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Bob McQuillen

Bob McQuillen died peacefully on February 6, 2014 with lots of friends holding his hand. He was a legend. Bob wrote over 1500 tunes and put them out in Bob's Note Books, 15 in all... each one dedicated to a special person. He loved many and was loved by many. We will miss him dearly but we are rich from his presence.

Bob McQuillen is a icon in New Hampshire for his boom-chuck piano and accordion playing. He is also famous for his great sense of humor and good will. He is proudest though, of his many piano students in the Monadnock region. Bob continues to ensure that the tradition continues. In 2002, Bob was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the highest award for traditional and folk arts in America. Bob is being recognized as "having a central position in the New England traditional dance music scene for more than fifty years." In addition to being a popular performer, Bob is a composer of traditional New England dance tunes. He has composed over 1,300 so far and they are published in "Bob's Note Books", described in our "Tune Books-Teaching" section. Great Meadow Music is proud to be the producer for Bob's musical treasures.

Farewell to the Hollow

CD - $15


Hear Clip From Track #2

Hear Clip From Track #12

New England Tradition

Farewell to the Hollow was recorded in 1988 by New England Tradition. This recording featuring Bob McQuillen (piano), April Limber (fiddle) and Pete Colby (banjo and autoharp) is a classic and has lost none of its magic with time. Colby's banjo is renowned. New England Tradition was formed in 1978 to continue the rural contra dance tradition of southern New Hampshire. Their repertoire reflects the diverse cultural heritage of the region: French-Canadian, Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton and English tune all make a contribution. Peter Barnes summed up their music: "In New England Tradition you have the best distillation of the fun, drive, and excitement of this region's traditional dance music that I can imagine. I promise you enjoyable listening!" This music has passed the test of time with flying colors.

  1. Teetotaler's, Green Fields of America, Swingin' on a Gate
  2. Broken Sword, The Gobby-O, I lost My Love, Scatter the Mud
  3. Hannah Towle
  4. April's, Pete's, Deanna's Marches
  5. Another Margaret's Waltz, Pompelia, O'Donnell's Waltz
  6. Fireman's, Palerno, Peace River Breakdown
  7. Pete and April's Waltz
  8. Alouette's, Amelia
  9. Ludger Lafore, Trip to Durrow, The Wise Maid
  10. Year-End Two Step, O'Donnel Abhu
  11. Bob's Own, Jimma's, Money in Both Pockets
  12. Mount Cashel's Brigade, Snowy Breasted Pearl, Bonnie Charlie
  13. Farewell to the Hollow
  14. Great Memories

Bob McQuillen, Peter Colby, April Limber, Sarah Bauhan 1991

Total Time 51:50

Bob McQuillen and Old New England

Bob McQuillen, legendary piano player teams up with Jane Orzechowski on fiddle and Deanna Stiles on flute to produce great New England Contra music. Their combined history of playing Contra music exceeds a hundred and ten years! They've honed their skills, for sure, but it's their sensitivity, caring, intelligence and high spirits which make this music so wonderful.

  1. Scotty O'Neil, Jan's March, The Isle of Mull
  2. Bill's Reel, Ice Cream Hornpipe, Altan's Reel
  3. Melissa's Waltz, April Lee's Waltz
  4. Derek's Jig, Bertha's Jig, Black Friday
  5. Happy Acres Two Step and Murphy's Polka, Jonny Rhino's Polka
  6. Kanaly's Hornpipe, Trafalgar Hornpipe, Herrin' Brook
  7. Ms. Hathawy's Jig, Guy Walks into A Bar, Amelia's Jig
  8. Visit To Sandy, John Simon McDonald, Good For the Tongue
  9. Jane's Hambo, Sohpie's Hambo, Tobuguggen
  10. The Canote Men's Bramble, Brick Layers Hormpipe, Cincinnati Hornpipe
  11. The Kitchen, The Chicago Reel
  12. Eugene O'Donnell
  13. President Clinton's Hornpipe, High C's, Kiss The Cook, President Garfield's Hornpipe
  14. Jack and Connie's Jig, Cat In the Hopper, Planxty Dennis O'Conor
  15. Vampire Reel, Yerow's Reel, Bob With the One Horn
  16. Heavens to Besty, Tea with Debra, Mary Elder's Jig
  17. Francis' Hornpipe, Russell's Reel, Sandy Silva's
  18. The JB JB Waltz, Amelia, Nancy's Waltz, Linda's Waltz, A to Z Waltz

Bob McQuillen, Jane McBride Orzechowski, Deanna Stiles, 1996


CD - $25
Collector's Item!

