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Alan Caffrey

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Everything posted by Alan Caffrey

  1. Hi to all, here's a question related to Irish song though not directly to concertina; you see I sing as well as play concertina though not the two together; in fact I'm one of the best singers on Clifton St, Conway, AR. (South end). So: 'Goodbye Muirsheen Durkin, sure I'm sick and tired of working' But what/where pray is 'Muirsheen Durkin'? thanks....Alan.
  2. We really didn't have an opportunity to get into any serious discussion of the matter. I've looked at my sheet music for Tobin's jig and Tobin's favourite and there is little to tell between the two...Alan.
  3. Hi there to everyone. What an excellent time and fun I had yesterday! I, and other session members, had the good fortune and pleasure to play for Irish dancers last night - a very rare opportunity down here in Arkansas, believe me! The teacher was an Irish lady named Mary, she spoke Gaelic and had taught in Ireland so she was obviously knowledgable on Irish music. We were somewhat puzzled when she requested a 'triple jig' for the dancers?? 'Perhaps a slide?' -no- 'perhaps a slipjig?' -no. An example? 'Tobins favourite' So we commenced in on Tobin's jig but that was too fast! Slow it down says she. When we had got Tobin's down to a crawl the dancers started in. And a pretty dance it was! But what, dear friends, is a triple jig? Yours, Alan.
  4. Hi to all! Quick question here: I'm sure some of the more experienced amongst us have had the opportunity to listen to both the wooden ended and the silver ended Dipper concertinas, and maybe even perchance, have had the good fortune to have played them as well. Any comments on these two creatures; which did you prefer? Thanks, Alan.
  5. Hi there! If you are going to play Irish tunes I would go for the Frank Edgley tutorial book. And even if you're planning on playing something else I would still get this book, it will give you lots of tunes to get your fingers working and it has a CD to play along with to get your timing right: I got more music out of my concertina in a shorter time with this than any other book/video I tried. Most of the tunes are in G so you'll do fine with the 20 button. Three years on I am still using the style Frank teaches and still using his books. It's also a very easy step from there to making your own arrangements of tunes you'll hear in sessions.............good luck, Alan.
  6. I would have to say 'The Blackbird', I think this what they call a set dance in Ireland. Jacqueline McCarthy plays it on her 'Hidden Note' CD; also Bothy Band have covered this tune. Alan.
  7. Morgana, I would have to say that my favourate concertina CD is Jacqueline McCarthy's 'The Hidden Note' for a number of reasons: one, it's not just a concertina CD, but shows the concertina in context with other instruments; sorry to say but although I love my instrument I don't think that listening to it as the focus instrument for 40 minutes or so is the best way to enjoy it! Secondly, this CD has some absolutely wonderful tunes - some of my very favourites - Mrs Ellen O'Dwyer's Fancy and The Blackbird to name just two. Lastly, the album being a family project is so obviously a very personel statement, a little insite into a family enjoying the playing of great music together - the way it should be. So there's my choice, don't miss this one. Alan Caffrey.
  8. Thanks for the suggestions: I am playing anglo, the tunes are in D and G (or perhaps their minors, I have not got the book to hand) and I am just playing the tunes - no chords. Alan.
  9. Hi there to all, well I have recently had the fortune to play with an American fiddler who plays what he calls 'old time tunes' down here in Arkansas, and he knows quite a few Irish tunes. He plays reels which he calls 'hoedowns' and just a few jigs. He is quickly learning more of the tunes I play but I am having trouble with learning his tunes - the range in most goes lower than I am use to. Our source is The Fiddler's Fake Book from Oak publications. Some of the tunes I am thinking of are: Arkansas Traveler, Flop Eared Mule and Whiskey before Breakfast. Any comments or suggestions? Thanks. Alan Caffrey.
  10. Thanks for the input. BUT!........does anyone play them on a C/G, and if so how do you deal with the E and B note problem I mentioned. Alan.
  11. Yes, that's all very well saying it's the same notes as for a G tune but a problem arises when playing a B note immediately after an E note as occurs in both the tunes I mentioned (if my memory serves me well) for then you have two push notes on the middle finger left hand with the E in the 'C' row and the B in the 'G' row directly below it - very hard to play at speed. Does anyone play the tunes I mentioned or other E minor tunes, and how do they deal with this? I have tried picking up the B as a draw note on the 'C' row right hand but get a very dislocated effect. Thanks for any advise, Alan.
  12. Hi all, quick question here: I'm fairly new to all this and I am learning from books mostly and find I am frequently caught out on E minor tunes; to name a few - Drowsy Maggie and Morrison's jig. Any hints on how to approach these tunes? I am a 'along the rows player' and I make frequent use of the middle row, playing of course Irish tunes. Thanks, Alan.
  13. Hi to everyone! Well I was up at the Catskills Irish Arts week a few weeks ago and took concertina class with Jacqueline McCarthy - she plays a two row instrument with each row having six buttons, it's got metal ends and I think it's a Wheatstone, a really fine instrument. But I didn't get to find out what the layout was, anyone out there in the superflux know what the layout might be? Thanks, Alan.
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