This is a tune that we often play at gigs, and is one of our favourites not least because it was written by our piano player (and fiddler) David Fisher.
It was written by Dave a few years ago during a visit to Northern California, where he attended a Blackberry Festival in Covelo which takes place at the end of every summer, celebrating the annual fruit harvest. Perhaps fuelled by the sweet berries, he and his brother took part in a 5km run - the footrace of the tune title.
Later, in a hotel in Phoenix, as he was trying to recall another tune, he came up with the B-part figure, from which the rest of the tune developed.
The tune was well received, and has become a regular in scottish sessions, also spreading further afield, perhaps helped because of its north american roots.
It was picked up by Boston-based fiddler Hanneke Cassel during a Valley of the Moon music festival, and she liked it so much that she recorded it on her album ‘For Reasons Unseen’. It has also been recorded by Ian Fraser (brother of Alastair Fraser), and the Poozies, amongst others.
Apparently Dave received a royalties check soon after Hanneke’s recording, and he was so amazed at the life his tune had taken on that he never took it to the bank and still has it as a keepsake!
The video below shows Hanneke’s wonderful arrangement of Blackberry Festival Footrace.