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Jim Besser

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About Jim Besser

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    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

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  • Interests
    Contra and English ceilidh dance music, Morris music, traditional French dance music, playing for any and all dancers.
  • Location
    Washington DC metro area

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  1. That complicates things a bit. A decent handheld should do fine for you.
  2. There are several options. A good handheld recorder like the Zoom H4n is incredibly convenient, and makes very good quality recordings; that's what I used to prefer, and still use to record band rehearsals and the like. A potential step up in quality but down in convenience: using your computer, good mics and an audio interface. Like David, I use a Scarlett 2i2, which enables me to use decent mics (Shure sm57s) with my Mac. The crossed mic arrangement pictured above helps with the problem of sound bouncing from side to side in stereo recordings, but in my ex
  3. I once was told that "7th chords don't belong in English music, and especially not Morris music." Advice I have cheerfully avoided over the years. I learned much of my current morris repertoire from Nick Robertshaw, who was prolific in his use of 7th, 9th, and for all I know 85th chords.
  4. Fascinating information. It's very cool how these tunes migrate and change. Yes, a Morris / English ceilidh touch; it clings to me like dog hair. I do hear the tune as inherently chunky, and I admit to being influenced by the amazing melodeon playing of Will Allen, whose recent recording reminded me of this great tune:
  5. Interesting research, for sure! Fascinating how tunes migrate and change until the origins become murky. And yes, I have a strong penchant for adding Bm chords with reckless abandon.
  6. What Ken said. A quick try suggested something more than a typical 30 button layout is critical. Plus talent, of course.
  7. Splendid! Thanks. I can't tell you how much I miss playing tunes with you.
  8. The last two parts are cool; I'll give them a try. Turns out it's also a favorite tune for pipe bands, as in this:
  9. Hi Robin - no, I never saw this - is it in the Toronto book? Mostly, I don't look at notation, and had no idea there were 2 more parts. I've heard the tune on and off for years, and think I played it at a London session or two, but only decided to play it this week after hearing the high energy version by melodeon player Will Allen. So is it english or french canadian? One Web source says it "first appears in manuscripts on both sides of the Atlantic in the mid-18th century." It doesn't sound quebecois to me. I love stories like this.
  10. Just hacking around on a dreary winters day. This: the Sussex Cotillion. A great tune for playing around with different left hand stuff. Played on a Jeffries 30 button GD Anglo
  11. That's really interesting. I love these stories of convoluted musical provenance.
  12. Berendanse. Just messing around today. I played this one years ago and quickly forgot it. I always heard that it's Flemish in origin, which may or may not be true; you know how these things go. The A part is almost identical to the 'Bear Dance' used for some border dances. Played on a 30 button Jeffries GD Anglo concertina.
  13. Very nice - great playing, great tune and the sound quality is very good.
  14. And one more: it could have been Alistair Brown; at the time, he lived in Canada and the Bluemont people brought him down several times for school programs. He now lives in the UK.
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