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Roger Digby

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Everything posted by Roger Digby

  1. Happy to help if Al's given the go-ahead. Best wishes Roger
  2. Sorry to have been slow finding this. I seldom stray outside the general forum. I think the tune detectives have got it right. The first set is all from the playing of Bob Cann: Hot Punch/Family Jig/Uncle's Jig played backwards i.e. BBAA in order to end in the key of G. John of Paris is close and Major Mackie's is sometimes given as the name of one of the tunes, but I know it as the name to a different tune. The second set is one we put together for Bees on Horseback: Grandfather's Tune/He played his Ukelele...../ Mr and Mrs Mickey Mouse. Grandfather's tune is also known as 'Sheepshearing' and was recorded under that name by The Dorset Trio (issued on Boscastle Breakdown, one of the important releases from Topic in the early 70s). 'Ukelele' is from a 78 and was a popular song of it's day as was 'Mickey Mouse' though we first heard it from Bonzo Dog. Incidentally, we threw this at Bob Davenport on the weekend of recording Bees and he did it then for the first time. It's been with us ever since! All the recordings in this archive were made during the making of the Boldon Lad, an Arts Council film produced by John Tchalenko in 1980 with Bob Davenport as Artistic Director or adviser or some such title. The filming was deliberately unobtrusive and the tapes just kept running. The result is hours, probably days, of unedited tapes all of which Bob gave to the National Sound Archive at the British Library. He had previously given them to Michael Plunkett to try to identify the tune sets, but even Michael's huge knowledge couldn't come up with all of them. The film features Tommy Ford with The Boldon Banjos, Johnny Doughty, Cosmotheka, Bob Keightley, Jimmy Power and the regulars at The Favourite, as well as the company at The Empress of Russia. The original plan was to include Sam Sherry as well, but that footage ended up in a separate short film. There are some details at http://artsonfilm.wmin.ac.uk/films.php?a=view&recid=90 (The unnamed 'young woman fiddler' is Peta Webb.) I'll try to attach the original flyer: Incidentally I made a lot of recordings at the Empress when we had traditional musicians with us and was persuaded to donate these to the National Sound Archive. I did this in 2004 and five years later I've still not received the digital copies that I was promised. Apparently the tapes have still not been 'processed'. This is really annoying because there was a lot of music there that people would like to hear, especially as there is now so much interest in archive recordings and many of today's young enthusiasts never met many of the people I recorded. Best wishes, Roger
  3. As many of you will know, Scan Tester’s Crabb is now being played by Will Duke; nothing could be more appropriate. It has no external number, but recently Will had cause to open it and found 8485 on the reed pan and 8483 inside the bellows. He sent these numbers to me and fortunately I was with Geoff Crabb just a few days later at Bradfield. Geoff has a date of 1895 for 8452 and 1896 for 8505 so Scan’s instrument can safely be placed at 1895-6. Geoff thought that the discrepancy in numbers probably indicated that it was once one of a set of three (usually these would be a C, a G, and a Bflat). These would be identical except for the tuning and all the work would be done in triplicate. When the parts were assembled there was no need to match the numbers precisely. Scan, of course, did not buy the instrument new. I think the story is that he bought it in a second-hand shop in Brighton for a fiver. (Will Duke does not own a computer, which is the reason that I am posting this!) Best wishes Roger
  4. Mine was built for me by Andrew Blakeney-Edwards as a Christmas present and is still going strong after 30 years of constant use. It has been known to double as an overnight bag with the central space holding a few CDs, toothbrush, and a change of socks!
  5. Earlier in this topic, Alan Day (who else!?) committed me to providing some details of the 'Concertina Council' when they became available. So here goes....... After a brief look at the state of the Duet, based on Alan's summary of progress on Duet International and capitalising on the presence of Mike Hebbert, we'll discuss various ways of building a tune. For the Anglo, Chas Marshall will talk about left hand vamping, Alan will discuss bass lines and Dave Prebble will consider the potential of cross-rowing. Roy Clinging will take the theme and apply it to song accompaniment on the English system and Mike Hebbert will base his thoughts around his playing of Diarmuid’s March. Concertina's always have a good representation at this weekend, but I also enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the community feeling. If this weren't enough, the setting is magnificent and I shall endeavour to attach a couple of pics that I took there a few years ago. Don't be surprised if I don't achieve this! Best wishes, Roger
  6. Getting back to the tune....! Al's take is a fine example of how a tune takes on a life. The tune comes from a recording of a barrel organ and was introduced to the Ship session at Sidmouth in the 70s by Roger Edwards and Martin Ellison. Then it took flight on its own path. When Dan Quinn tried to find out more for the liner notes on Reformed Characters he drew a complete blank and it seems to me that the various sets of abc notes that are available all derive from the Sidmouth base. I will bet my bellows that this is not a traditional tune so there must be written music out there somewhere. If any tune-sleuths can track it down I'd be really interested to hear. You'll need to replace the preposition in the title; 'IN The Toyshop'. Perhaps, Al, we can mangle it together at Bradfield! Best wishes, Roger
  7. A change to the published programme, as the BBC used to say! The 'Anglo Hour' has become the 'Concertina Council'(!!) because in addition to the trusty triumvirate of Dave Prebble, Chas Marshall, and Alan Day we will also be joined by Michael Hebbert (Jeffries Duet) and Roy Clinging (English). As Mark has said, there is always a strong concertina presence at this weekend. May I add that it's also a very enjoyable, relaxed weekend in a beautiful part of the country. I can sincerely recommend it if you enjoy your music in a friendly environment with no hierarchies! Best wishes Roger
  8. Which simply goes to show what a fantastic job you two do for the rest of us who appreciate, value and enjoy the site you provide and keep safe for us. I'll presume to speak for the whole community and say 'THANKS A MILLION'. Roger
  9. LDT has been working her technical magic and the label might just appear here! If it doesn't, LDT will post it up. Thanks Whizz-kid!
