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Flippin’ Fiddler Scott Woods will be ‘Fiddling in the key of eh? in Fort Macleod

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Scott Woods brings his ‘Fiddling in the key of . . . eh?’ show to Fort Macleod on Saturday, June 6.

The Flippin’ Fiddler returns to Fort Macleod early next month.
Scott Woods and his band perform their “Fiddling in the key of . . . eh?” show at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
Woods is a two-time winner of the Canadian Open Fiddle Contest, two-time winner of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship as well as Fiddle Entertainer of the Year.
Woods has performed numerous times in Fort Macleod and each time brings a new and unique show.
“Fiddling in the key of . . . eh?” is based on a discovery Woods made as he crossed Canada more than 35 times in his career.
“What I thought was Canadian fiddle music was very different in the eyes of people who live in Cape Breton, as it is for those in Prince Edward Island, or Quebec, or the Prairies,” Woods said.
There is influence in Canadian fiddling from Scotland, Ireland, France, the Metis, Eastern Europe and Ukrainian fiddling. Acadians mixed their style with local music in southern Louisiana and that became Cajun music.
“It’s very different styles, almost like a dialect in speech,” Woods said. “They might play the same tune but the way they play them is sometimes significantly different. We’re kind of exploring those different dialects in fiddle music across Canada.”
“Fiddling in the key of . . . eh?” showcases tunes in the various styles from across Canada.
Preparing for the show presented its share of challenges.
Woods grew up listening to different styles of music so it was familiar, but he does not claim to be an expert in all the styles the audience will hear June 6.
“I had to really pull up my socks and do some listening to really nail the styles,” Woods said. “Probably the most challenging was the Metis style of fiddling. It’s just got such a unique approach to the melodic line.”
An old-time fiddler such as Woods will play an eight-bar phrase before it repeats before moving on to another eight-bar phrase that repeats. Metis fiddling might have 15 1/2 bars, or 7 1/2 bars, and then it repeats.
“It’s really hard to get your ahead around, so I really struggled with that,” Woods said. “It was a good challenge. It was fun, for sure.”
The “Fiddling in the key of . . . eh?” tour is intended to introduce the different styles to people across the country who might not be familiar with them.
“Our cultures are getting lost in each other, and I think the fiddle styes are too,” Woods said of the reality of today’s ease of travel and communication through the Internet.
“These styles were the origin of some of the great fiddlers of the past,” Woods said. “It’s just a way to reflect on where we came from.”
Woods also hopes to inspire young fiddlers in the audience to branch out of their local style and try others.
“By no means am I an expert at these different styles but I have tried to be as authentic as I can,” Woods said.
Popular Nova Scotia tenor Tommy Leadbeater of Cape Breton Island has returned to the tour, bringing his passion for the music of his home.
“He lives these songs,” Woods said. “It’s a very heartfelt performance, and he’s such an energetic performer on stage.”
East Coast Music Award winner Bruce Timmins, who is also from Cape Breton is on guitar.
“They’re complete opposites, Bruce and Tommy,” Woods said. “Bruce is very shy, very quiet, very unassuming, but I’ll tell you, you put a guitar in his hand it just becomes part of him. He is so passionate about the music.”
Wes Dymond, who has played a variety of styles from big band to classical and who plays regularly with a country band, returns to the tour on drums.
“He’s a real asset, very solid,” Woods said.
Kyle Waymouth is on tour again, this time playing bass and demonstrating his Canadian championship step dancing.
Step dancing always grabs the audience at Woods’ show.
“It’s so energetic, it’s so fun,” Woods said. “And Kyle is the best in Canada. People are in awe watching it, because his feet move so fast.”
Woods near the end of his show will do some of the tricks for which he has become famous: playing the fiddle behind his back, while rolling a barrel, and while performing a running front somersault.
Wood and his band have raised more than $2-million for the organizations that host his show in the various towns and cities.
Proceeds from the show in Fort Macleod go to Holy Cross Parish, and Woods is pleased to support the cause.
“It’s a win-win for us,” Woods said. “We love to play, we love the people, and we love the tunes.”
Woods and his band have many devoted followers in all parts of the country, like the women in Red Deer who brings a pie each time she comes to a show.
“We never feel like we’re very far from home, no matter where we are in Canada,” Woods said.
For tickets call Harvey Bourassa at 403-553-3822; Charlotte Balkham at 403-553-3291; Annett Seymour at 403-625-4118; Elaine Erick at 403-553-3147; Travis Doyle at 403-553-2437; Bob and Linda Ripley at 403-553-3871; Blanche and Rick Lemire at 403-627-2963; or David Hughes at 403-553-3388.

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