Episode 38a: Doug Protsik (part 1)

Director of Maine Fiddle Camp, multi-instrumentalist and tradition bearer Doug Protsik sat down with Neil for an extended conversation on his musical journey and the Maine traditions he is so passionate about. This episode is the first half of that conversation, covering Doug's early years with music, moving to Maine and discovering the rich traditions of the state while living in a $500 log cabin he built himself. Doug also shares his knowledge and passion for the old dance music of the 1920's and how it combined fiddles, jazz and popular music. 

Maine Fiddle Camp: www.mainefiddlecamp.org

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Episode 37: Kevin Henderson

Shetland fiddling wizard Kevin Henderson talks about growing up in the Shetland Islands, where Scottish and Scandinavian culture collide and many fiddle tunes are written by the mysterious and magical Trows. Kevin opens up about the experience of making music and touring with Boys of the Lough, Fiddlers' Bid, Nordic Fiddlers Bloc and Session A9 and discusses the challenges and rewards of balancing new musical projects with fatherhood.  

Tunes in this episode: Opening: Halls Lilla Vals (Hall's Little Waltz) [from Halsingland, Sweden, recorded with Nordic Fiddlers Bloc] 

Ending: Faroe Rum / Anndowin At Da Bow / Da Forfeit O' Da Ship [trad Shetland tunes, recorded on Kevin's solo CD]

Kevin's Website: http://kevinhenderson.co.uk/

Nordic Fiddlers Bloc: http://www.thenordicfiddlersbloc.com/

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Episode 36: Andrea Beaton

Fiddler, pianist and tune writer Andrea Beaton caught up with Neil just before playing a dance at the Canadian American Club in Watertown, MA. She talks about growing up in Cape Breton as the child of Kinnon and Betty Lou Beaton, two giants of traditional music on the island and how her relationship with music changed from being embarrassed to be associated with the fiddle to recording her own albums and writing some of the most popular contemporary tunes. 

https://www.andreabeaton.com

https://www.facebook.com/andreabeatonmusic

Tunes played in this episode: First set: Jigs from Andrea's family. Second set: PEI tunes: Carter MacKenzie (Kevin Chaisson) / Peter and Dorene's / Dot MacKinnon's

Andrea's answer to Tim's Patreon question:  "Hi Tim - There are many staple tunes that would be great to learn. I'll name a few that are popular on the Island and are often heard in sessions throughout North America and beyond: Brenda Stubbert's Reel, Hull's Reel, Jack Daniel's Reel, the Mortgage Burn Reel, Stan Chapman's Jig. Now for some really traditional Cape Breton stuff.... The Kings' Set - King George IV and King George V Strathspeys, King's Reel, Old King's Reel, Miss Lyall Reel.  Miss Lyall Strathspey, Devil in the Kitchen Strathspey are two other good ones. Finally, the wedding reels. These are 3 reels in A commonly played together. I don't know the name of the first one but the second and third are Hamish the Carpenter and Put me in the Big Chest"

Musicians mentioned in this episode:  Kinnon Beaton, Betty Lou Beaton (Parents),Howie MacDonald (fiddler), The Rankin Family (band), Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, (fiddlers, "Natalie and Ashley") Shelly Campbell (fiddler), Marian Dewar (piano, also mother of Allan Dewar, great pianist himself), Fin Moore (Scottish bagpiper), Ward MacDonald (PEI fiddler), Tim Chaisson (PEI fiddler), Mac Morin (piano), Troy MacGillivray (piano and fiddle)

 

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Episode 35: Hanz Araki

A master of the Irish flute and Japanese shakuhachi, Hanz Araki joins Neil to tell the story of his wildly varied musical life so far. From moving to Tokyo and playing shakuhachi 6 hours a day learning the family tradition to playing Irish flute in the Paperboys and touring 200 days a year across Canada, Hanz opens up about his experiences pursuing traditional music with a singularly intense drive and focus. 

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Episode 34: Don Roy

Franco-American fiddler Don Roy has been a central figure in Maine fiddling for decades. He joins Neil for the first episode of Season 4 to talk about learning music from his uncle (and Maine fiddling legend) Lucien Mathieu, the connections between Maine French fiddling and traditional music from New Brunswick and Cape Breton and his own creative work writing new tunes and leading the massive fiddle group Fiddlicious. 

Don's website: www.DonRoyOnline.com

Don's uncle Lucien Mathieu playing at Maine Fiddle Camp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FQbELlDZhU

 

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Episode 33: Kevin Doyle

 

Irish-American dancer Kevin Doyle joins Neil this episode to share his story of growing up in a strong Irish community in Providence, RI, learning to dance from his mother who emigrated from Ireland. He also tells Neil about the connections between American tap dance and Irish step dance and talks about what it was like to get the phone call saying that he was being named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Kevin's Website: kevindoyledance.com  (There are many links to videos of Kevin dancing on his website)

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Episode 32: Corey DiMario

Bassist of Crooked Still and CEO of Concert Window, Corey DiMario joins Neil to share his journey from completely dropping music after his sophomore year at Eastman School of Music to rediscovering his passion through the traditional music scene in Boston, going back to music school and founding one of the most distinctive bands in American folk music. 

