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All Artists



Rufus Guinchard

Louis Leger

Rufus Guinchard was born September 6th, 1899 in Daniel's Harbour Newfoundland. He started learning to play when he was 11 years old and would hold the bow in the middle with the fiddle against his chest and over the right shoulder. He stayed with this style throughout his life (see photo above). Here's a quote from the liner notes of his first album: "He began on an old fiddle his father had and though it was broken he managed, ingeniously, to repair the holds with birch-bark and glue from boiled caribou skins; his second and third strings he made from lobster twine, his fine string from the strong thread used to sew skin boots and the bow he made by tightly running sewing cotton (#38) from top to bottom. For rosin he used a knob of frankum. Perked up on the kitchen table with his feet on the chair he began his career as a fiddler. Not wishing to be caught in the act of learning he tucked the base of the fiddle under his unbuttoned shirt under his right shoulder so that he could lean forward to look out the window and spot anyone who might be approaching. From this furtive activity grew a musical style that would charm the country". Besides playing fiddle and accordion, he worked as a fisherman, logger, trapper, seaman. laborer, and carpenter. He played for dances first around Daniel's Harbour then around Port Saunders, Newfoundland. 

His first LP was Rufus Guinchard - Newfoundland Fiddler, followed by Step Dances & Tunes. A third album Humouring the Tunes was published after his death and includes two of his accordion pieces. There is also a book about him with notations of his tunes by Kelly Russell