|Crossing the bay to Douglastown from
I've been back in Montreal for the past two weeks after having spent a wonderful 19 days out on the Gaspe coast again. I had such a great time in Douglastown before and during the Irish Week and then out in Shigiwake during their Agricultural Fair and Music Festival.
While I was crossing the rail bridge to Douglastown after having just arrived by train with my bike in Gaspe it seemed as if I had been there a few weeks ago. It was hard to believe that a year had already passed. I arrived the Thursday before the Irish Week started just to relax at Lorne and Adel Packwood's lovely house whose porch overlooking Gaspe bay, I spent many hours on reading and playing fiddle. They must have one of the best views from their porch and spending time with them the first few days was a great way to relax between work in Montreal and all the activities during the Irish Week.
The first highlight from the week was when Brian and I had a 6 hour fiddle and guitar session at Norma McDonald's place the night before our presentation on the life and music of Erskine. Hanging out in Norma's kitchen is such a wonderful experience. Her and her husband Brian are so loving and generous and they never tire of hearing the fiddle. As well, there is delicious food constantly coming out of their oven and we thank Vera, Jason, Norma, and Brian McDonald for giving us a place to hang out and pick tunes and be well-fed.
|Visits with Norma McDonald|
|Kitchen Jam and square dance after presentation on the life and
music of Erskine Morris with Stephanie Lepine and Laura Risk
|Afternoon at Joseph Drody's|
After our afternoon with the Drody's, we all drove over to Phyllis Morris' place expecting to entertain a quiet household. When we pulled into the driveway there must have been about 8 cars already parked there. It was so nice to play music again in Phyllis' kitchen and mingle with all the great people there. We played there till about 3 am. Two days later on Sunday night, the same thing happened all over again at Phyllis' kitchen though this time there were about 10 cars already parked in the driveway when we showed up. These party's were just electric and its so wonderful to be able to play for people who really appreciate the fiddle and its role in the culture.
Here are some clips of the music from our house parties at Phyllis' which I think capture the spirit of the evening:
In my opinion, something very special has started gaining momentum at this year's festival. We all could feel the great desire in Douglastown for people to reclaim and reconnect with their own music, as something to
|Looking back towards L'Anse a Brillant|
There were really just too many amazing things to list in this article but I would like send a special thank the following people who really impressed me with their generosity of spirit and made this year's Irish Week extra special.: Brigid Drody, for always staying up late with us and playing the guitar, a real treasure. Brian Morris who's surprise visit was the best addition to the festival. Jimmy Miller, Joseph and Anthony Drody,
|Manny Morris' Barn|
|Shigiwake Music Festival|
We have a lot of great new material and stories for the blog and I think the next year is going to see some really special developments here at the Gaspe Fiddle project. I hope to be getting in a post every week or so.