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Jim Besser

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Everything posted by Jim Besser

  1. 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?
  2. 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).
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. "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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  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 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. Yep. I always have 2 in the bag. Often I wish I had one more.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Thank. Hey, we should get together one of these days, now that some gatherings are OK.
  19. Return from Helsinki, by Ian Stephenson. Played this afternoon on a noisy patio by Two Many Buttons - Randy Stein on English concertina, me on Anglo. Trains, wind, a truck...can't wait to start playing inside again! https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/return-from-helsinki
  20. Ah, Kemp's; I thought it sounded familiar. I have the Folger Consort recording. I asked a friend who's deeply into French dance music. Her answer: it's an English renaissance piece by the 16th Century composer John Dowland. As you say, the dance was written in the 1990s and passed into the balfolk world, except that branles are not popular with balfolk dancers, so it quickly faded. Another interesting fact: branles, circle dances which preceded square and line dances in the French tradition, were often danced to sung music.
  21. Friends played this yesterday during an (online) session, and it seemed like good raw material for another excursion into the bizarre world of overdubbing. Branle du Parlement - I know absolutely nothing about the tune - played on Anglo CG concertina (2 tracks) and baritone Anglo concertina. Still experimenting with procedures for reducing latency; getting better, but not there yet. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/branle-du-parlement-may-15-jb1
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