Pottinger's Reel

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POTTINGER'S REEL. AKA – "Pottinger's Hornpipe," “Willie Pottinger’s Reel.” Shetland, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by Tom Anderson (1910–1991?), originally from Eshaness (Nor' West Mainland, Sheltand), for Willie Pottinger, a boat carpenter, musician, composer and traditional fiddling enthusiast, whose favorite key was ‘F’. Some of Pottinger's style is captured in the syncopated second strain of the reel. Anderson's book Ringing Strings: Traditional Shetland Music And Dance, includes a photograph of Willie Pottinger playing a Stroh violin previously owned by a man named George Stark (1877–1960), known as "the blind fiddler" who was Pottinger's mentor. Pottinger was a founding member of the Shetland Fiddlers' Society in 1960. Anderson was awarded the M.B.E. in 1977 for his efforts on behalf of preserving traditional music of the Shetlands. Aly Bain calls the melody “one of (Anderson’s) finest reels," and it has gained currency among Cape Breton and Scottish fiddlers for session and dance play.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 171, p. 64. Hunter (Kerr's Thistle Collection), 1972; p. 16. Hunter (The Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 263.

Recorded sources: Green Linnet GLCD 3105, Aly Bain – “Lonely Bird” (1996). Topic 12TS379, Aly Bain & Tom Anderson – "Shetland Folk Fiddling, vol. 2" (1978). Boys of the Lough – "Farewell and Remember Me." Jerry Holland – “Crystal Clear” (2000). Brandon Vance & Mark Minkler – "Beyond the Borders" (2004).

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder’s Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer’s Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear versions on youtube.com [3] [4] and at Slippery Hill [5].




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