  10. No Rod. It's the other one. I'm afraid I've failed to post up the scan of the label despite triumphantly succeeding in creating a tif. I'll have one more try.
  11. I am currently recovering from a weekend in which the original Flowers and Frolics joined me to celebrate my 60th! Ted Stevens gave me a pile of 78s of concertina players; most are Prince and one is Steve Bartle, but the one that is a mystery to me is an 8 inch by the Masked Strollers, a concertina and trumpet duo. Does anyone have any information? I don't think I've ever heard of them. (It's pretty lugubrious music!) If I can work out the technology I'll try to attach the label. Best wishes Roger
  12. This excellent annual event, organised by the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust, usually escapes the notice of this site because it is not clear from the title that it is also for concertina players. This year's tutors include John Kirkpatrick and Rob Harbron and there are still places available on their concertina-based workshops. Details of these workshops and all other aspects of the day are available at http://www.eatmt.org.uk/news.htm CAMRA bar too - but I'm driving. Best wishes Roger
  13. Yes, that's Reg (with Jinky Wells' fiddle). The other fiddler is Ian Salter; Will Duke on Anglo (not Scan's on this occasion); Ken Lees Banjo: Simon Ritchie Percussion. Reg started a weekly Trad music programme on Resonance - Thursday 2 p.m. I think - and presented it for a while. Simon took it over and for all I know may still be the anchor. I think the Resonance website gives a link to an on-line broadcast. This was a live session!! Apparently the rehearsal at lunchtime in the pub went really well but when they got into the studio..............! Roger
  14. 'Paddy In the Smoke' was reissued with some extras as TSCD603. The cover photo was taken outside The Favourite, (now demolished to make way for Arsenal's new stadium) where Reg Hall was the resident piano player for many years and where Jimmy Power and Paddy Malyn lead the Sunday lunchtime session when I was a regular there in the 70s. 'In The Smoke' CDORBD 088 is another Ron Kavana compilation, with little or no duplication of the former old LP. The cover of 'In the Smoke' shows a different Favourite also in North London but with no musical heritage as far as I know. Bit of a clanger I think! The difference between these CDs and the ones that sparked off this discussion is that the 'Smokes' are later recordings of musicians active in London at the time, not reissues of 78s. I recommend all these CDs unreservedly to anyone who likes their Irish Music 'in the old style' - to borrow Reg Hall's very useful phrase! Roger
  15. Reg has also compiled 'Round the House and Mind the Dresser' TSCD606 and 'Past Masters of Irish Fiddle Music' TSCD 605 which are wonderful selections of similar music, mostly from old 78s. Ron Kavana's compilation, 'I'm Leaving Tipperary' CDORBD 082, offers a further selection from American recordings of the 20s and 30s. All three well-worth having in my view. And then there's all the old vinyl that's been unavailable for decades and looks like staying that way for the foreseeable future. I find the recordings of this period much more attractive than their modern counterparts. Roger
  16. Hello Robin, Jody, Hope you’re both well. I think I use that note more than you do. The push at 5a comes in for the B chord as Robin says. I also use it for the G aug and the Cmin. The pull at 11 comes into the Cmin again and also the big F#/A/C/D# diminished. As Robin says there’s no call for these in traditional tunes and I’d be the first to criticise their use in that music! The B is perhaps a bit more common (Coloured Aristocracy?) and probably some Em tunes. I can’t think off-hand of a single time when I use the D# an octave lower: in fact picking up a couple of boxes as I write this I find it is a button which I use so rarely I haven’t even made it uniform across all my instruments. In addition to D#, one box gives F, one gives G#, (or would if it was in that key). I have two or three buttons that I seldom use, but I’ve never thought of altering them because I never find I lack anything and it is this which has really prompted me to write this note. Yesterday I was struggling with a new tune (nothing odd there) and it just didn’t sit right. Eventually I played the key note on the draw first button in on the right hand D row instead of the obvious home position on the G row push. Suddenly everything worked. That’s a button that I have so neglected that on one box I’ve just tried it out on I find there is need of some remedial action! Amazing to discover a new use for a button after all these years! I’ve also discovered that it’s such an unused botton that it also has various tunings on different instruments. Hope it’s not too long before your next visits to the UK. Very best wishes to you both. Roger
  17. Thanks for that Shay. It took me a minute to orient myself! This may well help Gill Baldwin if she ever gets back to me after my witless deletion of her email. My uneven boxes are the ones I play almost exclusively at home - the tones are so beautiful - , but I seldom take them out of the house because they are so antisocial in usual playing environments. Now I know that you are interested I'll definitely bring one up to Bradfield next month (and I'll have the low pitch F sharp at Whitby because Bob Davenport really enjoys singing to it). When Dan Worrall last stayed with me he put my uneven (ex-Kilroy) G/D through a thorough analysis with an electronic tuner; it will be interesting to see how its variations compare with yours. This might lead to an initial speculation on the consistency of these beautiful tunings. It's something else to talk about when we're all at Bradfield; I hope you're able to come to my 'Anglo Hour' on the Saturday morning. I look forward to meeting you. All best wishes, Roger Please don't forget I'm still trying to locate Gill, a beginning Anglo player with an interest in old pitch tunings.
