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About gcoover

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  1. Hi Tim, This is in the key of C, and the only chords are C, G, F so it should be easy to pick out even on a 20-button and sing with. Nice variant from the more well-known Clancy Brothers "Home Boys Home". Gary
  2. You might want to also think about getting a Wolverton since he also offers a lever vs air button. They run about $2000+ for the hybrid model, and although I got one with the conventional air button, I find I love playing the instrument and that should be the most important factor, right? In addition to looking absolutely beautiful, it plays wonderfully both loud and soft. And yes, it's about time I post a full review since I've had mine about 6 months and enjoy playing it constantly throughout the day. Gary
  3. gcoover

    Concertina as a medical device?

    I know there's a type of medical treatment known as "vibration therapy" so I'm wondering if anyone has found playing the concertina to be helpful for any hand conditions like arthritis? Maybe not so much with EC due to it's potentially stressful thumbstrap and finger rest, as well as tendency for single note playing, but I'm thinking more along the lines of full-scale harmonic playing with Anglos and Duets. Many years ago I thought my concertina playing would be over soon due to painful osteoarthritis. But the condition has stabilized, and dare I say, even gotten better. I would like to think it can be attributed in part to continuous and constant Anglo playing! And just recently I've even been able to finally tame the right hand pinky after many years of trying and can now play "Smash the Windows" in C (from the "Rattlebone and Ploughjack" album). I now feel emboldened to work on a lot of those difficult tunes in the upper registers in Adrian Brown's Garden of Dainty Delights. Anyone else experience improvements that might be due to all those wonderfully concertinistic musical vibrations? Now if I could just get medical insurance to pay for Concertina Acquisition Syndrome... Gary
  4. I've found the Frank Butler tutor to be far and away the best for learning EC, and it's even available for free download on concertina.com. Gary
  5. gcoover

    Books now on Kindle

    For those of you who prefer electronic books over paper books, all the Rollston Press books (including the Anglo concertina books) are now available on Amazon in the Kindle format: Easy Anglo 1-2-3, Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style, Civil War Concertina, Christmas Concertina, 75 Irish Session Tunes, Pirate Songs for Concertina, Cowboy Concertina, plus The Pocket Shantyman. It's pretty basic, one page at a time (no fancy flowing text or hyperlinks), and you'll probably need a large tablet or Kindle app on your iPad to better see a full page of music. But definitely a lot more portable than schlepping around a big pile of physical books. Special introductory prices, of course! Gary
  6. gcoover

    Source for ITM: "The Session"

    I'll preface by saying these are some of the primary and first printed sources for traditional Irish tunes, which we know change and adapt over the years (though not usually as deliberately as on thesession.org): Captain Francis O'Neill - the original collection of 1850 tunes "Music of Ireland" (1903), 1001 tunes in "Dance Music of Ireland" (1907) and 365 tunes in "Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody" (1922). George Petrie - "The Complete Collection of Irish Music as Noted by George Petrie" (1902-1905). P.W. Joyce - "Old Irish Folk Music and Songs" (1909). Edward Bunting - "General Collection of Ancient Irish Music" (1796). Honoria Galwey - "Old Irish Croonauns and Other Tunes" (1910), 72 tunes. Francis Roche - "The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music (1912, 1927), 3 volumes, 566 tunes. More recently, Comhaltas has published three volumes of the "Foinn Seisiun Book" by Brian Prior. Also, "Ceol Rince na hEireann" is up to 5 volumes edited by Breandan Breathnach and Jackie Small. I'm sure others will chime in with more early publications. From personal experience I will warn you the sheer mass of tunes will drive you crazy. Although it is often fun to open one up randomly and see what tunes might be of interest, it's far more sane to start with recorded tunes you like, or ones common to your local session. But who knows, maybe you'll discover a hidden gem or two buried in all those books that you can bring back to life! Gary
  7. gcoover

    Source for ITM: "The Session"

    Yes, the site has a lot of tunes, and even more comments and opinions (some more helpful than others), but unfortunately a lot of folks have posted tunes that they've admittedly altered. So beware. Better to learn tunes from players you like or go deep into original sources like O'Neill, Roche, Joyce, Walsh, Comhaltas, etc.! Gary
  8. gcoover

    New to English Concertina

    I highly recommend the Frank Butler tutor for EC beginners, and as I recall it's available as a free download at concertina.com. Gary
  9. gcoover

    Concertina perceptions

    Really? In spite of how many German concertinas have been cranked out over the years? That's very sad! You'd think some would have survived in German folk music. Is it because free-reed folk music became dominated by the larger "polka machine" accordions? Gary
  10. It's also a matter of different tools for different jobs, since the end result can sound very different depending on which system you are using and what you want that particular piece of music to sound like. I've played EC and Anglo for years and readily switch between the two and equally love both systems. And there are even times when I'll prefer to play the (gasp!) melodeon because of it's fuller sound and awesome chords. At one time I played a lot of Jeffries Duet, but I wouldn't recommend trying to play both JD and Anglo since they are about 1/2 the same and the other 1/2 completely different. Or, at least don't run the risk of trying to play the same tune on both instruments! Gary
  11. Hey Tim, thanks for spotting this! I don't recognize the tune as being from any particular cowboy song, so it's probably something the musical director composed. Like "Sea of Thieves" where Robin Beanland wrote all the music. Now Assassin's Creed, on the other hand, wonderfully included lots of traditional sea shanties. Gary
  12. gcoover

    Why Give Up

    Amen Brother Mike!
  13. Fantastic arrangements, as always, love that final chord! Gary
  14. gcoover

    Cowboy Concertina - New Book?

    Ok, we have our winners! Thanks to Don and Doug and Bill for correctly guessing "At the End of the Santa Fe Trail" - written by a concertina player! (but performed only with vocal and guitar on his CD). As you know, I often like to include a few newer songs in the books along with the old traditional ones, and in this case reached out to the UK to who might seem like a very unlikely contributor. Although many of you may know Bernard Wrigley for his hilarious songs and monologues, and especially his gigantic bass concertina, he has also written and performed a lot of "normal" songs too. So, it's been a real treat to sneak in a relatively new "English" song along with all the mostly traditional old cowboy songs. And yes, it's very appropriate since many of the original cowboys were immigrants from the British Isles and they would have brought their own songs and tunes with them. And extra kudos to Bernard - when he heard about our little contest he graciously offered to send the winners a digital copy of his album "Albert, Arthur and the Car Park" that features his cowboy song, which you can find here at: www.bernardwrigley.bandcamp.com. Congrats to all and thanks for playing! Gary
  15. gcoover

    What would make a reed sound soft

    Or maybe that particular reed chamber is leaking air around the gaskets? If you open it up and the chamois is dark in that area it would be an indicator you're losing air. Gary