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Steve Wilson

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Posts posted by Steve Wilson

  1. For those in south eastern Australia within striking distance the Cobargo Folk Festival is on again, this year it's from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February. Find out more at http://www.cobargofolkfestival.com/


    Concertinas will be prominent. They will feature in performances by Alistair Brown from the UK playing anglo, by Danny Spooner on english and also myself, Steve Wilson, singing songs one would not normally hear with english concertina.


    First up Sunday morning will be the Concertina Convergence, a showcase/forum of different concertinas and playing styles, moderated by myself and involving Alistair and Danny. Also involved and well known in Australia is Richard Evans playing duet, and a couple of south coast locals, Kate Burke and Mike Martin, both excellent on anglo.


    Cobargo is a great little festival in a wonderful setting. Hope to see some of you there, check it out.



  2. Occasionally my band lets me do something interesting.




    Stand up for yourself, do something interesting more often. I did enjoy that Johanna, the tina added that extra something. Don't know your bands music, I'll have to search some of those vids.


    What are the mics you're using? Microvox or something else and how do you find them, whatever they are?


    Cheers Steve.

  3. Please tell us something about your concertina.


    I don't think there's very much to tell Mike, and I don't know very much. It's a standard Wheatstone english treble, circa 1930, number 32453. I bought it in London in 1979, played it a fair bit for a few years in a basic style (melody line), then for many years just played it off and on until fairly recently. When I got it I had Steve Dickinson tune it and he also changed the springs to light ones so it's quite easy to depress the buttons. And fairly responsive but some notes less so. Richard Evans also tuned it, quite a few years ago now. It does need tuning again but I can't bring myself to part with it for any length of time. I'd prefer a more mellow tone for what I'm doing now. In time I'll be getting a wooden ended one.




    I bet you'd step in time! :D



    There's not much rhythm on a power blower........Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! But I also do have trouble with timing on the concer, usually speeding up is the issue. It's hard, for me anyway, to keep good time just playing solo without some kind of rhythm backing. I've done a few other tracks during my last recording session which I'll eventually upload. You might detect a few wobbles on some of them.

  4. Hi Stephen,


    Chording really is very simple, you'll be amazed once you get your head around it. But it's a bit too involved to go into detail here. There are lots of sites where you can find out how to do it. Here's one. http://www.howmusicworks.org/304/Chords-and-Harmony/Building-Chords


    A chord consists of three or more notes. You can even play part chords, just two notes. The C chord consists of C,E & G. Any combination of those notes, either all on one side or the other, or both sides, for example E & G on the left and C on the right, when played together will make the C chord.


    Play them together as a beat for six beats, that is pressing and lifting, and you'll almost have the first line of "Oh Sussanah". When you get to "knee" you have to play a G chord which you've learned from the site above is G, B & D. Google "Oh Sussanah lyrics chords" to get all the chords, there's an F chord in there too.

    That's a simple start. It's a matter of learning the different combinations (inversions) and being able to grab them quickly, just like a guitarist does.

    Practice,practice,practice. Later you'll start to feel different ways of creating rhythm. And some chords share notes so you don't always have to lift all fingers to change chords.


    Anyway if you get some lessons from Jim you'll be in good hands.


    Cheers, Steve

  5. Thanks for appreciating the "core" members... and quite rightly too. But what about the vast majority of c.neters... the lurkers who read and never or rarely post? They are valued members too and I would like to say "thank you" to them as well.


    They are akin to an audience that does not perform on stage but by their attention gives weight and meaning to the discourse. Bravo lurkers! (You know who you are).


    Ah, the lurkers...yes very important. I admit to being a lurker, collar turned up, hat brim pulled down, skulking around these forums without signing in, keen not to be noticed.


    What a colourful and apt description of us as "lurkers" Jody. Thanks for saying thank you to us. I'm feeling more important already.


    PS. I'm not taking the piss, I like "lurkers".


    Cheers Steve.

  6. What a challenge, but I'm not sure there's anyone up to it. To start with it's a song, it needs to be sung to convey the meaning. The video uses captions in an attempt to do this but falls a bit flat.


    With big duet accompaniment and sung it would be or could be something special in concertina circles but this is a big classic rock song. A big ask. Would be good if someone could.


    I await with dubious expectation. Surprise me!

  7. If he was to attend a larger folk festival he might find a few people with concertinas and if asked nicely they might let him try their instrument. The National Folk Festival would be a good one to try, it is at Easter and only about 7 or 8 hours away.


    He wouldn't have to attend as large a festival as the National, or go as far or wait as long. There's a beaut little festival at Cobargo on the far South Coast of NSW and it's happening from 21 -23 February, next month!