[Music in this episode: Lissa's Jig (Corey DiMario) and How High the Moon (Morgan Lewis)]

Follow up on Corey's work through the following projects:

Crooked Still: www.crookedstill.com

Lissa Scheckenburger: www.lissafiddle.com

GennaRose Nethercott's Modern Ballads: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modernballads/modern-ballads-an-album

Concert Window: www.concertwindow.com

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Episode 31: Frank Ferrel

Master Downeast fiddler Frank Ferrel is a fixture in the New England traditional music scene. He shares his musical journey with Neil: from playing banjo in Pacific Northwest bluegrass bands to falling in love with the fiddling of Gerry Robichaud and following that trail to the nexus of New England and Canadian fiddling that is Boston. Along the way he shares stories about discovering little known home-made 78's of the great Franco-American fiddler Tommy Doucet and his compatriots.

[Music in this episode: Out Along the Buckhorn Way and a medley of Erin Reel and Babs' Reel (a.k.a. Reel de Pompom) by Oliver Tremblay]

Frank's website: www.frankferrel.com

Musicians Frank talks about: Gerry Robichaud, Tommy Doucet, Bill Keith, Peter Barnes, John McGann, John Campbell, Joe Cormier, Seamus Connolly, Jean Carignan, Oliver Tremblay

 

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Episode 30: Allan Henderson

One of the foremost exponents of Scottish Highland music and Gaelic culture around today, Allan Henderson sat down with Neil while on a solo tour of storytelling and fiddling in the Northeast US. Listen in as they discuss the current state of Gaelic, Allan's years as a member of Blazin' Fiddles and how much of an invasive species the piano accordion has been in that part of the world. This episode was sponsored by the Monadnock Folklore Society. www.monadnockfolk.org   

[Music in this episode: MacDonald of the Isles March to the Battle of Harlaw (trad) / Pipe Major Sam Scott (Peter R MacLeod)  and  Doctor James Donaldson (Ronnie Cooper) / The Dashing White Eejit (Allan Henderson)]

Some pertinent references to follow up from the interview:

Blazin' Fiddles: https://www.blazinfiddles.com

The Knoydart Peninsula: 5 min video about it from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/video/2013/jun/11/britain-wilderness-scotland-knoydart-peninsula-video

Other Bands/Musicians: Boys of the Lough,  Angus Grant Sr,  Aly Bain

Episode 29: Emerald Rae

Boston based fiddler, stepdancer, singer and tune/songwriter Emerald Rae connects with Neil over their common experiences growing up around the Boston Scottish/Cape Breton scene of the 1990's and early 2000's and they delve into what it really means to become part of a culture--does one actually need to have the heritage in order to have a place in the community?

[Music in this episode: Opening: Red Rocking Chair (song) with traditional reels Bridge of Bamore and Arrochar Bridge.  Closing jigs: Garcon Volage, Gabriel's Jig, Spin-N-Glo (Frank Ferrel)]

Emerald's Website: www.emeraldrae.com

Social Media:  www.facebook.com/emeraldraetwitter.com/emeraldraewww.instagram.com/esmeraldaraesoundcloud.com/emerald

Episode 28: Hanneke Cassel

A driving force of the Scottish fiddling scene in the United States, Hanneke Cassel shares her story from discovering fiddle music through local competitions to travelling the world performing and teaching her own iconic compositions, which fuse Scottish and Cape Breton traditions with a sound all her own. She and Neil also chat about her tune writing process and what influence her travels to China and Africa have had on her music. 

Hanneke's Website: www.hannekecassel.com 

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hannekecassel 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/hannekejewel 

Twitter: twitter.com/hannekecassel

Hanneke's top 3 fiddlers: Alasdair Fraser, Natalie MacMaster, Buddy MacMaster

Top 3 Albums: Fit as a Fiddle (Natalie MacMaster), The Road North (Alasdair Fraser), Skyedance (Alasdair Fraser)

Other musicians to check out: Rushad Eggleston, Casey Driessen

Episode 27: Lamine Touré

One of the top traditional musicians of Senegal, Lamine Touré shares his depth of knowledge as a member of a griot family: a 1000+ year line of tradition bearers. Lamine sits down with Neil to discuss how he ended up living and teaching in the Boston area while travelling the world sharing his sabar drumming, singing and dancing. 