  18. I am truly sorry to impose this on you all. In a fit of idiocy I have deleted a message that I received from a player who had found my details on this site and had asked me for help on a query about old pitch. I would not want the message to go unanswered as this would be extremely discourteous and reflect badly on a site which is a model of politeness. Can you send the message again please Gill! As it happens, the query was not one that played to my strengths, but it did raise an interesting issue and prompts me to enquire whether there are any published exact tunings of unevenly tempered instruments. Presumably these were all tuned by ear and so every one would be different. Is this right or are there defined tunings for uneven instruments? Apologies again for imposing my ineptitude on you all. Best wishes Roger
  19. I've never heard that Hardy played the concertina. I recently read Claire Tomalin's biography of him, 'The Time-torn Man' which I enjoyed very much. There is no reference to the concertina but a number of references to his and his father's fiddle playing. There is an oft-told story that Hardy was not recorded by the EFDSS because his style was considered too rough but I've never seen it confirmed. His descriptions of rural activities are very authoritative. I think it was Hardy who pointed out the distinction between revivalist and traditional Morris dancing: something along the lines that the revivalists look as if they're enjoying themselves, while the traditional dancers are doing it because they have to. I think 'The Man He Killed' (1902) is one of the great War Poems, but it tends to be overlooked in the genre because it isn't 1914-1918. Best wishes, Roger
  20. I think the truth of the matter is that Paul used both spellings. The LP to which I refer above has 'Davis' throughout. It was Paul's habit to write, even scratch, his name into concertinas that he owned. I've just taken the ex-Killroy apart and sure enough it bears 'Paul Davis' in red ink on the reed pan and also scratched onto the palm rest. I think he formalised a spelling when he decided he needed business cards and stickers and then opted for the 'e'. Doubtless at some future time someone will date concertinas by which spelling they bear! Of course he didn't always call himself Paul Davi(e)s at all.......... Pedantically yours, Roger
  21. Paul was involved in an LP,'Song of the Chanter', back in 1976 with Pat Daly and Eithne, Brian and Niall Vallely. He plays flutes (misprinted as 'flues' on the sleeve!!), harmonica, and two Anglos - one in old pitch. They play in various combinations and there's no indication on the sleeve when it is Paul playing flute and when it is Brian Vallely. I think he plays two tracks on Anglo and at least one on harmonica. He gave me a battered old copy; against one track he has pencilled 'ex Kilroy, now Digby' and beside Brian Vallely's name he has added 'wooden whistle from Steve Chambers, now Peter Carberry'. I imagine Steve, if he reads this, will be able to add more detail. Best wishes, Roger
  22. I think the situation is still as recently summarised on the Musical Traditions site: http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/r_hall.htm Best wishes Roger
  23. I have edited my original post to change the ordering address. Country Branch produce the CD, but do not market it. (Apologies, Jim, for any inconvenience.) Will tells me that overseas buyers should be able to get the CD from Musical Traditions (www.mustrad.org.uk) using Paypal. Best wishes, Roger
  24. Sometimes interesting recordings appear on very small labels and with very little fanfare and distribution. Years of valuable listening time can pass by before you realise the CD is out there! In this context I hope I may be allowed to draw attention to a new CD from Will Duke. It contains 13 instrumental tracks (including nine tunes from Scan Tester) and 6 songs - all of them solo performances and all of them - in my opinion - excellent. Will is frequently heard in various groups and his gentle music often gets lost in the sound, even when you're sitting next to him, so to hear him playing entirely on his own is a rare treat. I think all Anglo players and those with an interest in the English Style will find this recording irresistible. It is available from Will Duke, 41 Dallas Lane, Barcombe, East Sussex, BN8 5DZ for £10.00 + £1.00 postage. (email:willlawrenceduke@hotmail.com). Thanks for your understanding for this post. All best wishes, Roger
  25. In view of the broadside of dreadful puns that was fired at Dan Worrall's last posting perhaps we might be better qualified to suggest late arrivals at the Concertina.net Ball. Do I see Mr and Mrs Reece-Anglo and their son Geoff Reece-Anglo? Roger
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