Hear Clip From Track #2

Hear Clip From Track #7



Bob McQuillen and Old New England

Number two CD from Old New England is destined to become a classic of traditional New England Contra dance music. Bob, Deanna and Jane have chosen some of their best loved tunes to play, many of them written by Bob. There are some stellar cuts here. Jane's Waltz and She Passed by Gently are truly lovely. They finish up with three tunes from the Quebecois tradition - La Tadoussac, Quadrille Francis, and Bastringe. Its a great finish. You don't want to miss this one.

  1. 1. His Dad's Polka, Sunset Polka, Roll Away Polka
  2. 2. RichHart's Reel, Aunt Maddie's Reel, Rocky Bay
  3. 3. Jane's Waltz, She Passed by Gently
  4. 4. Blackberry Quadrille, McMcKinnon's Fipple, The Boxman
  5. 5. Ralph Page
  6. 6. Lloyd Carr's Reel, Never Was Piping So Gay
  7. 7. Augusta Waltz, Gram Lee, Woodland Dream
  8. 8. Snowshoer's Hornpipe, Peace River Breakdown, High Level Hornpipe
  9. 9. Shetland Fiddler, Bearded Fiddler, Town of Cootehill
  10. 10. Liza Constable's Reel, Daley's Hornpipe, Hurricaine Hazel
  11. 11. The Air Tune
  12. 12. La Tadoussac, Quadrille Francais, La Bastringue

Bob McQuillen, Deanna Stiles, Jane Orzechowski


Bob McQuillen and Old New England

Old New England has a new CD, their third, called ONE:III of course. Here is a blurb from Mary DesRosiers' liner notes.

"The members of Old New England have come by their music in the old way. They have learned it from other musicians in that unbroken chain which stretches back to the British Isles, France and beyond. Through their passion for keeping the old alive, as well as adding new ones that "fit" our dance tradition, they have themselves become a precious link in that chain. I defy anyone to listen to this music and not feel the urge to get up and dance: that's what it's about.

  1. 1. Black Cat Quadrille, Prince Imperial Galop, George Cheroux
  2. 2. Sheila's Hornpipe, David Millstone's Hornpipe, Mary Lou and Charlie
  3. 3. The Bowmaker, Mood Swing, Shauna's Jig
  4. 4. Sally's Waltz, Eileen's Waltz, Allen McBride
  5. 5. ONE Polka, Lady's Polka, Macky Quacky
  6. 6. Brigid of of Knock, The Gypsy Girl
  7. 7. Caroline's Hornpipe, Uncle George's Reel, Reel de Ste. Louise
  8. 8. Martha's (about time!) Waltz, L and M Waltz, April Flowers
  9. 9. Mrs. Fraser's Party in the Catskills, Bob's Reel
  10. 10. Star Island Jig, Bob's Fancy, Edith and David's Hornpipe
  11. 11. Da Slockit Light

Bob McQuillen, Jane Orzechowski, Deanna Stiles, 2005


bob mcquillen

CD - $15



Bob McQuillen and Old New England

Here is another of Bob's and Old New England's wonderful series of traditional New England contra dance tune CDs. Bob tells us "It's the best yet!" Need we say more?

Cuts are:
  1. Jigs: Jack Beard's Jig /Dr. Becky's/ Martha's Hornpipe
  2. Reels: Blue-Eyed Lassie/ Sailor Set On Shore/ The Brennan Brothers
  3. Air: Arianna's Air
  4. Reels: Harvey's Hornpipe/ Ludger Laforte/ John Campbell's
  5. Waltz, Jig, Reel: Erin's Waltz/ Regina Delaney/ Rear End Reel
  6. Polkas: Fitzwilliam Polka/ Coffee's Woowoo/ Sootie's
  7. Reels: Castle Hornpipe/ Mr. R. Catto/ Chandler's Hornpipe
  8. Waltz: Melanie's Waltz
  9. Reels: Reel de Madame Jobin/ Gramin's/ John Brennan's
  10. Jigs: Debbie Keller's Jig/ Gaelic Roots/ Mrs. Brennan's
  11. Waltz: Miki's Waltz
  12. Reels; Seamus Connolly's/ Lord Macdonald's Reel/ Peerless Hornpipe
  13. Marches: Comer's March/ Myron's
  14. Reels: Piper's Lass/ Collier's Daughter/ Peacock Fancy
  15. Waltz: Ms. Brennan's Waltz

