From 1993, a reminder that these two kids — Chris Wood and Andy Cutting — originally came together over a shared fascination for Quebecois music. I don’t recall many times seeing Andy on a one row, though I do see a couple in his list of gear.
Daniel Thonon was a first contact for French music for many North American players. Residing in Quebec, the multi-instrumentalist — accordéon, pipes, hurdy gurdy, recorders, harpsichord — was one of several key members of Ad Vielle Que Pourra, which was a featured group on the Green Linnet label, and their sub-label, Xenophile. Being associated with Green Linnet during the Celtic music boom of ’90s brought them into my sights. I was playing Irish flute and whistle at the time, and, honestly, had a narrow view of what music ought to be. Hearing Thonon and crew rip through their “New French Folk Music,” much amazement ensued. Worlds opened up.
|Daniel Thonon, with the accordion that came
after the legendary Mory
I don’t usually do second-degree blog posts, but Andy in Vermont has uncovered a web site devoted to Quebecois tunes that looks amazingly good. The link is over at his Melodeon Minutes.
I should mention that when my French pals were here, they quietly chastised me for doting on their European French tradition while ignoring the lively Franco and Quebecois traditions right on my doorstep. I do enjoy Quebecois music — though my time playing Irish trad has made me wary of reels. Does this mean I’ll need a one-row accordion in D?
|Castagnari Max, One-Row|
Diatonic Accordion players speak affectionately of the warmth or lift generated by the push/pull action of their boxes. It’s better for dancing, they might say, or, it has a character to it that’s different from (read better than) chromatic or piano accordions. I don’t believe that this is always true — Patrick Lefebvre’s chromatic playing has plenty of lift, rhythm, and character — but when played well … wow … one-row, pushing/pulling accordions can really get a little somethin’ somethin’ going.
Andy from Vermont recently posted three recordings of himself playing Quebecois tunes on his Melodie one-row in D and I find myself completely besotted. Go see for yourself. Wonderful.