It all started at the age of three... singing alongside my sister (Elizabeth), as we entertained with our parents at various gatherings around our hometown of Fergus, Ontario. A year later, we started music lessons, and soon were playing piano duets. However, I really yearned to play the fiddle, just like my dad. Finally, when I was eight, our parents bought “the girls” violins. We took weekly classical violin lessons from the same teacher who had taught our dad many years earlier. As a reward for practising the scales, studies and classical repertoire, Dad taught us fiddle tunes in the style of Don Messer. That was “the fun stuff” in my opinion!
By the time I was ten, I was a regular member of ‘The Merv Woods Orchestra’, out playing for dances each weekend, all over Southwestern Ontario. I quickly learned that you had to “feel” the music, and play it so that people would want to get up and dance to whatever you played. I also learned that ‘if one fiddle was nice, two fiddles were nicer’ but if they played in harmony, it was even better! I had a natural ear for the harmony, and usually played a lyrical line that sounded almost like another melody. When “the boys” (my brothers Bruce and Scott) joined the band, we not only played for dances, but also went as a family to entertain at fairs, corporate events and churches. We transitioned into playing more shows and a few less dances, but also played the Fiddle Contest circuit starting in 1976.
I was fortunate to be awarded Canadian Champion numerous times, in various classes (Ladies, 19-45, Duet with brother Scott) over the years, as well as receiving many other titles from the prominent competitions. I have continued to play for dances and shows from those early years onward, and truly enjoy entertaining crowds with my music. I hope to see you at a Scott Woods Show sometime soon.
I have spent many hours in recording studios over the years, laying down tracks for other musicians, but it never occurred to me to do a recording of my own. After many requests by fans from all over Canada, I finally had the chance to make this album. It is a collection of some of my favourite tunes I have played at dances, contests and shows over the years.
I am so blessed to have such talented musicians and friends playing on my album. Steve Piticco, Tyler Beckett, Darin Parise and Doug Johnson – thank you all for sharing your incredible talents! I am thrilled that my son, Ben Norris, (who also started entertaining at three) is part of this album, as is my mom, Carolyn Woods. It truly is amazing to have three generations play together!
I am so pleased that brother Bruce and sister Elizabeth could join in for the final track. And then there is my brother Scott – words cannot express how grateful I am to him for helping make this dream come true for me. He has always been my inspiration to play!
Thanks to modern technology, I am also so thrilled to have my dad, Merv (who passed away in 2003) kick off the final track! He was never so fond of playing a solo, but we found an archival recording of him and Mom playing the fiddlers’ national anthem, Ward Allen’s Maple Sugar. The rest of the family joins in to finish off the CD.
I would also like to thank my wonderful husband, Joel Norris, for his support over the last 40+ years – allowing me to travel all over the world to make others happy with my music.
So, get up and dance, or sit back and listen, and soothe your soul with the healing power of the music that my family has played for generations!
- Yours Truly, Kendra Norris
Kendra (Woods) Norris: Fiddle and Accordion
Scott Woods: Fiddle, Bass, and Drums
Carolyn Woods: Piano
Bruce Woods: Fiddle
Elizabeth Noulty: Fiddle
Merv Woods: Fiddle
Ben Norris: Fiddle
Steve Piticco: Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Doug Johnson: Pedal Steel
Darin Parise: 5-String Banjo
Tyler Beckett: Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, and Fiddle
Produced by: Kendra Norris & Scott Woods
Musical Arrangements by: Kendra Norris & Scott Woods, SOCAN
Recorded & Mixed by: Scott Woods, McLeod Music, Fergus, Ontario
Mastered by: Doug Stronach, Eclipse Music Productions, Arthur, Ontario
Graphic Design by: Janet McGlynn, Lumin8 Strategy & Design Agency Inc., London, Ontario
Photography by: Dan Peer, Kitchener, Ontario
Visa or MasterCard
Call 519.843.8873 or Toll Free 1.855.SCOTTWOODS (726.8896)
Cheque & Order Form
Send order form and cheque made payable to McLeod Music, to 330 Angus St., Fergus, ON N1M 2M1
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