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Jim Besser

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Posts posted by Jim Besser

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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).

  4. 16 hours ago, Jody Kruskal said:

    Tumbling tubes in Brooklyn, a musical walking meditation. Best to listen using large speakers or headphones to hear the low tones. The Gravity Pipes is a parade of chance events that results in unpredictable melodic phrases, all in a low register. Large diameter PVC tubes as long as 11 feet, rise up to the sky and dramatically fall, bouncing to create deep and satisfying resonances.


    Play along on your box in G.





    Very cool.



  5. 5 hours ago, Jake Middleton-Metcalfe said:

    very very rare and amazing. Never seen one. Brilliant. I would love to play such a thing. 


    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.

    • Like 1
  6. 53 minutes ago, David Barnert said:


    I love G major. Some of my favorite tunes are in G major. I also love vanilla ice cream. And if I know I’m having vanilla ice cream for dessert, I would hope there’s something else on the menu for my main course.




    Good line, David.


  7. 36 minutes ago, David Barnert said:


    It would be refreshing to get out of G major, though.

    Great tune, BTW, Jim. I’d never met it. We should play it at NESI if not online before.


    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.

  8. 19 hours ago, Jody Kruskal said:

    I got quite a few responses in messages and thank you all for your help. After considering a new Wolverton or Morse, and several Jefferies 38 button instruments that I lust after... I have decided on a used Edgley 30 button hybrid from a friend. The Jefferies instruments would have been nice, but they just cost too much considering the limited use for this odd key.


    Now that I have had a chance to play my Ab/Eb Edgley I'm glad I got it. So much fun to play with my Pakistani friends who favor the flat keys for their raags.


    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.

  9. 12 hours ago, CrP said:


    Take a listen to your recording (maybe once thro') and then switch immediately to Jody's recording of "Glise de Sherbrooke" [http://jodykruskal.com/tune_of_the_month/february_09_assets/glise_c_g.mp3 ]

    The 2 tunes would make for a lovely pair or medley, I think.


    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?

  10. "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.
    • Like 3
  11. 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.

  12. 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.
    • Like 2
  13. 50 minutes ago, Little John said:

    The other pragmatic option is to have more than one Anglo. If you stick to 20 button then you'd probably need four to cover your interests: D/A, C/G, Bb/F and


    Yep. I always have 2 in the bag. Often I wish I had one more.


  14. 5 hours ago, Little John said:


    I once asked John Kirkpatrick (an absolute master of both the Anglo and the B/C/C# diatonic accordion) how he chose which instrument to use to accompany songs. His answer? "It depends on what key I want to use - some keys are easier 



    That's a good point.


    If you listen to John's Anglo playing, it becomes apparent that he rarely plays outside the home keys.  Most of his recorded Anglo tunes are in C (he's mostly playing a. CG), even though he published some in other keys in his tuenbook. He also plays a GD baritone - in G.  Just an occasional foray into F.


    That's a major reason for his uniquely full harmonic sound.

    • Like 2
  15. 1 hour ago, Dan Worrall said:

    As Dana says, it CAN be done with diligent work, but then it is also possible to row across the Atlantic in a bathtub. Should you is the question.




    Dan, that's the best descriptive sentence I've heard in ages.


    A major point to consider in this discussion: if you plan to play in the harmonic style - with melody plus chords/basses/harmonies - a 20 button will really limit you to a few keys.  


    In SOME keys, you can do just fine in this style; Kathryn's wonderful playing makes that very clear. In other keys - not so much.  30 buttons will expand your range, but still,  playing in the harmonic style in some keys will be somewhere between awkward and impossible. The further you get from the two "home" keys, the harder it will be to find good accompaniment.


    A 40 button is a good idea, but they're a somewhat rare bird, and might not be easy to acquire.

    • Like 1
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