With backup from his son Marcel on guitar, this French-Canadian fiddler recorded more than 150 sides in the '20s and '30s, waltzing in the door that had been opened for this genre by fiddler Isidore Soucy. J.O. LaMadeleine started out as a lumberjack, and like many fiddlers, learned the instrument and much of the repertoire from his father, Albert LaMadeleine, a fiddler and vocalist who made records on his own as well as with his son. LaMadeleine moved to Montreal in 1915 and began his recording career a decade later with a group that included his father, his son, his daughters, and even his brother-in-law. The family band's style changed when the father went off on his own, as Albert liked to present a more mellow style based on old-fashioned pop songs, while the son was more into intense fiddling. With the father gone, he was free to concentrate on pieces such as "Reel de Loup-Garou," an instrumental dedicated to the werewolf. He played some American pieces such as "Turkey in the Straw" and sometimes went into a style more similar to Southern American fiddlers than his Québecois contemporaries. He continued recording into the late '30s, switching to the RCA label and refining his style without making any major changes.
Share this page