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> Issue 54 > Page 83 - Estwood Davidson: Travels with Beattie and Winston

Page 83 - Estwood Davidson: Travels with Beattie and Winston

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1 (199 reads)

said, "I have to play in Dartmouth. I won? dered if you'd play with me." I said, "What is your name and what kind of music do you play?" He said, "I'm Winston Fitzgerald, and I was born in White Point, Victoria County." And he said, "I came up here to work in the shipyards." "Well," I said, "if you can stand it, I'll go try." So over to Dartmouth we went. Well, we got along pretty good for the first few tunes, and then he got wiring into heavy, hard stuff. To tell the God's truth, I didn't know what he was doing. I said, "My God, man, I can't touch that." I said--he was playing in flats, you know. I didn't know anything about flats at that stage of the game. B flat and E flat, and all this stuff, you know--I just couldn't handle it. So he switched back to, like, major keys, not too hard. "Oh," he said, "if you played with me for awhile, probably, you'll get onto that." And I said, "Boy, I doubt it." But anyway, that's how I got started, go? ing to the Halifax Conservatory of Music. There was a professor up there I knew. So I went up, and I took Winston with me. And I said, "How am I going to play with this fellow?" "Well," he said, "my God," he said, "you've got to learn the flats and the relative keys to the flats." And I said, "Will you teach me?" He said, "Yes." So I took two years there, at the Halifax Conservatory of Music. And .that's how I got the basic of what little bit I play! (Had you ever played a dance before you went with Wins? ton?) Oh, yes, with another group in Halifax--Peter Bri- and--they were born in L'Ardoise. But they played just more or less straight music stuff like Don Messer --simple, three-chord music. Most anybody could play it if they could play three chords. But boy, when you played with Winston, you played more than three chords! 'Cause he was a master at the flats, and then all the flats had, of course, their relative minors and all that stuff. That's stuff I had to learn, you see. The guitar was more or less used for a backup, same as piano.... Well, really, a backup should be played as near to correct as it can. 'Cause otherwise it won't bring the stuff that the violin player is doing. (Is it your job to hold the rhythm?) Right. 'Cause we had no drums, no bass. There was only Beattie (Wallace, piano player) and I, for to hold the rhythm on the backup. Of course, you didn't have to hold much rhythm with Winston, 'cause he had the most beautiful time that ever I-- it was flawless. Just a flow, you know, at the one speed all the time. (Were you already familiar with the kind of tunes that Winston was playing?) Absolutely not. It was Greek to me. I never heard Scottish music played in my life. Being from New Brunswick, you know, all they do there is play junk tunes. (Junk tunes?) That there is what I call them. (What do they call them?) Well, it's a kind of a hillbilly type of playing. But there's no real music to them. Don Messer played a lot of that style. But he made a real thing out of it, though--those type of tunes. (What did the people in New Brunswick call those tunes?) Well, it's really half of the tunes were never played correctly, you know--like, out of books or anything. It was passed down from ear to ear. And the more it was passed down, the more it got Boutiliers' Music Shops "We're people you can talk to" Dealers for Quality Brand Name Pianos • Guitars • Electronic Keyboards • Dutch Church Organs We sell a complete line of top quality musical instruments and accesso? ries. Visit our sliowroom and try the products for yourself. You will like the variety and price. Layaway plan available. No Interest for 2 months. Music Keytx)ards Guitars Strings Horns Violins Bagpipes Ciianters Amplifiers PA Systems All Supplies ' We're Open Monday through Saturday ~ Cape Breton Shopping Centre 39 Keltic Drive Sydney River, N. S. cteo B1S1P4 - 562-0018 Cape Breton's Finest Locally-Owned Musical Outlet PA Rentals Piano & Guitar Instruction Island Vinyl Siding Ltd. LeBlanc Siding Ltd. Authorized Dealer tor ATAvnAN Aluminum & Vinyl Siding Aluminum Windows & Doors Shutters / Softfit / Fascia / Awnings 109 Reservoir Road SYDNEY Professional installation of Aluminum & Vinyl Siding in Cape Breton for over 15 years. Free Estimates forR.R.A.P., N.S.H.C, & C.M.H.C. Programs, and all other siding inquiries. Call Collect: SONNY MacPHERSON 539-4626
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