Warren Leard | Bowing Down Home

L-R: Elmer Robinson, Frank O'Connor, Warren Leard, Bernice Laird, Dorothy Rogers, Harry Lecky at Robinson's home in Woodstock: Rounder recording sessions, 1996

Biography

Warren Leard’s family ran a flour mill in Coleman for three generations. His father still used old fashioned millstones, but in Warren’s time they made the conversion to a steel roller mill. By the early 1990s, theirs was the last operating flour mill remaining on PEI.

A few decades back, when farmers who brought in their grain happened to be fiddle players, they would often be invited to the house for a cup of tea and a few tunes. Warren’s wife Bernice MacDonald Leard would generally accompany on piano. One fiddler who frequently took part in these sessions was Elmer Robinson.

There was no fiddling in Leard’s immediate family but his father’s sister was adept at playing fiddle tunes right out (note for note) on piano. His parents bought him his first violin at age 9, and he learned by watching and listening to older fiddlers in the community.

In the 1980s, Warren and Bernice organized a musical ensemble called the Warren Leard Group, which performed at nursing homes, asisted living sites, and benefit concerts. Among the other members of the group were Everett Boulter, Alton and Francis Hardy, Harry Lecky, and Linda and Gail MacDonald.

In July 1992, Elmer Robinson invited Warren and two other fiddling friends -- Eddy Arsenault of St. Chrysostom and Frank O'Connor of Kildare Capes -- to join in during his recording session. This made not only for a very festive occasion, but allowed us to record some great group fiddling. Some group fiddling recordings made from that session appear below under the heading, "Tunes from the Robinson Gathering."

Tune Selections

Leard, Warren - Island Boy Accompanied by: Bernice Leard, pno; Eugene Gallant, gtr
West Prince
info
Leard, Warren - Paddy on the Turnpike Accompanied by: Eldon MacArthur, gtr
West Prince
info
Leard, Warren - President Garfield's Hornpipe Accompanied by: Bernice Leard, pno; Eugene Gallant, gtr
West Prince
info
Leard, Warren - WLeard Set-Tune 1 Accompanied by: Bernice Leard, pno; Eugene Gallant, gtr
West Prince
info

Tune Selections

Robinson Gathering - Lord MacDonald's Reel Accompanied by: Eldon MacArthur, gtr; Ken Perlman, bjo info
Robinson Gathering - Maid Behind the Bar Accompanied by: Eldon MacArthur, gtr; Ken Perlman, bjo info
Robinson Gathering - Robinsongathering Reel 1 Accompanied by: Eldon MacArthur, gtr; Ken Perlman, bjo info
Robinson Gathering - Walker St. Accompanied by: Eldon MacArthur, gtr; Ken Perlman, bjo info

Oral Histories

Fiddling at the flour mill Fiddling at the flour mill info and transcript

Video Clips