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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 05:19

Big Jim Conners - Fiddle Park Favourites

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Originally from Strathcona, Ontario, Big Jim Conners (1932 - 2009) was a respected fiddler across the province and beyond. In his prime, he appeared on local radio and television broadcasts in Cobourg, Pembroke and Barrie. He was a familiar competitor in the great fiddle contests of Shelburne, Bobcaygeon, Perth and Pembroke and a popular performer everywhere he appeared. The great Halifax fiddler Gordon Stobbe wrote, "Crisp, clean playing, interesting twists in phrasing, a smooth and effortless bow hand and an endless repertoire of great tunes introduced me to Jim Conners, Big Jim to his friends...Here was a fiddler to inspire me."

The album Fiddle Park Favourites shows Big Jim in his comfort zone - the repertoire that would be played in the campground jams at a fiddle contest. The big half-Mohwak fiddler, an orphan at 4 and raised by his grandparents, was a virtuoso in this field. "He never learned to read music, but was self taught on his grandfather's fiddle, before buying his own 1890's Collin-Mezzin violin off a bootlegger in 1955."