Page 23 - Johnny Wilmot, Fiddler "Another Side of Cape Breton"
ISSUE : Issue 65
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1
Breton Books & Music Is Proud to Announce Johnny Wilmot, Fiddler • "Another Side of Cape Breton" From Visits with l/lildred Leadbeater and Tommy Basker INTRODUCTION: No collection of Cape Breton music is complete without the music of Johnny Wilmot. He was not only a terrific player, but he represents the very best of another side of Cape Breton mu? sic • the Irish-rooted music of the Northside. The Northside sound of Johnny Wilmot is available once again on "Another Side of Cape Breton" • a new tape and CD from Breton Books & Music. To celebrate the release of this joyous music, we visited with Mildred Leadbeater and Tommy Basker, friends of Johnny Wilmot and two of the musicians playing with Johnny on "Another Side of Cape Breton.' Talking with Mildred Leadbeater: (Mildred, you said it made you lonesome when you Johnny's picture.) Mildred Leadbeater: Oh, it did. It really brought back lot of memories. Because I first met Johnny Wilmot in 1936. I was 16, and he was 20. And we played at a house- warming at Reidville in the Stirling area of Glace Bay. There was a MacEachern family there, and they had built a home through the co-opera? tive move? ment . And they were having this house- warming. ?? "',:?? ' And since the MacEacherns were related to my father, we were invited to go. So off we went. And Johnny was there with the fiddle, and they had no piano player. So I sat down and I played with Johnny. And that was the first of many, many, many, many happy times, I must say. You know, he was a marvellous man. He nev? er really received the recognition he should have had. Because now, in today's world--(there) are very great Scottish players. But nobody in Cape Breton Island ' Johnny Wilmot could play Irish music like Johnny Wilmot. He was just in a class by himself.... He was a marvellous man. And a real gen? tleman. I can truthfully say, without be? ing contradicted, that of all the musi? cians I ever met, none of them could come up to Johnny Wilmot. I really thought a lot of that man. As a person and as a mu? sician. And as a friend. He was just in a class by himself. (And now Johnny's music is hardly known to us.) I know. I know. Well, see, the later years, where his 23
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