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
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
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!