Brenda Stubbert’s Reel

Brenda Stubbert was herself a Cape Breton fiddler (see her playing), but this tune was written in her honour by another Cape Breton fiddler, Jerry Holland. Jerry Holland played with an amazingly loose wrist and a jolly smile and here, I found him playing Brenda Stubbert’s.

It’s really not a tune that you would associate with a slow session… but it is widely played, much enjoyed and once you’ve learned the run by heart, the tune is not that difficult to play. It’s a very popular tune, easy to find on Youtube, and played everywhere from the US to Europe (here it is in a pub in Brittany).

I first heard Brenda Stubbert’s reel played by the amazing Lunasa, who only have a few live recordings on Youtube, but you can hear them playing Brenda Stubbert’s here (at 0:34 mins, but no film). Lunasa have the distinction of having been rendered into elegant anime characters, cartoons that actually seem to play their instruments!

The extraordinary Mac Umba (mix of bagpipes with Brazilian rhythms) also played Brenda Stubbert’s but I can only find it on iTunes (where you can hear the beginning for free).

Meanwhile, there are lots of recordings on Youtube… here are just a selection of what seemed useful ones:

Demonstration on a low whistle
Tenor Guitar
Fiddle (from 1:50 mins)
Guitar, Flute and Fiddle (from 0:43 mins)
And another Guitar, Fiddle and Flute (from 1:31 mins)
Fiddle fingering close-up

And I couldn’t resist a link to a pop video using Brenda Stubbert’s (just to confirm it’s popularity!)

Brenda Stubbert’s reel pdf here

Notice that like the Hut on Staffin Island, Bert Mackenzie’s or Salmon Tails, part of the A part returns at the end of the B part.


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