Early on when Brian was sending me tunes, one that really grabbed my attention was a tune called Fat Molasses which is played in "double tuning" or AEAE. When I heard it, I don't think I'd ever heard such intensely syncopated playing before. As well the raw power of the playing really knocked me out.
So hear it is, the first tune Erskine's ever learned. Brian found this recording on an old home-made cassette recording made in February of 1978. Notice Erskine's amazing footwork which accompanies his playing:
Hear Erskine Morris Play Fat Molasses
What also surprised me about this tune, were two details that Brian provided me:
- It was the very first tune that Erskine learned when he was a boy.
- Erskine's mother taught him the tune by singing the melody. Apparently, she did not play any instruments but could sing the old Gaspé tunes so well that young Erskine could pick them up from her singing.
I don't think I'm going out on too much of a limb here and by saying that Erskine's recording of Fat Molasses is a masterpiece of old-time fiddling right up there with Luther Strong, Bill Stepp, Louis Boudreault, or Jean Carignan's playing.
This tune is related to another Quebecois tune called the "Reel de Windsor Mills" recorded on an old 78 by Louis Blanchette.
You can hear La Bolduc demonstrate "turlutage" here
Hope you enjoy!