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Jim Besser

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Everything posted by Jim Besser

  1. > but I haven't yet found a version with chromatic runs The hazards of quick replies. Nonetheless, a fairly difficult tune, especially at dance speed.
  2. >are there tunes that are just not suitable for the concertina Suitable? Don't know about that, but there are many that are challenging. On my C/G, I have trouble with some fast A tunes with chromatic runs (the contra dance tune "Good for the Tongue" is a good example). But, as Jim L said, working out alternative approaches to the tune often overcomes those hurdles, and is good for the soul, as well. But it's certainly harder picking them up on the fly. I agree that many Em tunes like Cooley's can be hard, but they're hardly unsuitable to the instrument; they just take more time to work out. Of course, you could always get a capo....
  3. >I hesitate to post it, but I think it's in one of the volumes of > "The Waltz Book." Volume 1. And as you say, Far Away is great fun to play. For some interesting rhythmic challenge, I also suggest Larry Unger's "Two Rivers," a gorgeous waltz with some interesting twists.
  4. >Have you considered changing your "vocational" name Many times. And especially, my vocational phone number.
  5. >You can always create a new account with a different name >and start using that. But we enjoy knowing who you are, Jim Well, I like knowing who I am, too. But it occurred to me it might be wise to separate my avocational presence on the Web from my vocational one, so to speak. But it's not a big deal, and not worth confusing people here who now know me.
  6. >Some of the presenters love the sound of their own voice, > or are they just cutting costs on royalties? In the case of Washington's sadly deficient folk music show, it's that the host feels a misguided need to serve as an audio directory of folk music activities in the area. A huge part of each show is her reading -- slowly -- long lists of who's playing where for every night of the week. Now, apparently in response to complaints, she plays music in the background as she drones on -- which, to my way of thinking, is even worse. Put the info on a Web site, lady, and let us hear music!
  7. >Let me add my vote for WKSU folk alley, since it was buried in SP's post. A good folk outlet. Too many singer-songwriters for me, but that's an individual preference, and on balance it's a pretty good mix, considering different tastes. Grassy Hill Radio and WUMB, both available through the radio section of I-Tunes, are also pretty good. Folk music isn't profitable, and even our "pubic" radio stations are essentially commercial (one of our public stations that we've supported for years with our contributions took off much of the acoustic music because they said they could increase their "market share." If that's not commercial, I don't know what is. We no longer donate to them). >As Jim mentioned WETA in Washington, D.C. is the best local folk > programming in that area. WAS. The host talks more and more; you can listen for LONG stretches and not hear a single note. I began listening to her in 1976, but gave up a few years back because of her endless yapping. It's supposed to be folk music, not folk talk.
  8. >I think that we get a raw deal and apart from the very > occasional folk featured programms You're not alone, Al. Here in Washington, we have one local folk program on public radio -- and mostly, all the host does is talk. We also get a nationally syndicated public radio program on "roots music" that's heavily talk. We used to have 3 hours of bluegrass every afternoon, but that was replaced by... talk radio. You can go for months without hearing a concertina on the Washington, DC airwaves.
  9. >It can be difficult to judge speed of playing, for example, if you are playing >'for yourself Learning Morris tunes without learning them to the dances is deadly. You can't get the correct speed, the variations in speed to suit different parts of the dance, the idiosyncrasies in phrasing, without working with the dancers. A musician trying to learn Orange in Bloom without watching the dancers is in for a rude shock when dancers enter the picture. Every side, even within traditions, does it differently; speed and phrasing vary widely. THat said, I frequently hear that you can't be a decent Morris musician without being a dancer. As a non-dancer, I disagree, but nondancers DO have to work much harder to learn the dances and learn how to make the music fit.
  10. >The tunes are different because the style of the dance in each village > is different, if you do what is becoming more and more common and > play a "one size fits all" tune for different villages dances the whole dance becomes Not only that: tunes get modified as they're passed down within a tradition. I learned Trunkles from pervious musicians with my side; later, I learned that it differs somewhat from other versions to accomodate differences in the dance. Other tunes have been changed just because some musician didn't like a particular phrase, changed it, and that's the way it got handed down. We play "I'll Go and Enlist" with a B part that's unlike any I've seen collected. Have no idea where it came from, but our folks have been dancing to it for decades, and don't want it changed. The folk process at work.
  11. >Is this the same as "Stingo, oyle of barley"? What tradition do you > dance this in? Looks like a different tune, and it's done in Sherborne. A nice looking dance, but the dancers say it is really hard on their older bodies.
  12. >What? Not to the tune of that old (late 1950's?) song about the > Nash Rambler and the Cadillac?! I actually played that once at practice ("beep beep, beep beep, the nash went beep beep beep). The dancers were mystified ; they are all a little younger and shockingly ignorant.
