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Jim Besser

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    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. I do all that, except for the double boxes. The concertinas always go in custom fitted hard cases. Recently we bought a large flat panel TV, and in the shipping box, the corners of the unit were protected by wedges of a dense but very shock absorbent variety of foam; I adapted those to position my case in the shipping box, on top of layers of plastic peanuts. For tape, I use the commercial paper tape with fiberglass reinforcing - the kind you have to wet before applying. That's required for USPS registered, which I still think is the safest - if not fastest - way to ship high value instruments. And unlike UPS, they insured the full value of my Jeffries (but I'm sure collecting on that insurance, should the need arise, would not be a simple matter). And yes, in these pandemic times we are inundated with packing materials.
  2. A few years ago I became enamored of the music of Kerry Mills, the Tin Pan Alley composer remembered most for "Meet Me in St. Louis" and a tune often misidentified as traditional, "Redwing." I've been slowly adapting his tunes, written for piano, for Anglo concertina. My latest: "The Fascinating Ragtime Glide," a piano two-step written in 1910. The C part is still causing me grief, which is probably why I dropped a couple of beats, but it's coming along. Played on a Morse 30 button GD Anglo.
  3. I've had one for 5 or so years and love it; it adds a whole new dimension to ensemble playing.
  4. I ended up going back to the tried and true Paul Groff shipping method - USPS registered, with all the box seams sealed with reinforced paper tape, insured for full value. Hoping for the best!
  5. Thanks, Dave. I thought about doing that, but given the age of the instrument and my own lack of skill, I decided to let a pro do it.
  6. This has been discussed before, but the answer is always changing as the parcel delivery industry changes. What's the best/safest mode for shipping high value concertinas - in the US, to US destinations? Years ago, Paul Groff argued that the safest way was the US postal service registered/insured mail - the service that required every edge of the box to be taped; the postal employees then stamped along all the edges. But I don't know if that's still the safest. I don't mind paying for a high level of security. Suggestions?
  7. Definitely the spring. The bad news: it sheered off flush with the action board; there's nothing to grip to pull it out. Any suggestions, other than the obvious ("Send it to a professional)?
  8. During a robust session today, one button on my Jeffries Anglo decided to play games with me. The notes are sounding continuously; the button is fully depressed, but when I pull it up, it just sits there limply, and the 2 notes continue to sound without any pressure on the button. I'm guessing a broken spring, but would welcome any suggestions before I open it up. If it's a spring: any suggestions on how to put on a new one? I do have spares, but have never performed this particular surgery. Or is there another likely cause?
  9. Glad the instruments are safe! After a plumbing leak took down part of my music room ceiling and narrowly missed the instrument shelf, I switched to all-waterproof Pelican cases for at-home storage. I still use the Flipside backback when out at Morris, ceilidh or contra gigs, but at home, protection from flood disasters is the top priority. (The music room is directly under the kitchen, with all its potential for leaks).
  10. Mill Lane: a remote collaboration with my friend Peter Stolley on the wonderful Rob Harbron tune. Peter on a Pariselle LM G/C melodeon, me on a Lachenal/Dipper CG Anglo concertina and a Morse ESB CG baritone Anglo concertina. This was tremendous fun to do. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/mill-lane-besser-and-stolley
  11. I did play it, thanks to Doug, and is a gem. I have a Morse hybrid CG Anglo, and it's terrific, but not in a class with this Wheatstone. I was seriously thinking about sneaking into Doug's room at the Squeeze In and making off with it.
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