Cape Breton Fiddler
Dougie MacDonald


Forward to Fiddle Tunes
by Dougie MacDonald (June 1993)

Dan Hughie MacEachern, the great composer from Queensville, had a major influence on my music and especially in my composing. Some of my earliest memories as a child include sitting down in front of Dan Hughie with my half-size fiddle.

I remember one day in particular he must have just composed Juanita MacIntyre's Jig. There I was trying to learn it from him, scared to death of making a mistake. Then there was the time he composed The Red Mill. My father has a sawmill in Queensville. He and I were painting it one day when Dan Hughie arrived on the scene. He only stayed a minute. About an hour later he came back with two tunes. One was The Red Mill and the other was a jig which I don't know the proper name.

Although Dan Hughie was my main influence, I had several other heroes of the day. I remember Dan R. MacDonald being at my uncle Donnie's one afternoon. I don't know how I stopped shaking long enough to struggle through The Glencoe March, but I did! When I finished , I heard Dan R say: "He'll make a good fiddler someday " . At that time, I didn't know if he meant I was no good now, or if I had a career in music (Well, I still don't know!)

As I approached my teens, Jerry Holland took over as my mentor. I was about ready to give up playing, (It wasn't cool at the time) when his MASTER CAPE BRETON FIDDLER came out. Now to say I wore it out would be the understatement of the century! I still know every cut on the record and probably every time Jerry took a breath! I had the pleasure of composing a few tunes with Jerry (Chums and Ciaran Tourish)

With the inspiration of the above fiddlers and many others too numerous to mention, I am presently composing and recording as well as playing for both local and international events.

So enough chatter out of me! I'll let the tunes speak to you. And, I hope you might find a tune or two worth learning in this book. If there are any tunes you'd like to change to suit your ear, please feel free to do so!

Dougie MacDonald (June 1993)


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