Friends of Fiddler's Green
Friends of Fiddler's Green
|Genres||Celtic, Folk, and Roots music|
|Years active||late 1960s to present|
|Labels||Fallen Angle Music|
|Members||William Laskin, Ian Robb, Laurence Stevenson, Alistair Brown, Ian Bell, and Jeff McClintock|
|Past members||Tam Kearney, David Parry, Jim Strickland, Ian Clark, Cherie Whalen, Rick Avery, John Bowden, Rosemary Brown, Margaret Christl, Peter Shepheard, and Stewart Cameron. |
Friends of Fiddler's Green is a Canadian folk music group based in Toronto founded in 1971 and still active as of 2018. The members of the group at the time of its first recording, 1981's This Side of the Ocean, were Alistair Brown, Tam Kearney, Grit Laskin, David Parry, Ian Robb, Laurence Stevenson, and Jim Strickland. Another half-dozen former members from the band's first 10 years are listed on the back of the album.
In all the years since, the lineup has stayed remarkably consistent, with only Jim Strickland having left the ensemble. David Parry remained performing with the group until his death in 1995, as did Tam Kearney until his death in 2013. Additions to the line up have included singer & musician Ian Bell, and also Jeff McClintock on keyboards. Jeff was later replaced by Cherie Whalen, only to rejoin the band after Cherie's departure for family reasons.
The name of the group is derived from Fiddler's Green, a mythical place of dancing and happiness. Tam Kearney and Jim Strickland, both Scottish immigrants living in Toronto in the 1960s, founded Fiddler's Green Folk Club on Eglinton Avenue, behind the YMCA. Gradually a nucleus of musicians developed, initially doing warm-ups at the club, and then performing as a group. Ian Robb arrived from England, in the early 1970s. The arrival of other singers gave the group a distinctly Scottish flavor. David Parry was an enthusiast for mumming and brought a dragon's costume to the mix. At festival performances, the members may present English Mummers Plays, Morris Dancing or Scottish country dancing. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival documented a reviewer who claimed that Friends of Fiddler's Green were among the best British bands touring North America
Although they are not typically a touring band, they have also performed in the United States.
In 2003 they were given the "Estelle Klein Achievement Award" at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals.
The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the folk music community in Ontario through their work as an artist, academic, organizer, or presenter.
The keyboardist for the group, Jeff McClintock, was arrested by the religious police in Saudi Arabia, probably in connection with his work with an otherwise all-female fiddle ensemble, the Frillyknickers.
- 1981 This Side of the Ocean
- 1994 Road to Mandalay
- 1997 This Side of the Ocean (Expanded CD re-release)
- 2015 Old Inventions
- Robb, Ian. "David Parry 1942-1995". Archived from the original (Obituary in Sing Out!) on 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Vancouver Folk Music Festival Performer Archives". Archived from the original on 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- Brown, Alistair. "Friends of Fiddler's Green" (article in the Scottish magazine The Living Tradition). Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Estelle Klein Award". Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
- McGregor, Arthur. "Estelle Klein" (PDF). Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Folkprints. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-24.