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Page 30 - Johnny Wilmot, Fiddler "Another Side of Cape Breton"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1 (295 reads)

The l/laids of Tramore Irish jig "This is the first ''' "Johnny Wilmot: Another Side of Cape Breton " tune that Johnny ' remembers . ( ' .. "' learning from Joe Confiant • likely in the early '30s. On 'Anoth? er Side of Cape Breton,' Johnny is joined by Chris Langan on a Clarke penny whistle. Chris was also an Irish piper. He had a copy of Leo Rowsom's1936 tutor for Irish pipes, which contained a setting of 'The Maids of Tramore.' It is possible that Chris learned the tune from that book and gave Johnny the title. Joe Confiant rarely had titles for his traditional Irish tunes." • Paul Cranford used to laugh at him afterwards. Yeah, everything just went like clockwork. There was no problem with it. Of course, Robbie Robertson (as the technician) was really good too, and he made you feel so comfort? able. He did the recording and everything for us. (Did you have a script, an order of the tunes?) Oh yes. Johnny had them all marked down. Just what we were going to do. And we had the time on each one, we rehearsed. Oh, we rehearsed, believe me. And we had the time just exact on each one. Oh, it worked out perfectly. There was no problem to it at all. (As a piano player, what were you to get SYDNEY'S COMPLETE COLLISION REPAIR CENTRE 539-2848 • 539-1033 61 BEECH • SYDNEY BIP 6R7 The Shopping Centre for Victoria and Cape Breton Counties., I NORTH SYDNEY 30 GROCERIES * CLOTHING CARDS * LADIES FASHION ENTERTAINMENT * SOUVENIRS * GIFTS PHARMACY * HOUSEHOLD ITEMS * LIQUOR DEPARTMENT STORES * MUSIC Open MONDAY through SATURDAY 10 AM to 9:30 PM 116 King Street, North Sydney, NS • Phone (902) 794-4703,794-4704 out of all this, financially?) Nothing. We just did it together because we were friends. Just good friends. Nights of practice. Then have someone come and time it. Oh, yeah. That was fun.... And then there's another lady in Glace Bay, a Mrs. MacSween, who played a lot with Johnny after I left this area. She was a good piano player. But she was a great friend of Johnny's, just as much as I was. We both met him at approximately the same time. And she's a very interest? ing lady; she's a retired schoolteacher. She played a lot of Scottish music. She played a lot with Bill Lamey, and Joe MacLean, too. And other violin players.... And Margaret MacPhee--oh heavens, yes. I remember going over there when Dougie was just a little squirt! So much of Dougie's piano playing is based on Johnny Wilmot's fiddle playing. Did you know that? Dougie plays the tunes on the piano like Johnny played them on the fiddle. Yeah, there's that connection there. Because when Dougie was learning to play, Johnny would be back and forth to Margaret's place. And Dougie played the tunes along with Johnny. So he has more or less--what's the word I mean-- the same perception of a tune that Johnny had. I see that in his mu? sic. When I listen to Dougie playing, it re? minds me of Johnny playing the fiddle. I remember, shortly af? ter I was married and we lived in Antigonish, Johnny Wilmot arrived up. And we did a pro? gram on CJFX that eve? ning. I think it was probably a month later, we were in Cape Breton, and I was talking to Johnny's (first) wife. And she said, "That Johnny--what a charac-
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