Re: What's in my CD player, and what it's doing to my head

What's on my CD player/computer/cassette player/turntable?

Not a lot of harp nowadays - though some is included. Lots of tunes
featuring fiddlers, box players, harmonica players, and singers from
central and eastern Canada from the 1920s forward - Winston "Scotty"
Fitzgerald, Andy deJarlis, Ward Allen, Ned Landry, Isidor Soucy, Donat
Lafleur, Madame Bolduc, Alfred Montmarquette, Louis Blanchette, Edith
Butler, Lawrence "Teddy Boy" Houle, Mel Bedard, Adelard St-Louis, Bill
Stevens, and many others.

It's a long way from the Ellington big-band arrangements and Parisian
accordion tunes I was into a few years ago. But for me it's a more
creative experience in many ways. 

Instead of trying to re-create a scene and even a culture I was never
directly a part of in a sort of harmonica miniature, I get to explore
my own heritage, which does have its own harmonica tradition. Exploring
the links between the harmonica part of the tradition and the other
parts, and finding new ways to extend the harmonica role while
introducing what I've learned from blues, jazz and other styles, is
giving me plenty to do. 

Little Walter and Rice Miller and DeFord Bailey and Leo Diamond and
Toots and Tommy Reilly are not shunned or cast into outer darkness -
they play a part in all this. But I get to take them home and show them
around the horse barn in the Canadian Rockies where I first heard a
live electric country band at the age of five, or the party shack in
the woods up the road apiece where my cousins and sister and I used to
play and dance with Cree and Dené guitarists and singers and the
occasional fiddler by keresone lamplight. They get to hear the diesel
locomotives throbbing mightily as they pull two miles of freight cars
across Castle Mountain junction in the darkness, and hear the music of
creeks and waterfalls, watch the mountain summer light as it falls on
the milky turquoise glacial silt in the Bow River and glints off the
mountain shales, and taste the tiny but pungent mountain strawberries
and the elusive, whisper-like nectar of paintbrush flowers.

I'm starting to record some of the music that's coming out of this, and
may start sharing some of it with people outside my house at some
point. Maybe some of this can eventually start coming out of someone
else's CD player.


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