The Newfoundland Herald dives through our archives to reflect on OZFM Jigs & Reels host Danielle Butt’s love of all things Irish ahead of St. Patrick’s Day
OZFM’s Jigs & Reels and the St. Paddy’s season go together like PB&J. Naturally, longtime host and network fixture Danielle Butt has become an unsung ambassador of the holiday here on The Rock.
And while the COVID-19 pandemic will likely dampen the best laid plans for Paddy’s fans across the province, we can still keep the spirit, and luck, of the Irish alive.
The Newfoundland Herald dives through our archives to reflect on Danielle Butt’s love of all things Irish, her connection to the traditional and folk music that make up the sounds of the season and much more!
“I get emails, messages on Facebook and Twitter from people telling me they’re listening from all over. I’ve had people down in South America, the United States, all across Canada, people from overseas and Australia, all kinds of listeners making great comments about how they love the show.
They may not all be Newfoundlanders themselves but most of them have a Newfoundland connection. Whether their mother was from here and it was a song she used to sing or maybe they visited the province, this is their way of staying in touch. I think it’s just awesome.”
— Danielle Butt, 2014
“I love spending my Sunday morning listening to all the great music on “Jigs and Reels” the music you play every week is just awesome! Thank you!”
— Paula Butler, St. John’s
“Although St. Patrick’s Day is BIG all across Canada, and the world – most major cities have their annual celebrations – in St. John’s, St. Patrick’s Day really is special.
The connection between Newfoundland and Ireland remains strong, as you’d quickly find out if you hit George Street (and it doesn’t need to be Paddy’s Day, either!). Any night of the year you can hear live traditional bands downtown … but St. Patrick’s Day is over-the-top!
There are Newfoundlanders who consider St. Patrick’s Day just as big as Christmas. St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in Newfoundland … Many Newfoundlanders come from Irish descent, so it really is in our blood. And, to top it all off, we are fortunate to have some of the best musical talent in the world to call our own and enjoy right on our doorstep.”
— Danielle Butt, 2016
“I love Jigs & Reels because it makes me feel like I’m back home and my dad is playing and singing. So peaceful.”
— Carla Skinner, Gander
“Jigs listeners are the best! And they are loyal listeners, too, tuning in every week! It’s a part of their Sunday routine to get up and start their day by flicking on Jigs & Reels. It goes with Sundays like Jiggs Dinner. Jigs and Reels truly is a Newfoundland Tradition, and that tradition has continued on OZFM for over 35 years!”
— Danielle Butt, 2016
“I can’t remember when I didn’t listen to Jigs & Reels. I am living in Alberta now and wake up every Sunday morning @ 4am because of the time difference to listen to your show online. Keep up the good work!”
— Karl McGrath, Airdrie, AB
“Request: West Country Lady by The Kilkenny Krew. Love Jigs & Reels every Sunday morning, makes me feel like I’m still home in Freshwater.”
— Dwayne Smith, Ontario
“Request: Good morning Danielle! Can you please play The Freels version of St John’s Waltz or something from Emile Benoit.
I was born in Stephenville, and my mother’s family and ancestors are all from the Bay St. George area with my favorite aunts and uncles still living in Kippens. Now 59 years old, I long to visit every summer. As a younger man I took for granted how perfect Newfoundland is.
I live for Sunday mornings for your show, getting up early so as to hear as much of it as possible (1-1/2 hour difference and all). I only listen to NL artists on my iTunes during the week. So your show for the past two years, as well as episodes of Republic of Doyle on Amazon Prime Video are the closest thing to heaven until this Covid thing is over.”
— Scott Gring, Indiana USA
“There are so many talented artists here. Newfoundland music is as unique as the people that create it. It is a way of communicating our shared experience down through the years.
I think being isolated, bearing hardships and blessings together has resulted in strong ties that bind us. Each generation gets to add its story, its own flavour, and that makes Newfoundland music what it is today.
There are many things unique about our people, and all genres of music are unique, but I feel nothing quite strikes a chord more powerfully in our culture, than our shared language of music. Play a good Jig or a Reel at a house party up-along and you instantly know everyone in the room who’s from The Rock.”
— Danielle Butt, 2016
“I think it’s the time of year when the love of Irish music brings everyone together and they get to celebrate together.
I’m so lucky to get to feel that passion that people feel for the traditional Irish music all throughout the year through Jigs & Reels. But on St. Patrick’s day, more than any other time throughout the year, you really get to see it.”
— Danielle Butt, 2020
“I’m so lucky to be in an industry with musicians that are so talented and yet they’re all so down to earth. I consider most of them good friends, my extended family.
Jigs & Reels is always special that day, that’s when the show turns even more Irish than Newfoundland, but then you actually really do get to see how much our trad, Newfoundland traditional music, is connected to Irish music.”
— Danielle Butt, 2017