  13. We do Sherborne and Ilmington. Orange in Blue (or bloom, depending on where you got it) Haste to the Wedding. Champions. I'll Go and Enlist Howdya Do. A dance called GLory, which we used to do to The Gobby-O, but now do to Alan Day's Chocolate Rabbit. A dance called Nash Rambler, which we do to the Engish dance tune The Jockey The aforementioned Trunkles. Saturday Night The Old Woman Tossed Up Cuckoo's Nest Constant Billy Nina's Frolic (to a tune I wrote by that name) Bedlam Boys Juice of Barley, to an English country dance tune, I believe. Young Collins THat's all I can remember without my notes. I do all these solo; mostly transposed to C, to maximize chording and volume on a CG.
  14. Maybe this has been discussed before, but it was new to me. Check it out: http://www.caroldenney.com/concerti.htm
  15. >Rocky Top. Groannnnnnnnn. You fool around with it enough, jazz it up, and it sounds almost like music. >Any relation to the English standard, Soldier's Joy? Same animal, just more notes in the oldtime/bluegrass version, I think. As Alan Day can attest (he heard the recorded evidence, guilty as charged), I was a jam recently where we played it as a rollicking Cajun tune. Folk music is nothing if not adaptable.
  16. >. I thought I'd work up "Old Joe Clark" and "Soldier's Joy" first, > and "Salty Dog Those are good ones to bridge the concertina-bluegrass gap. Also, as I think Jim L. mentioned: these duffers all probably know Fishers Hornpipe Cluck Old Hen is just about the easiest tune in the world to play fast on a C/G concertina, and all the oldtime players knowit. Golden Slippers, as well. My band plays for a clogging group, and we have to do Rocky Top for a specific dance; I've worked up a pretty good concertina arrangement of that dreadful tune. Oh yes, blackberry blossom; it's apparently required by law in at least 15 states that guitar and banjo players learn that tune or face imprisonment or confiscation of their instruments.
  17. >And it was a new world too. At first I felt like a fish trying to ride a bicycle. Know what you mean. I go to a lot of jams where oldtime and bluegrass are the norm, and sometimes to a huge regular bluegrass gathering where I may have been the first free-reed player ever spotted. ("What's THAT?" a mando player asked the first time I removed my concertina from the case) In those situations, I pull out oldtime standards these guys all know, and that are concertina friendly: Soldier's Joy; Over the Waterfall; Fly Away My Pretty Little Miss; Forked Deer; Cluck Old Hen. They always seem impressed that I'm willing to play their kind of music, and reassured that I'm not going to foist something exotic on them, like Irish. I really enjoy these sessions; there's a huge amount of energy, and you're right, these guys are usually much more tolerant than rigid Irish session players.
  18. I like Perry's suggestion: extend Friday a bit. An extra afternoon would be just about right. It would be a little harder for those of us driving long distances, but worth it (I'd probably come up the night before, stay somewhere close by, get to the SI site a little less tired than I was last friday, after driving almost 500 miles)
  19. So did anybody get a pic of the contra dance band? And did anybody catch the name of the fiddler standing in front of Bob? I played with him the night before, but quickly forgot his name; really enjoyed his playing.
  20. Great tune, one of my all-time favorites (bet you were jamming with Hope; she taught it to me!) . But it's copyrighted; I don't know the legality or ethics of posting a copyrighted tune in a public forum. Anybody have an answer?
  21. I came back asking the same question; it was a great sounding tune. I found this one, and if I remember correctly it's close to what we played. Give it a try and let me know. X: 1 T: Concertina, The M: 4/4 L: 1/8 R: hornpipe K: Gmaj |:D2|GABc defa|~g2 dc BG ~G2|FGAB cdec|BGAG ~F2 D2| GABc defa|~g2 dc BG ~G2|FGAB cAGF|DGGF G2:| |:Bc|d2 (3ed^c d=cBc|defa gedB|c2 cB ceag|fd ~d2 cAFA| dB ~B2 dcBc|defa gedc|Bdgd cAGF|DGGF G2:|
  22. Played them all, liked them all. Workmanship seemed great. The sound was better than I expected -- a lot better than my square Herrington, which has a distinctly accordionish tone. Action felt fine; not as fast as my dipperized Lachenal, but very nice. My only complaint was the weight. They were clearly lighter than my Herrington, but heavier than the Morse boxes. That's a factor for me, since I play a lot while standing in front of goofy Morris dancers. Every ounce makes a difference. 5 or 6 years ago when I bought the Herrington, Harold was just starting, and there were no other choices in midrange instruments; it's amazing to me that there are so many good options today.
  23. > Here you go. This is a much better picture taken by Jim's camera Thanks! If anybody wants the original, higher-resolution image, e-mail me (squeezer@att.net) and I'll shoot it back to you ( but it's a big file, so be warned)
  24. >I know bellewbelle and Jim Besser have photos and I hope they have the > smiling ones. I have a pretty good one, but can't seem to upload it; I assume it's because of the 120 K upload limit, and this pic comes in at 348K even with the highest compression ratio my editing program supports. Any suggestions?
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