Bob McQuillen, Jane Orzechowski, Deanna Stiles, 2009


Bob McQuillen and Rodney Miller

Pure Quill is an old New England expression meaning "the genuine article...the real thing." Here you have it with Rodney Miller, New England's foremost fiddler teamed with Bob McQuillen, legendary contra piano player and composer of over 1000 contra tunes. This recording captures the two as they might sound at the Peterborough, N.H. Town House on contra dance night. All that's missing is the merry clop of a few hundred feet. For McQuillen and Miller both, the secret to contra's continued vibrancy is that the future and the past are not adversaries, but fellow travelers. And the dance itself remains their greatest teacher.

Pure Quill is on Yankee Magazines' "Top Forty New England CDs" list

  1. McQuillen's Squeezebox
  2. South Wind, My Bonnie Lad
  3. Quindaro, Dominion, Deerfoot, President Grant's
  4. Naughty Nootchie, Old Rocking Chair, Jimmy's Favorite
  5. For Ireland, I'll Not Tell Her Name, Farewell to the Creeks
  6. I Don't Love Nobody, Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane, Honey Harbor Two Step
  7. The Huskin' Bee
  8. Jamie Allen, West Wind
  9. Lowlands of Holland, Coilsfield House
  10. The Gem Varsoviana
  11. Strop the Razar, Skiver the Quilt, Down the Road, Grey Buck
  12. Flowers of Edinburgh, Old French, Willet's Hornpipe, Mountain Ranger
  13. Elvira's Waltz

Rodney Miller, Bob McQuillen, 2000

Total Time 51:67

Bob McQuillen with Laurie Andres & Cathy Whitesides

Here is a delightful collection Bob McQuillen tunes. Bob is joined on the recording by Seattle friends Laurie Andres on accordion and Cathy Whitesides on fiddle.

  1. Father Charlie’s/ Frankie’s Tune
  2. Tony’s Quadrille/ Priscilla’s Jig
  3. Anne’s Waltz
  4. John Krumm’s Hornpipe/ Tolman’s Reel
  5. Rappaport’s Jig/ Dick Nevell’s Jig
  6. Bannerman’s Quadrille/ Mike’s March
  7. Argo’s Reel/ Tracey Sherry’s Reel
  8. Lydia’s Waltz
  9. Kathy’s Jig/ Lilac Lady
  10. Dale’s Hornpipe/ Segal’s Flight/ Corey’s Reel
  11. Brynne Marie
  12. Roger’s Reel/ Culhane’s Hornpipe
  13. Lia’s Jig/ Hank’s Mother/ It’s C-C0Cold Out!
  14. Olde Tyme Quadrille/ J.B.Milne
  15. Sandy’s Waltz/ Cathie’s Waltz

Bob McQuillen, Laurie Andres & Cathy Whitesides

Grand Right
and Left

CD - $15

Hear Clip From Track #1

Hear Clip From Track #2

Bob McQuillen with The Rhythm Rollers

Here is more great traditional contra music from Bob McQuillen, playing with his friends on the West Coast.

  1. 1. Road to California / Flowers of Michigan
  2. 2. I Lost My Love / The Old Favorite
  3. 3. (The) O'Donnells' Waltz
  4. 4. Bird in the Bush / Hand Me Down the Tacklings
  5. 5. 4th. of July / Pete's March
  6. 6. Clare Jig / Munster Buttermilk
  7. 7. Reel from John Taggert / Kohler's
  8. 8. Murray River Jig / Walking The Floor
  9. 9. Mount Cashel's Brigade / Laurie's Squeezbox / Roddy McCorley
  10. 10. Farewell to Whiskey / The Dark Girl
  11. 11. Mountain Ranger Hornpipe / Irish-American Reel
  12. 12. Camp Pleasant Jig / Bob's Own
  13. 13. Quindaro Hornpipe / Dominion Reel
  14. 14. Zora's Waltz

Bob McQuillen, Cathy Whitesides, Laurie Andres, W.B. Reid, 2008

Click here to see Bob's Note Books

Click here to see video about Bob, Contra Connections

Order contra dance music by Wild Asparagus

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