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Jim Besser

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About Jim Besser

  • Rank
    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

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  • Gender
    Male
  • 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. Like Jody, I also use the FLipside camera backpack for carrying two concertinas, mostly on Morris tours, when carrying several hard cases for extended periods would pretty much wreck my arms. I know a hard case provides superior protection, but honestly, in 10 years of carrying the instruments in crowded pubs, NY subway trains, airplanes and on two UK Morris tours, I've never had a problem. It's super light weight, with very dense foam and fairly rigid sides. It's a different story at home, where the instruments always reside in individual Pelican cases. I have a superb Jowa
  2. I heard this first - Reign of Love, by Keith Murphy - from my friends Bill and Sarah, but just got around to trying it. What a cool tune! Sorry for the clunking noise - getting used to the awkward thumb brace I'm wearing these days. Played on a 30 button Jeffries G/D Anglo.
  3. I have a few Morse anglos and really like them. I've played a couple of Clovers, and think they're pretty equivalent in terms of sound and playability. What sets the Ceilis apart, IMO, is their light weight and their extreme durability. I use mine mostly for Morris dance playing, which means they get jostled, banged and rained on. In 15 years, only one has required service, and that was minor.
  4. Where (in the US) can I buy leather to make new hand straps for an Anglo? And what should I look for? (type of leather, thickness, etc.)? I need to design new straps to accommodate the brace I'm wearing for my arthritic thumb!
  5. Just messing around the other day with tunes from old John Kirkpatrick CDs. Old Towler is apparently an English or Scottish song first published in the 1790s. Played on a 30 button Morse hybrid Anglo.
  6. A sweet tune, Jody, and I really like the way you and CIndy play together. The stately pace is perfect.
  7. JK uses a variety of techniques to get this unique punch on Anglo; the best way to plumb the depths of his playing is to take one on one lessons (he's doing them on Zoom) or one of his workshops. It's useful to note that in his recorded Anglo playing, he plays almost exclusively along the rows, not cross row; this greatly facilitates the assorted techniques (like the aforementioned 'zip") he uses. It's much harder to get some of the punchy effects he gets playing in D, for example, on a CG.
  8. You know how some tunes are just so much fun to play you can't seem to stop? This week I was messing around with 'Vasen,' by Kjell-Erik Eriksson of the band Hoven Droven, and it's definitely one of them. It was last month's tune of the month on melodeon.net. Played on a 30 button GD Morse Anglo concertina. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/vasen-jb-march-5
  9. Yes, he's a terrific musician and has picked up the Harpejji very quickly. He got it after our bass player died; his plan was to take up some of the functions of the electric bass, while also doing some chording and melody. It's an incredibly adaptable instrument. And i have heard the comparison to the Hayden before. I've actually thought about buying one, mostly to have something to play when the arthritis in my thumbs makes concertina playing impossible. From my observation of our guy playing, it involves very little stress on the hands and wrists. I think
  10. In this band, my main job is to play the basic tune; the sax and accordion players are wonderful improvisors, and they do the creative stuff. And the accordionist (and these days the Harpejji player) draw from a palette of chords not available to a lowly Anglo player.
  11. Well, in my band Frog Hammer I play alongside a fantastic piano accordionist, but with the general mayhem of the band, you don't really hear us together.
  12. Exactly. JK plays concertina almost entirely along the rows, not cross row. And on a CG, almost always in C. So most the tunes he plays on concertina - and that's a minority of his tunes, since mostly he plays accordion - are very accessible to 20 button players.
  13. Continuing my recent John Kirkpatrick kick: "Fair Play," from his great Duck Race CD. Written, I believe, by his late ex-wife. Played on a 30 button Lachenal / Dipper Anglo
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