By Fiddle Tunes Artistic Director Suzy Thompson
The French presence will be especially strong this summer at Fiddle Tunes! Yvon Mimeault and Guy Bouchard from Quebec, Don and Cindy Roy from Maine, and Milton Vanicor, Blake Miller, Edward Poullard, Cedric Watson from southwest Louisiana all play music that’s got French roots, but all flavored different ways — the Quebecois fiddling sounds more Celtic-Irish, the Down East fiddling from Maine sounds more Anglo. The Cajun music from southwest Louisiana has been influenced by mountain hillbilly styles, and the Creole fiddling, from the same region, shows more African and Caribbean influence.
From the north (Quebec ) we welcome Yvon Mimeault, of the same generation as my own parents, like them he was born in 1928. Many of the unique tunes in his repertoire come from his family and some come from his mind!
His playing is down-home and lively, with some very amazing little shakes and ornaments, and a kind of humor in his playing, a bubbly lightness, almost an offhand feeling which is amazing considering that what he is playing is actually quite difficult to pull off! He plays left-handed without restringing the fiddle – I love to watch his bow hand, he holds it so loosely yet is in complete control. He seems focused and serious about playing, but with a definite twinkle in his eye.
Guy Bouchard has played and advocated for Quebecois traditional music for about 30 years now, everything from playing in La Bottine Souriante to hosting radio shows and directing festivals, as well as researching and collecting music, dance and song. He and his wife Laura now have a mail order distribution company called Trente Sous Zero (Thirty Below), getting traditional Quebecois CDs, books and videos to people all around the world.
Both Guy and Yvon have been to Fiddle Tunes before, but it’s been awhile and we’re so happy to welcome them back!