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Greg Jowaisas

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About Greg Jowaisas

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 03/03/1909

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  • Interests
    Traditional and Old-Time American folk music. Irish Trad.<br />Banjo, Anglo and english concertina.<br />Repairing and rebuilding concertinas.<br />Making concertina cases.
  • Location
    Kentucky, USA just south of Cincinnati and the Ohio River

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  1. Riggy, Email received and response sent. The fioptics address is correct. Greg
  2. Stephen and all, To quote "Spamalot" I'm "not dead yet." In fact have been quite busy with concertina repairs and refurbishment during these Covid times. Family and I are doing our best to stay healthy and here are hopes the concertina community can do the same. Best regards, Greg
  3. A few aids and ideas that might help. The Dave Mallinson books ("100 Enduring Irish Session tunes", 100 Evergreen Irish..." etc) usually have a decent, basic rendition of a tune. You can add the embellishments as you or your instrument dictate. They also can come with a CD so those of us challenged by the printed musical page have an audio reference. The CD format coupled with a computer "slow downer" program would enable you to keep the CD's correct pitch while dialing the music speed to suit your current ability. Individual passages can be looped for practice repetition. When you are confident and comfortable playing along at one speed then the tune can then be sped up by tiny increments to challenge and gradually increase your own playing speed. Playing along at a comfortable speed also reinforces good rhythm and gives you immediate feedback. The best tutorial would be to find someone who plays the same instrument you do in the style you enjoy or admire and get them to give you advice either informally or through lessons. Sean, in your case, it would be english concertina and I'll email a couple of possibilities. Of course listening and adapting the playing of one of the many great Irish Trad practitioners who play a different instrument to your own concertina playing can be an interesting and long term challenge. Listening (and lilting) to their recordings until they become part of your musical memory can shape and inspire your own playing. As far as learning the "correct" version of a tune I'd say listen to the masters and then judge whether your printed version comes close. If your goal is to play the particular versions of your local session then ask if you can tape those musicians and again compare your written resources. Before long you will be able to hear and change your playing from the written page to match the versions played at the session. It is a journey and may take a bit of time. Best, Greg
  4. Alex, Measurement of the thickness of the reed shoe and picture of the reed assembly particularly the clamp screws would be helpful. Thanks. Greg
  5. Hopefully, with kindness...and opportunity!
  6. Perhaps mounting;placing the reeds in the interior of the reed pan?
  7. The inked # stamp is consistent with Tidder instruments. I "think" I am seeing the ample gussets in your pics which is also a Tidder trademark. Unfortunately the heads on shot of the action board and mechanism give no further clues. (A 45 degree angle shot and closeup might reveal more.) Not sure if I currently have a Tidder in the herd or project closet. The corner block bracing on the action board may be a distictive clue. My experience with nearly a dozen Tidders is that they are of consistent, comparable quality to the mahogany Lachenals. The only annoying drawback with Tidders is that the outside bellows runs seem to be covered with sheepskin or another softer leather that is not as tough and long wearing as goat.
  8. If the hand rests are not stamped then it could be a Tidder (it will have exaggerated, extravagant gussets) or a Nickolds (often 'G' shaped pivot posts in the action box) A picture of the action box will help identification guesses.
  9. Thicker, softer valves? Eva foam on the chamber wall(s)?
  10. Perhaps humidifying the room or area where you do your most playing would help. My pet theory is that if we play our concertinas in low humidity environments then in effect we are drying them from the inside out as we pump dry(er) air through them. Probably doesn't hurt the concertina player's skin and well being to get a bit of winter humidification as well.? In my personal case I use a small room humidifier in a 12x12 office where I do much of my playing and practicing. (For much of the year it takes concerted effort to keep the basement workshop below 80% relative humidity!?) General consensus seems to be that wood loses humidity faster than it takes it up so it may take awhile for noticeable improvement. My recommendation to clients is to try and keep the relative humidity in the 50-60% range. One caution would be to make sure the concertina and its reeds are in the same temperature range as the room to prevent any condensation inside the instrument.
  11. I would check to make sure the support blocks for the reed pan are secure and the right height. If the chambered walls chamois is lower than the surrounding bellows pan chamois then air will escape and the reeds in this area will not get the benefit of full bellows pressure. inspect the reed pan height and give each support block a good tug. Sometimes the support block appears secure but is only glued tight to the chamois edge but not the frame. You want all the blocks firmly glued to the frame so the reed pan is held rigid and the pad board can seal against the chamois. You might also check that the reed pan edges are sealing against the bellows pan chamois in the area of the weak notes. (A 20b rosewood Lachenal reed pan usually does not contact the two opposite sides of the bellows pan chamois with it its "long" sides but the chamois on its outermost chamber walls provide the seal in this area.) Good luck, Greg
  12. Hi Greg,  I hope this note finds you well I tried to contact you via your email address but perhaps that has changed. As you could say I am back on and getting into the music again after having some thumb surgery and freeing up time as I still work full-time and my job but have made a determination to spend more time with my Music.   How are you doing would love to hear from you. 

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