Rufus Guinchard,
Humouring the Tunes
(SingSong, 1990)

Rufus Guinchard was a Newfoundland tradition.

When he died in 1990, a day after his 91st birthday, he had established himself as a pinnacle of the island nation's musical community. As Jim Payne, producer and backing instrumentalist on Humouring the Tunes, explains in the brief liner notes, Guinchard was a mainstay at dances along Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, where he started to "humour the tunes, adding more notes 'cause it makes 'em go better for dancing."

Humouring the Tunes was recorded over the course of a year. Guinchard lived to finish it, but not to see it released.

As it is, the CD stands as a tribute and memorial to his talent and devotion. It's sad, though, that it wasn't done sooner, when Guinchard remained at the height of his abilities. The tracks here aren't always the strongest, the pitch isn't always perfect. But the enthusiam never flounders.

There are 20 tracks, some under two minutes in length. Payne joins Guinchard, adding guitar, accordion and vocals to the sound.

Listen to this album to hear a true folk musician doing what he loved, what he spent his life doing. You should hear what's he done with the music; musicians now can learn a lot from his artistry and could do worse than to emulate his style.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 26 July 2003