Dragger's Reel, The | Bowing Down Home

About this tune

Eddy Arsenault tells us that The Dragger’s Reel came to him one day when he was “dragging” (casting nets) for cod and hake. Once Arsenault began playing the tune regularly, it spread rapidly: first to other fiddlers within the Evangeline Coast region, and from there to the rest of Prince County. Through the efforts of the Prince County Fiddlers’ Society, and because of its inclusion in anthologies such as The Prince Edward Island Style of Fiddling: Fiddlers of Western PEI, by now it has spread Island wide.

A striking similarity has been noted between this tune and Hughie Shorty’s Reel by noted Cape Breton fiddler Johnny Wilmot. Although the two tunes differ melodically in many details, the impression of overall similarity is indeed hard to ignore. Listeners will simply have to make up their own minds on this issue.

One major difference between the two tunes: in Hughie Shorty’s the repeat of the high-turn features a long second ending; in The Dragger, the high turn is played the same way each time.

Notation for this tune as played by Eddy Arsenault is in Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island.

Tune Selections

Arsenault, Eddy - Dragger's Reel Accompanied by: Ken Perlman, bjo
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Arsenault, Louise - Heather on the Hill / Dragger's Reel Accompanied by: Philippe Leblanc, pno
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Arsenault, Peter - Dragger's Reel Accompanied by: Helene Arsenault Bergeron, pno
Evangeline Coast / East Prince
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Wedge, Keelan - Dragger's Reel / Farmer's Reel Accompanied by: Glen Maceachern, pno; Rodney Savindon, gtr; Norma Arsenault, gtr
New Wave
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Wight, Elliott - Dragger's Reel Accompanied by: Judy Low, pno
Eastern Queens
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