Tune of the Month: Reginald's Waltz
Reginald’s Waltz was one I often enjoyed hearing at shows and contests around the Northwest back in the 1970's. A few years ago Linda Danielson (see The Evergreen Fiddler: Vol. III) reminded me of how much fun it was to play and I have enjoyed it ever since. “Reginald” turns out to be Reg Bouvette, a well known fiddler in the Western Canadian/Metis style. He recorded this tune as a single in 1967 and it quickly spread wherever fiddlers were wont to gather. Both Andy DeJarlis and Don Messer recorded it as well.
Reg Bouvette was born in 1923 near Winnipeg, Manitoba. That’s about 300 miles due north of Fargo, ND. Both his father and older brother were fiddlers and Reg absorbed a lot of his music at the local dances and house parties, taking up the fiddle himself at the age of ten. Over time he developed quite a career as a dance, concert and contest fiddler, recording artist and radio host. He had a regular half hour spot on Winnipeg’s CKFB radio, in the time spot following his friend, Andy DeJarlis’ show (see The Evergreen Fiddler: Vol. I). He was the Manitoba fiddle champion from 1973 – 1975 and an occasional judge at Weiser.
You can hear a number of different tunes played by Reg Bouvette on YouTube. Check out his driving version of Whiskey Before Breakfast and his lovely waltz, ‘Maytwayasing’ (Cree for “The Wind that Blows”). Thanks to Gordon Stobbe - Fiddler Magazine, Spring 2003 and Lawrence Barkwell of the Louis Riel Institute for details on Reg Bouvette’s life. Enjoy.
Please contact me if you have questions or requests.
Stuart Williams, Music Editor
Updated August 30, 2012