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Jim Besser

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Everything posted by Jim Besser

  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.
  12. What, you don't like The Peoples Key? Actually, it works fine for me in D or C, maybe A, but I did it in G cuz that's what Andy Turner did, and I was much taken with his version. Which is to say I started out by copying it.
  13. What is it about flat key Anglos that makes them sound so cool? I love the sound of a good Bf/F, but can't justify buying one. Hope you do a recording with your new Edgley.
  14. Craig - yep, it would make a good medley. "Glise" is one of those tunes that goes nicely with SO many others. And I always like mixing genres. Quebecois and English - why not?
  15. "Love Laughs at Locksmiths," which I've read is a 19th Century tune from the Winder family manuscripts. I put this in my "to learn someday" folder a while back, but hearing Andy Turner's recent version, with some incredible drones, upped my interest. Played on a 30 button Jeffries Anglo concertina.
  16. Another old English dance tune inspired by Andy Turner's Squeezed Out blog (I'm starting to worry that I could be arrested for grand theft). Andy says it was "’printed in Preston’s Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1791." I imagine it could be a sprightly dance tune, but I followed Andy's lead and did it at a more stately pace. Played on a Jeffries 30 button GD Anglo. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/dover-pier-june-20
  17. Bloomsbury Market, a Playford tune. I was much taken by the Belshazzars Feast version, so that was my model. Played on a 30 button Jeffries GD Anglo concertina. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/bloomsbury-market-june-15
  18. Long story short: decades ago, played guitar and hammered dulcimer in contra dance bands, but hacked around on a wheezy German 20 button Anglo. A band member, the late Michael Reid (an early and frequent c.net contributor) played EC; when he moved to Colorado, I missed the sound in the band, so got more serious about concertina, and bought a few good ones, eventually giving up the other instruments. Quickly got sucked into playing for a Morris side, and later our area's only English ceilidh band. Still do contra. Always loved the sound, the way Anglos work well with ear learners, and the fact that you don't spend more time tuning than playing (spoken like the recovered hammered dulcimer player that I am). And love the feeling of playing 100-year-old-plus instruments and feeling connection to generations of previous owners.
  19. I thought about playing something energetic today, but it's too bloody hot, so a waltz seemed like a better idea. The Shrewsbury Waltz is one of my favorite English waltzes. It dates from the mid-1800s, which is about all I know. Played on a 30 button Jeffries G/D Anglo concertina. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/shrewsbury-waltz-june-5
  20. Doug - I hope you find a buyer who will be as committed to the free reed community as you and Bob have been, and Rich before that. Doing business with the BB has always been a pleasure.
  21. I've been listening to John Kirkpatrick tunes forever, and one thing I've learned: some of his tunes pass right over me until I try them and realize what incredible fun they are to play. Like this one, 'Footing the Bill. The A part seemed really easy, but the second measure of B has a booby trap for Anglo players. It was fun to work it out, but it meant more than a single take on the recorder. Played on a 30 button Jeffries Anglo concertina. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/footing-the-bill-may-26
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