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Tune of the Month: Elijah Harper's Reel

Elijah Harper's Reel

Well friends, Phil Williams has done it again, posted a new and wonderful set of video clips on the internet for your viewing and listening pleasure. These are from the Fiddlers’ Showcase Concert last January 25th in Seattle that we produced in cahoots with the Seattle Folklore Society and Valerie Cohen. Once you find your way to www.youtube.com, type in “Seattle Folklore Society Fiddlers Showcase Concert” and you will find the whole collection. I use the back arrow a lot because their search system sends me off in many other interesting directions. We have Texas/Oklahoma fiddler Gary Lee Moore with Pete Martin, Paul Anastasio on a set of swing music with Rich Levine and also playing the music of Mexico’s Tierra Caliente region with Juan Barco and Elena DeLisle-Perry, the inimitable master of Norwegian and Norwegian/American fiddling, Jeff Anderson, with Jane Johnson and yours truly, the great southern style fiddling of Hank Bradley with Bill Meyer and Candy Goldman and the wonderful Métis fiddler, Jamie Fox, with Phil and Vivian Williams. The sound quality is quite good by the way.

Elijah Harper’s Reel is another fine composition by John Arcand (See the Evergreen Fiddler Tunebook– Vol. II) and one that Jamie played the other night. Elijah Harper was a chief of the Red Sucker Lake Band and served on both the Manitoba legislature and the Canadian House of Commons. He is remembered for putting a halt to an attempt at constitutional reform known as the Meech Lake Accord. I first learned this tune when Mabel Vogt taught it at the WOTFA fiddle camp a few years back and have enjoyed it ever since.

Jamie Fox plays the Métis, Canadian and Northwestern fiddle music of the Belknap Reservation in Montana where she was raised. She has learned from many of the Métis fiddlers in the surrounding area and on up into Canada, including John Arcand. The Fox Family, with Jamie’s father and brother, has toured widely and released a CD called ‘Fox Family Fiddle – Métis tunes from Montana’ (www.sweetgrassmusic.com). Her playing has a warmth and playfulness that I have long admired and I think you will too. She currently serves in the Air Force at Joint Fort Lewis/McChord, keeping the planes in tip top shape, and can be heard locally at contra dances and fiddle shows.

Stuart Williams

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Stuart Williams, Music Editor

Updated March 6, 2014

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