I came across this wonderful little film about Newfoundland fiddle great Rufus Guinchard on the NFLD Archive YouTube channel. I don’t know too much about Newfoundland fiddle music (yet). I have long associated Newfoundland with button accordions.
Let me tell you a story. A number of years ago, back when I was playing a lot of button accordion, I found myself in Halifax for an art exhibition and talk. While there I wanted to play some music but I didn’t bring an accordion along. I discovered there was a big music store in Halifax so I stopped in for a visit. I saw rows of fiddles and guitars and more fiddles and mandolins but no button accordions. I thought, they must have the accordions in a separate room. When an employee came along, I asked where the button accordions were. The fellow looked at me and without missing a beat said, “What do ya think this is, St John’s?”
Rufus Guinchard was quite a fabulous fiddler. He held his fiddle in a most unusual way, on the right side of his neck. I tried to position my own fiddle the same way he did but I found it to be very difficult and I quickly gave up. Enjoy the film.