Can it possibly be time for another TOTM poll? I'm still working on hornpipes and listening to all the great versions of the January tune.
Once again, thanks for your tune suggestions; many, if not most of them, are showing up in polls. Keep them coming!
I think at least 3 TOTMers have suggested this Finnish 3 part waltz, which has been recorded by all kinds of groups - including the Boys of the Lough. So it's time to put it in a poll. Around her, it is a popular all-purpose session tune, likely to show up in oldtime and Irish sessions as well as Scandinavian ones. . Also known as Flower of the Woods, the basic tune is simple, but getting that wonderful Scandi feel takes some work.
I just love this version on “two” accordions (either these guys are twins, or it’s some slick video production)
Here's a melllow version with fiddle and guitar.
And on chromatic button accordion.
American: Glendy Burke
Several TOTMers have suggested Stephen Foster tunes, but none have won a poll. So here’s another try: the classic Glendy Burke, named after a Mississippi River steamboat, which was named after an early mayor of New Orleans.
I’ve played it as a dance tune at many Civil War reenactment balls and always found it lots of fun on concertina. As you can see from the YouTube clips, it’s interpreted in diverse ways - sung and as an instrumental - so there’s lots of potential for your own interpretations.
Here’s a pretty straightforward oldtime version complete with concertina.
For a totally different sound, check out this video; the singer is the tenor who leads the Civil War band I sometimes play in, Doug Jimerson, a leading interpreter of Civil War music.
Here’s a creative interpretation with English concertina. I think the basic melody is in there somewhere.
And played by a brass ensemble.
Irish: Tolka Polka
I just love this unusual sounding polka. The A part is interesting; the B part gets really cool. And the C part - wow. It's hard to get the rhythm right on the C, but totally worth it. (Some groups just do the A and B parts, and that's OK - it's still a great tune)
And unlike some polkas, it sounds great played slow, as well as fast, IMO.
Here’s a fast version on multiple instruments, including concertina. (removed)
English: Upon a Summer's Day
So many of the tunes from John Playford's 1651 The English Dancing Master sound like chamber music, and this is one of them. The melody is simple and lovely, with plenty of room for your own creativity, and it should work splendidly on all concertina systems.
Here it is played by the new English group Leveret, featuring English concertinist Rob Harbron, melodeonist Andy Cutting and fiddler Sam Sweeney. Their new CD is amazing! Check out their other videos on YouTube. Interestingly, they pair it with one of last month's TOTM selections the Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance.
Here's a very renaissance-y sounding version.
And a glimpse of the dance.
Edited by Jim Besser, 26 January 2015 - 04:22 PM.