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Joe G.

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  • Interests
    Playing fiddle tunes, folk and country music on anglo concertina, mandolin, and guitar; writing and publishing; letterpress printing; casting metal type for said printing.
  • Location
    Longview, WA

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  1. This is a Jeffries 30 button anglo in Bb/F. It has "C. Jeffries Maker" stamped between the right hand rows, so I would guess it was made toward the end of the 19th Century. It has a six-fold, all-business black bellows in very good condition, certainly not original but not new, either. It's been worked-over by Greg Jowaisas at some point in the past few years (not to restore it, but to put it into good working order), and it plays very well, indeed. The action is light and quick. While all the reeds are steel, set in brass shoes, Greg J. told me that they aren't all Jeffries reeds. The tone, however, is very well balanced, if less strident than you might expect. In short, it's a Jeffries that won't drive your partner out of the room, and it's a lot of fun to play. I'm asking $4650 for it, shipping included to the Con.US (negotiable for a Pac.NW, in-person sale).
  2. I recently answered an ad on concertina.net for a Kensington concertina with Jeffries lay-out. I played it, liked it, and bought it, but two reeds played different notes from what I was used to on my C/G Jeffries. I contacted Dana Johnson and offered to pay to have the two reeds retuned or replaced to match the other concertina. He offered instead to do the work just to keep the Kensington playing as it should; all I had to pay was the cost of insured shipping. This is the only interaction I've had with Dana Johnson, but I couldn't be more impressed. First, he is a careful and thoughtful craftsman. In addition to the reed work, he replaced a fluttery valve (now it's perfect). I'm very pleased with the voice, action, and articulation of this Kensington concertina, but I also have nothing but praise for Dana Johnson's work-and-service ethic. If you're looking for a well-made concertina, consider Dana Johnson's Kensingtons. They—and he—are the real deal.
  3. It is, indeed, a great book—excellent text and transcriptions. If you like Irish concertina, you'll love this book.
  4. Hey Rockportland, I’m interested, and I think I live close enough for a hands-on trial and no-shipping sale, if your Kensington and I get along. I’m away from home, but I’ll be back Monday night, December 26. Let me know how to arrange a meet-up, and we can go from there. Thanks, Joe
  5. I'm free on those days, but I'm not averse to driving a bit. In the interest of putting fewer cars on the road it might make sense to meet up in Portland or Olympia or Seattle. Anybody else in the PNW with free time on July 22 or 23 and a hankering for some concertina inspiration?
  6. Or maybe just set a time and place and see who shows up. If I can make it, I will (I live between Portland and Seattle—the only concertina player in town, I think). Joe G.
  7. Gary, I think you'd get a lot of interest in the PNW if you put together a one-day workshop on harmonic-style playing. It could be based around a tune from one of your books, or it could be about building chords, or something else that applies. I'd be up for that, myself. Joe G.
  8. Quite right, Theo. It's an expensive lesson, to be sure. I suppose the good news is that it sounds pretty even across the spectrum, and the action is good. Still, the main point of a Jeffries is the tone, and this doesn't have the "bark."
  9. I have a Dipper-restored C/G Jeffries (30 bone button, plus drone, baby cry and bird call) that I bought from another player in 1984. Having never played a Dipper, it has always felt like the perfect blend of vintage and modern to me, but over the years I guess I've come to take that for granted. During the pandemic I temporarily lost my mind and made what I thought was a low bid on a Bb/F Jeffries from a seller online. To abbreviate a long story, the seller accepted my bid. The Bb/F has decent action, if a bit softer than the C/G, but it doesn't sound like a Jeffries because someone along the way has swapped-out most of the Jeffries reeds. It has a pleasant tone but not the authority of a good Jeffries. Happily, it's fun to play, though I'm not especially attached to it. It makes me appreciate my C/G even more.
  10. Great song, Malcolm! Thanks for posting it. David Coffin has a barrel of a voice. And thanks for the follow-up on B. Peat, sadbrewer.
  11. Thanks, sadbrewer. That's the man, for sure. No information about his relationship with the concertina, but still, it's good. Concertina.net is an amazing resource in so many ways.
  12. I have a Jeffries 30-button Bb/F from the 1890s ("C. Jeffries, maker" between the right-hand rows). On the reed pans, written in pencil, I found "B. Peat, 104 Oban Rd, Barking" and "H. Dean 23-4-46." Nothing urgent here, but I'm curious as to whether they serviced the concertina. It has few of its original reeds, though it's otherwise in pretty decent shape. Thanks in advance for any information.
  13. Thank you, Stephen. It's a pretty sweet concertina altogether.
  14. Following the topic of this thread, I have a 39-button Lachenal with metal ends/buttons, parallel reed pans and Jeffries fingering. It's tuned to G/D, but I suspect it was originally in Ab/Eb. It has two numbers stamped inside, and they don't quite agree. On the reed pan it's stamped 199776, but on the inside of the bellows frame it reads 199797. I'd like to know anything about the instrument that this information reveals. Thanks, Joe
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