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Gaston Guillemain

b. 1877, France, d. 1966. French hurdy gurdy participant Gaston Guillemain acquired the difference of influencing not merely his compatriots but also celebrated folk music artists from the British isles and Irish customs. Often collaborating along with his cabrette-playing sibling Lucien (1868-1965) and various other tube and vielle players, his first recordings were produced on 78s in 1926. These and various other recordings (notably personal tapes dating in the 50s and 60s) had been put together in 1994 as Berry – Bourbonnais by Silex Information. Among the motivators from the reissue program (which also noticed a companion level of classic recordings by Lucien entitled Cabrette) was Willy Soulette of Trio Cornemuse – a tribute to Guillemain’s long lasting impact. Tackling maurkas, bouréha sido, marches, quadrilles, polkas and dance rhythms, Berry – Bourbonnais verified Guillemain and his sibling to become consummate interpreters, borrowing from many customs without ever becoming constricted by them. That free of charge spirited strategy, fostered from the brothers’ determination to improvise and test out rhythm and tranquility, can be easily detected in the next recordings of better known English performers including Johnny Doran and Davy Stewart.

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