    Concertinas will be prominent. There's to be a forum on concertina, "The Concertina Convergence", moderated by myself and also featuring Richard Evans who plays the duet and is a maker of anglo concertinas! Also featured are Kate Burke and Mike Martin, two excellent local anglo players and as well on anglo we've got Alistair Brown from the UK.


    The intention of the "Convergence" is to showcase the different types of concers and playing styles. So a little technical discussion but mostly performance. Afterwards (or before) there will be plenty of networking, sessions, etc. I expect there will be a few concertinas coming out of closets.


    Of course Alistair will feature in other concert spots during the festival, as will I myself.


    So, see you there. It's only about four and a half hours from Bairnsdale, a Sunday drive compared to other parts of Oz.


    I'll post more info on this festival in the news forum a little closer to the event.

  8. Thanks David & Ken. David, your record stands, 2480 posts now, definitely a core member. And you're about to be ineluctable, big word, must be good!


    Anyway this thread has run it's course. Hopefully some or many of you "core" members have noticed that your efforts are very much appreciated by myself and probably (hopefully) many other occasional users as well.


    That's all from me.


    Cheers Steve.

  9. Thanks both David and Mike for your concern for my health. To avoid any misunderstanding I'm in remission now and very healthy. Mantle cell lymphoma has an average survival rate of six years with 100% chance of multiple relapse. To date I've had none. I'm also told I had the gold standard treatment and the jury is still out as to it's effectiveness. So I'm thankful for each new day and yes still squeezing, very much so.


    But this thread is not supposed to be about me. It's about you the likes of you two. David, wow,an average of more than one post every other day since joining. And Mike, 215 is not bad. Myself and others like me just fill in the spaces, which of course is an important contribution. But you blokes are the drivers and I take my hat off to you and the rest of the core group. ( "blokes"? Sorry girls, I haven't noticed any heavyweights among you, but that's OK, I'll never be a heavyweight)


    Cheers Steve.


    Above is the post I deleted by accident. I was trying to quote the last sentence. I've just noticed a female heavyweight boxer, well done. I should be more attentive, sorry.

  10. This is to say thankyou to those core members of Concertina.net who keep this forum ticking over for the enlightenment and entertainment of the rest of us. No names mentioned, we know who you are, your posts number in the hundreds or thousands. Your knowledge, enthusiasm, energy and diligence astound me, I could never contribute at the rate of some of you. But, as a relatively new member, I'm beginning to feel part of a community.


    I have played EC for a long time but it's only in the last couple of years I have developed a new passion for the instrument after a serious (and ongoing) cancer issue. My interest is song accompaniment with concer and I've resolved to work at this to achieve as high a level as I might in my time available (hopefully quite a few years). A passion and purpose so to speak.


    For a long time I've had very little contact with things concertina (recordings, other players,etc) but C.net has opened a whole new world. In particular the recent thread on solo concertina with singing has exposed me to some fine singer/players. Many thanks.


    So once again thankyou to all those who drive these forums, your contributions and effort are very much appreciated.





    While I'm here, not really "Bush" style, but Danny Spooner is the main Australian I know playing while singing concertina, though English rather than Anglo.


    Likewise, our own Steve Wilson, "Safari Steve" on these forums. If you haven't seen his youtubes, check them out.




    I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned that other great Australian singer and player of the EC and C.net member, Warren Fahey.




    I'm not quite sure that Safari Steve fella plays "Bush" style but he does play a few "bush"? songs. I think perhaps one needs to play the anglo, by far the most common concertina played in the bush in times gone by, to more easily capture the bush style.


    Dave de Hugard does the bush style superbly. I don't think there's any solo concer with vocal on the the download available here http://australianfolk.blogspot.se/2009/01/dave-de-hugard-magpie-morning-1993.html , mostly accordion, but there's a bit of concer + banjo & singing.


    And to mention another legend again, Warren Fahey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KnbyrUSjU8 We wouldn't forget you Warren

  12. I use Microvox with all the issues that Jim mentions above.


    In an article on Concertina Library Simon Thoumire says he uses Accusound mics and says they're very good. He also says he will do a seperate article on mics but I can't find anything, I don't think it's happened. Might be worth contacting him.


    The Accusound mics don't seem to be contact ones, they sit on flexible necks that attact with a little plastic fitting. Still seems to be an issue with wires although they say they can be used with a wireless radio system. I imagine there would still be wires going to a belt mounted transmitter. All sounds very expensive. Check it out here.http://accusound.com/product-list/concertina/product/6-concertina-microphone-system

  13. I'm having trouble trying to copy and paste a quote from Matthew so just type it in.


    "Are there any non/less-folky singers who back up more modern singing, for contrast?"


