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GERRY ROBICHAUD: DOWN EAST FIDDLING
Gerry Robichaud was born and raised in Saint Paul, New Brunswick. He began to play the fiddle at an early age, with the help of his mother and four other fiddlers in his immediate family. As a boy Gerry made the acquaintance of Oscar Melanson, a bed-ridden fiddler, who would whistle the old tunes for Gerry to learn.
In 1955 Gerry moved his family to the United States and now lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. He is active in the French Canadian community there, and has played on weekends at the local French Club for the past forty years.
Gerry's music reflects the early influence of the late Don Messer, whose weekly radio programs were a regular feature in Gerry's family. He also gets much of his music from Tommy Doucet, a fiddler originally from the Maritime Provinces, whom Gerry met soon after coming to the States.
Gerry has won the Massachusetts Federation Championship five times, the Northeast Regional Contest three times, and has been in the top ten at the National Old Time Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho.
Accompanists on this recording are Chuck LeBlanc on piano and Art Richard on bass.
1. Slope Road Jig (1:40). Gerry learned this jig from Tommy Doucet and named it after a road near his home in New Brunswick.
2. Golden Wedding Reel (1:52). This is a traditional New Brunswick reel, originally named Richibucto Reel, after a town in New Brunswick. Don Messer made it popular as the Golden Wedding Reel.
3. Mother's Day Waltz (2:50). From Don Messer.
Sandra's Jig (2:17). Gerry wrote this tune in 1973 and named it after his daughter Sandra.
4. Ottawa Valley Reel (1:43). Traditional.
5. Uncle Louie's Clog (1:44). Gerry learned this and many other tunes from his uncle, Louis Cormier, a well known New Brunswick fiddler. It is also known as the Pedestal Clog.
6. Don Tremaine's Jig (1:47). From Don Messer.
7. Grand Valley Waltz (2:04). Another tune from Don Messer, who had a strong influence of Gerry's playing. "I guess he was my idol."
1. Rocket Richard's Reel (1:37). Written by Graham Townsend and named for the Canadian hockey player Rocky Richard.
2. Prince County Jig (1:47). A Graham Townsend tune.
3. Centennial Waltz (1:55). Learned from a Don Messer recording.
4. Dickie Rogers (1:54). Learned this version from Tommy Doucet. It is also listed in "Cole's 1000 Fiddle Tunes" as Dickey Rogers Pedestal Clog, with four parts.
5. Peace River Jig (2:04). From Frankie Rogers, one of Canada's best fiddlers.
6. Daffodil Waltz (3:16). Written by Andy DeJarlis, Canada's king of waltzes.
7. David's Jig (1:56). From Matilda Murdock, a well known fiddler in Canada.
8. Twin Sisters (1:41). Learned as a boy from Oscar Melanson.
Recorded in Wellesley, Massachusetts, August 1973.
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