Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Isidore Soucy Tune (Reel de Bellechasse)

Here's a tune that Erskine apparently got from an Isidore Soucy recording . Isidore cut something like over 1000 sides, so its often hard to track down tunes accredited to him. Anyhow, this is a really great D tune.

Erskine owned many of Isidore Soucy's records and learned many tunes there. Nonetheless, like most old-time fiddlers, he added his own style to Soucy's tunes.

Listen to the Isidore Soucy Tune

Erskine adds some really nice Gaspé touches on this tune. There's a fair bit of cross-string syncopations (the 1st part of the tune) as well as doubling up on single notes (the 2nd part). The melody of this tune isn't difficult in itself, but getting those little touches of Erskine's style took me a while to start to grasp. Anyhow, I think this is a good tune for a beginner who wants to work on getting some of those Gaspé bow licks in their playing without having to worry about complicated left hand stuff.

This recording comes from the same cassette as Fat Molasses, made in February, 1978.

Isidore Soucy is definitely one of my favourite French Canadian fiddlers. He had some really wild stuff, a lot of it really crooked. He even has a few tunes that remind me of stuff the legendary Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley played. I'll post links to these tunes at some point. For more information and tunes from Isidore, a great resource is the Virtual Gramophone from Collections Canada. They have over 200 of his tunes there that you can listen to or download:

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