    And later,


    "Almost all of these are old folk or more recent folk in a relatively conservative style."


    That seems to be the way it is. Searching the net there's only Juliette Daum that I've come across who performs some more modern songs. I must confess I have had virtually no contact with other concer players or exposure to concertina recordings until very recently so there must be some performers who cover modern material, apart from their own compositions I mean. I certainly would like to hear some.


    I have enjoyed hearing some of the singers mentioned in this post, in particular Steve Turner whose accompaniment style I found very interesting although a little busy at times which overpowered the vocal somewhat I felt.


    It is nice to hear other singers accompaniment styles, you can pick up techniques, but not being too exposed allows one to develop an individual style. Recently I posted a few Youtube vids in the video section of this forum, some "modern" songs (Honey Pie,Rainbow Connection,Lighthouse), partly in the hope that it would coax out some singers doing non-traditional material with concertina accompaniment. So where are you all?,come on.


    In its heyday the concertina was often used to play the music of the day. Now it seems it's mostly used to play the music of yesterday.

  14. As I can read from all of you, we all have quite similiar approach:) That is to take and mix together what is best from guitar, accordion and piano styles of accompaniment and render them on concertina to the extent possible.


    Here you have an example of my accompaniment and singing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9HH37QlVF8

    The accompaniment on this one is a mix of accordion style om-pa with bits of melody line, quite closely resembling the original arrangement.



    Unfortunately my Polish is none existent but I did enjoy your piece without understanding a word. You say it's a cover so not a traditional song? Not many people play and sing songs on concertina that aren't traditional.


    I sing some trad songs, mostly Aussie ones but I find modern songs more interesting to play on the concer. When I find time ( difficult but perhaps before Christmas) I'll have to record and post my versions of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and "Chim Chim Cheree". They have lots of interesting chords, would go well on Duet.


    You fellas may not know the Waifs but here's my version of their song "Lighthouse" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nFj5Mi5dc4 It's fairly sparse but has a lot of that vamping on the off beat that I spoke of in the post above.


    Cheers Steve.

  15. Hello John (and Don),


    Excellent post John, what I was trying to say above but you've said it more eloquently. I've visited your website, very impressive, and listened to Sally Gardens. Lovely playing but I was disappointed you didn't sing. More coming I hope.


    Along with an interest in song accompaniment and concertinas we share a birthday, although you have a few years on me.


    There must be more singing concertinists out there, I'm hoping you all might add to this thread and post a few videos or audio clips as well.




  16. Hi Don,

    Ah, song accompaniment, how many ways? I guess it depends on the song and the singer. I'm no expert by any means but I'll try to tell you a bit of what I do. I believe you're probably playing an english.


    First, a song is a song, so the words are the most important part, you're telling a story, the accompaniment should compliment the story.


    From sheet music I start from scratch. If there are recordings I usually listen a few different versions. Often I'll record into a program called "Cool Edit" with which I can create a waveform. Then I can loop the whole song or parts of and play along. I can change the key too, sometimes it sounds like chipmonks. You can do heaps with these sorts of programs.


    I'll decide what key is suited to my voice then I'll usually learn the melody. Then I'll learn the chord progression using a different inversions and with this process I'll start to get a feel for the song. This can take a few days or a couple of weeks. I'll play chords along to a recording over and over and over. I found a great way to learn chords ( 3 to 5 notes usually) was to play along with 12 bar blues practice tracks, there's heaps on the net in all keys.


    I do like a simple accompaniment but sometimes a fuller sound is required. Mostly I sing along to chords or parts of chords and the voice provides the melody. Sometimes I just sing to the melody. With instrumental breaks I'll usually try put the melody over chords or parts of chords but I don't think the chords have to be continuous. Sometimes the low note chords will swamp the higher phrased melody(solution,fewer low notes) but sometimes the melody can go underneath the chords. This happens a bit in Honey Pie. To get a rhythm during singing I'll often vamp on the off beat, like in bluegrass. Sometimes I'll hold one or more notes of the chord and vamp the other notes. This happens a little bit in Rainbow just before the chorus. Other songs I'll use heaps more vamping and vamping sometimes causes the bellows to add to the rhythm.


    Some songs come together quickly, others take a while. Listening to different recordings I often pick up little bits to use. With Cool Edit I can slow them down to figure them out. Songs like Honey Pie with lots of chord changes I find more interesting, they work out their own accompaniment.


    Thanks for starting this post , it's made me think a little about what I do. And still learning. Yes the site is pretty much tune orientated. I've started scouring the videos hoping to encounter others accompaniment styles but haven't found too much yet, nothing that's not traditional. Yet in it's heyday the concer was often used for contemporary and popular song.


    Cheers Steve.

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