In light of the occasion, here is a lovely tune that Erskine learned from "Mr. Joe" that we have been calling "Joe Drody's Tune":
Hear Joe Drody's Tune
This tune features a typical two phrase structure in the low part with some great, choppy phrasing and syncopation. The high part is twice as long and has a lovely rolling feel and seems to share some common ideas with other tunes from Quebec. Erskine is probably playing this tune with his bass G string raised to A (as evidenced by other D tunes from the same recording session which all used the ADAE tuning), but I'm not certain.
|Joe Drody Sr. and his wife, Pearl Grant|
By all accounts, Mr. Joe was a quiet, gentle man with a caring disposition. He was well-loved among his neighbours in Douglastown and was given the nickname, "Saint Joe". In his life he was a fisherman, boat builder, and carpenter. When his neighbours from Douglastown could not afford coffins for deceased family members, Joe was always there for them to build a coffin. The Drodys (Brigid, Anthony, Joseph) recall therir father playing often in the evenings after supper. Frequently, neighbours like Garnett Rooney and Isidore LeRhe would drop by to stepdance to Mr. Joe's fiddling. He would edge closer to the edge of his chair and stamp his feet as he played for the step dancers. As well, people would drop by when returning from a square dance and wake Mr. Joe to have him come down and play a few sets for them to dance to.
|Mr. Joe's front porch|
This Wednesday, August 1st, I will be joined by Brigid, Joseph, and Anthony Drody along with Jimmy Miller, to pay tribute to Mr. Joe's contribution to Douglastown life. I hope to see you there for what promises to be a wonderful evening.