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Sep 3, 2021 - 6:11:58 AM
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John D

USA

442 posts since 11/3/2004

The TOTW for 8/3/2021 is Don Tremaine's Reel. It's a Canadian tune written by Ontario fiddler Graham Townsend, and named for the announcer of the CBC television show “Don Messer’s Jubilee.” According to Wikipedia, Graham grew up in Buckingham, Quebec, where his mother grew up, and absorbed the Irish, French and Scottish fiddle music of the Ottawa Valley that would later mold him into a prolific composer of over 400 tunes and a musician with a repertoire of nearly (yikes) 4,000 fiddle tunes. Townsend began playing fiddle as a child and was winning competitions as early as nine years old. Graham’s father, Fred Townsend, worked as a square dance caller for Don Messer and, through this connection, Messer and Townsend became close friends in the early 1950’s, a friendship that continued until Messer’s death. Don Messer was one of Townsend's important and early musical influences, in addition to Irish fiddlers Tom McQuestion, who was his first fiddle teacher, and Billy Crawford, both whom lived in Toronto. Townsend died on Dec.3rd 1998.

Here's Graham playing DTR really fast on Youtube:

youtube.com/watch?v=ZcY7z1_yKB8


I learned it from Ken Perlman's "Clawhammer Style Banjo" book in the early 1980's. This is the last tune I learned using tablature. I played DTR by myself for years without hearing what it was supposed to sound like.

Here's my take in Double D:

banjohangout.org/myhangout/med...archived=

Here's a good version from bho member bjbuilder:

banjohangout.org/myhangout/med...archived=

John D

Sep 3, 2021 - 7:40:13 AM
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Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

425 posts since 9/26/2006

I've always loved your playing, Mr. John D.  What a nice notey tune. 

Sep 3, 2021 - 7:41:55 AM
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Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

425 posts since 9/26/2006

The dots for the tune for those of us trying it on other instruments too:
https://tunearch.org/wiki/Don_Tremaine%27s_Reel

Sep 6, 2021 - 9:11:11 AM
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6724 posts since 6/27/2009

Thanks, John, for another tremendous tune to hear (you, as well) and for us to work on, and thanks for the notation, Andy. I chose to listen to Graham Townsend and tried to simplify it, but that lasted only for the A part. In the B part I got more notes, including his triplet. I can picture Don Tremaine's Reel as a brisk dance tune. I understand the "Don" part of the title, named after his friend, but where did Tremaine come from?


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