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ANNE LEDERMAN WITH IAN BELL - Old Manís Table

ANNE LEDERMAN WITH IAN BELL - Old Manís Table
Falcon Productions FP515

This most stimulating and utterly joyous record from Canadian fiddler Anne Lederman draws the bulk of its material from the repertoire of Grandy Fagnan, a Métis tradition fiddler from Camperville, western Manitoba who was born in 1902 and died in 1986. Anne discovered Grandy’s playing, and indeed the whole world of Aboriginal fiddling in Canada, through a tape of Grandy that she received in 1984. The revelatory vitality Anne experienced from that tape, and from her subsequent meetings with Grandy himself, undeniably transfers straight on to her own driving performances. For this CD her superbly spirited fiddling and pounding foot-percussion (and the occasional foray on long-necked mandolin or tenor resonator guitar) are accompanied steadfastly and brilliantly on guitar by Ian Bell, with whom Anne’s worked for a number of years.

The tunes themselves prove almost as much of a discovery as the fiddling, for many of them are typically ‘crooked’, full of quirky key-changes, awkward sidesteps and deliciously trip-you-up, wrong-footing rhythms – just take the opening Growling Old Men, or the Jig Set. Even the more familiar tunes, such as British Grenadiers, Turkey In The Straw and a couple of the Key Change Reels, have a cheeky vigour and fresh-minted gait in Anne’s gloriously ‘different’ renditions. And in addition to the tunes from the Grandy tune-book, Anne also pays tribute to Grandy with a song and waltz specially composed in his honour.

Should you want any further information on Grandy and the Aboriginal fiddle tradition, or to hear Grandy’s own versions of the tunes, Anne’s website (and the copious links therefrom) contains a veritable treasure-trove of extra material. But even as a stand-alone purchase, this CD will be found a constant delight: a life-affirming, very cheering and exceedingly repeatable musical experience.

www.annelederman.com

www.grandyproject.ca

David Kidman


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This album was reviewed in Issue 115 of The Living Tradition magazine.