The Yellow Sky – Gordon Quinton

A Yellow Sky CD cover






Gordon was honoured with MusicNL’s 2007 Instrumental Artist of the Year award for The Yellow Sky, his eighth instrumental recording, and was nominated for a 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award in the Instrumental-Solo category.







From the album notes:

  1. A Windy Day  (Gordon Quinton) (2:46) One of those memorable days with swirling gusts of wind blowing leaves, clothes on lines and clouds across the sky.
  2. The Idle Road  (Traditional) (1:27) I first heard this jig played by accordionist Harry Hibbs of Bell Island on a television show in the 1970s.  I loved the stuttering notes at the beginning of each verse.  Also called “The Winding Road”.
  3. The Water Is Wide  (Traditional) (3:29) English folk song sung since the 1600s.  Originally published in 1724, it became known as “The Water Is Wide” in the 19th century.  One of my favourite melodies.
  4. Mother Malone  (Traditional) (2:10) This old-fashioned waltz was made popular by the Irish group The McNulty Family and later by John White of St. John’s.
  5. The Yellow Sky  (Gordon Quinton) (4:14) An original composition inspired by nature.  Sometimes in the evening at sundown the sky takes on a stunning yellow tinge which is very peaceful.
  6. The Schooner Effie H.  (Gordon Quinton) (3:14) In his chapter on boats in the book, Haystack Reflections, published in 1997 by the Haystack Reunion Committee, David Gilbert mentions that this schooner was built in Spread Eagle, Trinity Bay in 1918 for Mr. George Pike of Haystack, Placentia Bay.  My mother, Effie Hollett, was raised by the Pike family and the boat was named after her.  This special rollicking jig is a tribute to my mother and her early days in Haystack.
  7. Princess Royal  (Turlough O’Carolan) (2:30) Turlough O’Carolan was an Irish harper who lived from 1670 till 1718.  His many compositions were rich in melody.  This tune, also known as “Miss MacDermott”, is a piece that I learned from guitarist Eric West of Ladle Cove when we did a school tour many years ago.  Thanks Eric and Turlough.
  8. A Day in the Garden  (Gordon Quinton) (5:18) An impressionistic, original piece about that very spiritual place – the garden – where sun, wind, rain, trees, flowers, rocks, earth, animals and insects come together in harmony.  For Patti and her love of nature!
  9. I’se the Bye  (Traditional) (2:21) This was probably the first jig I ever heard and was played mostly on accordion or fiddle.  I remember hearing an exhilarating version by Wilf Doyle and His Orchestra on a Rodeo Records album, Traditional Jigs and Reels of Newfoundland, from my family’s record collection.  I’ve always loved the bouncy, lilting style of jigs with their energy and excitement!
  10. Magpie/Soldier’s Joy  (Traditional) (1:55) When I first started to pick the guitar, I was very influenced by the flatpicking style of Hank Snow.  This medley of fiddle tunes features that method of playing.  “Magpie” is an old tune I first heard on a recording by The Fuzzy Mountain String Band from North Carolina.  “Soldier’s Joy”, often called the most popular fiddle tune in history, is a well known folk dance tune which dates at least from the latter part of the 18th century.  I remember as a very young boy hearing my father, Douglas Quinton, playing it on his fiddle.
  11. Call of the Mountains  (Gordon Quinton) (6:00) This is an original composition about adventurers and pioneers.  I use a pipe tuning on the guitar to evoke a feeling of melancholy and longing.
  12. Night Visiting Song  (Traditional) (3:16) Some years ago, Scottish folksinger Jack Beck was in St. John’s and did an interview with me for his radio series, Scene Around.  The program I was on featured a session with folksingers Pete Shepheard and Tom Bonnar.  I was struck by the beauty of their rendition of this old song and decided to do a guitar instrumental of the tune.
  13. A Lonesome Pine  (Gordon Quinton) (2:59) The great jazz fingerstylist Lenny Breau was one of the first guitarists I heard who had an orchestral approach to the instrument.  He often performed solo tunes on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television series, Music Hop, years ago.  As a teenager, he played in his father’s country band and was called “Lone Pine Jr.”.  This is my own “folk style” tribute to a truly remarkable artist.
  14. Accordion Medley:  Herb Reid’s Tune/All Around Ole Ruby’s Garden  (Traditional) (2:26)  These are two accordion pieces that I have arranged for fingerstyle guitar.  Both were learned from recordings by two wonderful traditional button accordion players:  “Herb Reid’s Tune” by Baxter Wareham of Harbour Buffett, Placentia Bay and “All Around Ole Ruby’s Garden” by Frank Maher of the Battery in St. John’s.

Total playing time:  44:46

This recording is dedicated to the memory of Jim Lewis and Eric Norman.



Produced by Gordon Quinton
Recorded and engineered in 2006 by John Lacey at Providence Productions, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
All selections arranged by Gordon Quinton
Original compositions and original arrangements published by Woodnight Music, St. John’s, NL (SOCAN)
All selections solo guitar by Gordon Quinton except “Magpie/Soldier’s Joy” which features John Lacey on rhythm guitar
Guitars:  Gibson, Martin and Epiphone
Photographs and cover fantasy image, The Daffodil Ocean, by Patti Fulton
Cover concept and layout by Gordon Quinton and Patti Fulton
Graphics by Lillian Fidler Design, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Manufacturing:  World Replication Group, Bowmanville, Ontario

Thanks to Patti, Poco-Henry, John, Lillian, Wallie, the World Replication Group, and all who helped make this project a reality!

Woodnight Records, wnmcd-004

Copyright © 2006 Gordon Quinton/Woodnight Music.  All rights reserved.  Any unauthorized duplication, exhibition or distribution of this recording in any part thereof is strictly prohibited.  Made in Canada.

The Yellow Sky Samples