[music in the episode: Jang (meaning "study") which speaks about the importance of studying hard in order to have a good life; and Donald Willie and his Dog, which is a Scottish pipe jig from South Uist, written by D. Morrison]

Lamine's website: laminetoure.com

Lamine's email: laminesabar [at] yahoo.com

Soulsha (Afro-Celtic Funk band which Lamine and Neil play in): www.soulshamusic.com

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Episode 26: Hadith Bani-Adam

Somali peace and de-radicalization activist Hadith Bani-Adam shares his relationship with Somali traditional music and his mission to promote inclusivity, understanding and positive life choices in his community. He discusses the role Somali traditional music plays in his own original songs, his style of Oud playing and some similarities between the music of Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia and the music of Western Europe. 

Hadith's Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/hadith-bani-adam

Some of the other Somali musicians Hadith mentions:

Omar Dhuule (traditional): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WokYrdTr2nU

Aar Maanta (contemporary): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vUyWJjnEBI

Episode 25: Alasdair Fraser

Master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser kicks off Season 3 of TradCafe, sitting down with Neil for a wide ranging conversation about the variety of approaches he has taken over the years to playing traditional Scottish music and the new horizons he is looking towards, exploring new music styles and traditions. 

www.alasdairfraser.com

www.alasdairandnatalie.com

Information on the film "The Groove is Not Trivial" about Alasdair's life and the camps he has started: thegroovemovie.com

[Music in this episode: "The Farewell" by William Marshall, "The Cuillin of Rhum" (a traditional Gaelic air), and an improvised tune named "The Maid on the Spot" afterwards]

Episode 24: Kinan Idnawi

 

Season 2 finale episode features Neil's conversation with Syrian Oud player Kinan Idnawi. Kinan (also spelled Kenan) talks about growing up in a musical family in Syria, pursuing the Oud at conservatory in Damascus and travelling around the world exploring the ways in which the Oud can fit in to so many different traditions and genres and building bridges between people through music.

Click here for Kinan's album "Aura" on YouTube

Click here for Kinan's album "Aura" on CD Baby

Click here for a video of a complete concert with Kinan's band

[Music in this episode: Taheia from Kinan's album Aura, and Glory in the Meeting House, traditional Old-Time fiddle tune]

Episode 23: Mariel Vandersteel

Fiddler and graphic designer Mariel Vandersteel joins Neil for episode 23 to share her artistic journey so far, from quitting the violin in 8th grade to discovering Irish and Scottish fiddle music, touring internationally with several bands, studying Hardanger Fiddle in Norway and her latest endeavor: going back to school for a new degree while practicing her graphic design work and still somehow making room for music. 

Mariel's website: www.marielvandersteel.com

Mariel's instagram: www.instagram.com/marielvandersteel

[Music: Return From Helsinki, by Ian Stephenson and another traditional Swedish tune]

Click here for images of Hardanger Fiddles

Episode 22: Stash Wyslouch

Guitarist and singer Stash Wyslouch is this week's featured guest. He talks with Neil about his eclectic musical journey, from the Colombian music his mother played for him growing up, to his love of heavy metal, to diving deep into old-school bluegrass and old-time recordings and finally ending up with an amalgamation of all of it in his own band. Along the way, Stash and Neil find common ground in their drive to create music that comes from their various disparate influences and Stash explains how he could only make the music he wanted to after he learned not to care so much. 

http://www.thestashband.com

Music on this episode:  Los Sabanales, (by Los Corraleros de Majagual), and Will You Be Lovin Another Man, (by Bill Monroe)

Episode 21: Owen Marshall

One of New England's finest guitarists, Owen Marshall joins Neil to talk about teaching himself Irish guitar while being homeschooled in Vermont, and all the places music has taken him, from local community contradances to jamming with Tuvan throat singers at a festival in Belgium. 

The Press Gang: www.pressgangmusic.com

Riptide: riptidedanceband.com

Tunes played in episode: Black Pat's, by Tommy Peoples (pre-interview) and Union Street Session, by Paul Cranford (post-interview)

Episode 20: Greg Boardman

Greg Boardman is the founder of Maine Fiddle Camp and a captivating performer and teacher whose influence on traditional music in Maine cannot be overstated. For the twentieth episode of TradCafe, Neil and Greg met in the Trinity Church of Lewiston, Maine to talk about the search for personal identity through music, how musicians are uniquely suited to build community and Greg's cross-cultural explorations with the Somali immigrant community in town.

To hear more of Greg's music go to: https://soundcloud.com/bowandstring

The East Benton Fiddler's Convention: http://www.eastbentonfiddlers.com/

Maine Fiddle Camp: http://www.mainefiddlecamp.org/

Episode 19: Yann Falquet

Quebecois guitarist and singer Yann Falquet (of the band Genticorum) joins Neil for this week's episode. In this wide ranging conversation they talk about Yann's discovery of the guitar through Rush, the similarities between Irish and Quebecois traditions, the best dumpling houses in Montreal and more! 

Yann's band Genticorum: www.genticorum.com

Yann's duo with Pascal Gemme: www.falquetgemme.com 

Other resources:  The band Yann talks about kicking off his interest in traditional music is La Bottine Souriante