In the summer of 1982, I attended Northern Week of the Fiddle and Dance Workshops in Ashokan, New York (better known ‘Root Camp’) in part to study French Canadian fiddling with Lisa Ornstein. She taught a number of crooked and straight tunes with compelling melodic turns and interesting bowing. One of the simplest, but loveliest, was Sheepskin and Beeswax, a short modal tune from Eric Corrigan from a little town in Quebec called Stoneham. Even though Mr. Corrigan was of Irish ancestry, he culturally Quebecois.
Sixteen years later, I met Mr. Corrigan at another fiddle camp across the continent in Port Townsend, Washington. He and fellow fiddler, Eddie Whalen, had traveled from Quebec to lead workshops at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes sponsored by the Centrum. So here’s their version of the tune of the week. Isn’t that just the coolest name for a tune? I wish I knew the story behind the name.
Sheepskin and Beeswax by Eric Corrigan & Eddie Whalen
The whole medley played by Mr. Corrigan and Mr. Whalen can be found on my Dr.Dosido.net website. The page also contains a link to Lisa Ornstein’s performance of the tune, recorded in 1982.