Hughie Shorty's

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HUGHIE SHORTY'S REEL. Canadian, Reel. Canada; Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB' (Songer): AA'BB' (Perlman). Composed by the late Cape Breton fiddler Johnny Wilmot (1916-1993) for his friend Hughie Shorty MacDonald. Wilmot was from Northside, Cape Breton, a largely Irish community, and his core repertoire was Irish, learned from local and recorded sources such as Coleman, Morrison, Killoran, Gillespie and others. However, the Scots influence was great on the island and he learned many Scots tunes in order to play for dances and events outside his community. Wilmot was interviewed for Cape Breton Magazine several decades ago and related how he learned from older players as a young adolescent: "I never took any lessons. What we had to do was-we heard a fellow, you know. There were lots of players around. When we heard a tune, a fellow playing a tune, we could get it off him. We'd listen to it. We wouldn't ask him for it. We would memorize it. Then we'd go and play it." Ken Perlman (1996) states that on Prince Edward Island the tune is played mostly in Kings County, but that a close relative is played on the other side of the island in Prince County under the title "Dragger (The)." "Hughie Shorty" is a mainstay of the Cape Breton fiddle repertoire. The melody has similarities to William Marshall's reel "Lochrynach."

Johnny Wilmot (1916-1993)



Sources for notated versions: Buddy Longaphie (b. 1950, originally from Souris, North-East Kings County, Prince Edward Island) [Perlman]; Jon Singleton (Seattle) & Chris Roe [Songer].

Printed sources: Perlman (The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island), 1996; p. 64. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 102.

Recorded sources: Avocet Records 104, Cathie Whitesides - "Hometown Cafe" (1993). Breton Books and Music 002, Johnny Wilmot - "Another Side of Cape Breton; Great Traditional Music from the Northside" (reissue). Culburnie Records CUL 121D, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas - "Fire and Grace" (2004).




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