Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hermas Rehel and Gary Snowman - La Grande Rouge

Our good friend Jimmy from New Jersey has posted another stunning video of the Gaspé fiddle culture that takes place every year in Pembroke, Ontario at the Fiddle and Step Dance Week.

Here we have Hermas Réhel fiddling La Grande Rouge while Gary Snowman stepdances. I believe the step dancer at the beginning of the video whose face is not really shown is Hermas' son, Damien. We are really treated to some inspired step-dancing here.

This was such a nice treat because it is Hermas playing a local Gaspesian setting of a tune we posted from Erskine a short while back. It is great to compare Hermas' lighter French style to Erskine's hard-driving style on this tune. As we mentioned in our post on La Grande Rouge, this tune is known elsewhere in Quebec as La Grande Gigue Simple which evolved into the Red River Jig among the western Metis fiddlers. Check out Hermas' unique clogging pattern, where his beating foot is going in double time. You can see Cyril use this pattern in Jimmy's other videos that we have posted here and you can check out on his Youtube channel.

I especially like the wonderful communication that goes on between the two step-dancers and Hermas' fiddling. You really get the sense that they are having a musical conversation.  The vitality of the Gaspé fiddle culture really comes across beautifully in this clip. It was also a treat to see some friends in the video thoroughly enjoying the wonderful music being played. You can spot Joseph, Anthony, and Mary Ellen Drody with big smiles on their faces as well as Mary Snowman enjoying the show.

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