Québécois Tune of the Month for January 2016: Cos-reel de Pontbriand

Here is a great cross-tuned fiddle tune I learned from Henri Landry (1923-2001), a fiddler who lived in Pontbriand, Québec (near Thetford-Mines). He was a spirited player whose brisk, rock-steady tempos reflected his long career as a dance musician. Henri played fiddle for community dances and house parties for most of his life. After a long career as a truck driver in the mines, he spent an incredibly joyful retirement playing fiddle at local galas, contests, and house parties. He and his wife Fernande were immensely hospitable and kind, and they hosted many the memorable party, where good food and music and company filled the house to overflowing.

In addition to playing the standard local repertory, Henri had a repertory of tunes which he learned as a young boy from left-handed fiddler Thomas Pomerleau, a poor, reclusive and eccentric old man who lived in a tiny hut abutting the Pomerleau family farm. Although Thomas Pomerleau was known locally as “Quêteux” (beggar) Pomerleau and lived a marginal, hand-to-mouth existence, his fiddle playing was in demand at local weddings and dances. This is one of his tunes.

Cos-reel de Pontbriand (mp3)