height of his powers. I have this album on vinyl. I don’t think it is currently available. I’m not aware of any recordings of his which are currently available and if anyone knows different I would be glad to hear the details. I’d love to have something by him on CD.
The musicians were: Graham Townsend, fiddle; Bobby Brown, piano, piano accordion; Donald Wood, bass; Fred Collins, drums; Maurice Bolyer, banjo, guitar; Ollie Strong, steel guitar; Produced by Graham Townsend; Engineer: Ken Friesan; Recorded at Eastern Sound Studios, Toronto ON, December 8, 1975
The tracks are summarised as: 1. Southern Hoedown; 2. French-Canadian Medley; 3. Cajun Two Step; 4. Irish Reel Medley (sic); 5. Southern Reel Medley; 6. Scottish Reel Medley; 7. Southern Medley; 8. Irish Dance Medley; 9. Canadian Polka; 10. French Canadian Reel Medley.
Some of the arrangements are a bit cheesy but the quality of the fiddling is never in doubt.
Tune My Dungannon Sweetheart (one of his most popular compositions) and background info about Graham Townsend is here:
https://thesession.org/tunes/1575
I saw him a few times in Scotland during the 1980s on tour with the Cape Breton Symphony and then latterly just with Bobby Brown accompanying (complete with BB’s terrible jokes as in: BB: How’re you doing tonight, Graham? GT: I’m fine, Bobby. BB: He’s lying, ladies and gentlemen. Under that mass of hair and beard is pale, sallow skin: he was out all last night with a gorgeous redhead – no hair, just a big red head …)
This is GT pretty much as I remember him, complete with “ho”s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ2oeuB2Lok

There is a discography here, including more information from Le Violon
http://www.backtothesugarcamp.com/TownsendG.html

Extra Track

I’ve missed out a track. Sorry.

Before the French Canadian Reel Medley, currently listed last, is:

Scottish Medley:
Lochaber Gathering (March)
Marchioness of Huntly (Strathspey)
Major Manson
Isle of Skye (Reels)