Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About gcoover

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Land of Aloha

Recent Profile Visitors

1985 profile views
  1. Some pretty amazing composing and playing! Gary
  2. Hi Bob, Not exactly a full-blown walking bass like you find in jazz, but the little finger has some nice runs in Glorishears, Mundesse, Saturday Night, Jockie the Fair, Monck's March, Princess Royal (Longborough), Shepherd's Hey and Young Collins. And for some fairly active bass note and chord stuff, Constant Billy, Sherborne Jig, Glorishears, Ladies of Pleasure and Lumps of Plum Pudding. He uses a lot of those right hand G-row notes and other high notes in Birds-A-Building, Smash the Windows, Princess Royal, Persian Dance, Old Woman Tossed Up, Constant Billy. With the Button Maps for every tune, it makes it easy to see in advance what buttons that tune will require. Never all 30, but sometimes a few way up in the squeaky end! It took quite a while to get my right hand little finger to cooperate on "Birds" and "Smash". Gary
  3. Big Announcement - new book just out: The Anglo Concertina Music of John Watcham. As many of you know, John is one of the superstars of the concertina revival, featured on the Ashley Hutchings recordings Son of Morris On and Rattlebone & Ploughjack, also the Shirley Collins recordings Adieu to Old England and Lodestar. Plus the Anglo International! CD. John specializes in English Morris dance music, and has played Anglo concertina for Chingford Morris, Albion Morris, Brighton Morris and Taylor’s Morris. The book includes 50 of his tunes carefully transcribed from LPs, CDs, mp3s, videos and field recordings, with only minor adjustments to make them playable on a standard 30-button C/G Anglo concertina (he plays a 39-button Jeffries system). All tunes have the same easy-to-use button numbering and tablature system found in all Rollston Press concertina books, plus Button Maps to show exactly which buttons are needed for every tune. In addition to lots of photographs, the book is literally littered with smartphone-scannable QR codes that link to a delightful variety of videos and recordings, from folkrock albums to practice tunes to public dance performances to even a late-night drinking dance in a pub. John himself plays in many of these YouTube videos and SoundCloud audio files. These have been my absolute favorite tunes to play on the Anglo for many years, and it has been both an honor and a pleasure to work with John to put this book together. Attached is the Table of Contents plus a free sample - "Smash the Windows" from Rattlebone & Ploughjack. Available now at Red Cow Music in the UK and Amazon. Gary Smash-the-Windows-WATCHAM.pdf WATCHAM-TOC.pdf
  4. Good news for all of you who have struggled with Alan Lochhead's book All-American Concertina Album - Rollston Press has been licensed by Mel Bay Publications to update and reissue all of Alan's arrangements in a new 76-page book titled Summer Symphony, available now on Amazon worldwide in paperback and "print-replica" Kindle. Marches, rags, novelty tunes - just the sort of music you would hear in an old-timey bandstand in the park over the past 100 years. All 12 of the original tunes, plus "Dill Pickles" arranged for 30-button Anglo, plus a 40-button accompaniment to "At a Georgia Camp Meeting". All notes shown in actual pitch with double treble clefs, and with button numbers and bellows direction tablature for Anglo like all the other Rollston Press books. And yes they are really difficult to play on the Anglo concertina - definitely not easy arrangements! I had the good fortune to meet Alan at the West Coast concertina meeting last December organized by Daniel Hersh and David Brown, and this update is with his full blessing and encouragement. Since there are no recordings online of Alan playing these arrangements, we've included QR code links for every tune to SoundCloud audio files exported directly from the notated music. Attached is an excerpt for all you Monty Python fans out there (and yes, the tune is really a march by the American bandleader John Philip Sousa). Gary Liberty-Bell-excerpt.pdf LOCHHEAD-TOC.pdf
  5. Raising the handrest might be a better and easier option (unless it's glued on - with maybe only two screws from inside)? 1" total height works best for me on my Anglos. Gary
  6. Wow, this would be a real beast to try to play, but I'd love to see someone try. I love the description: "old but still plays" - hey, that's me! Gary
  7. Nice one Alan - makes me think of the circus! Gary
  8. If someone tells you there is a "right" or "wrong" way to play a tune, they're full of crap. All they know is the way THEY play it, which is likely very different from the way Elizabeth Crotty, or Paddy Murphy, or Kitty Hayes, or Chris Droney, or Caitlin nic Gabhann, or Cormac Begley, or Ernestine Healy, or Edel Fox, or Mary McNamara, or Michael O'Raghallaigh, or Mandy Murray, or Noel Kenny, or Noel Hill, or whoever plays it - and these are just the concertina players! Also factor in all the fiddlers, pipers, etc. All the tunes they play have regional and local variations, there is no right or wrong way. As other posters have pointed out - learn from your heroes, or from your local session if you want to follow someone else exactly. But 'tis far better to learn the basic tune and then be able to add or delete or embellish as necessary to appease the awful Iroid Music Police who tend to be at way too many local sessions. For printed sources, O'Neill's Music of Ireland might be the Bible for some, for others maybe Joyce, or Roche, or The Fiddlers Tunebook, or others. But I'd be surprised if you would find anyone playing the tunes exactly as notated in any of these sources. The dots are just a very limited approximation of one way to note it, not the only way. Many performers play it differently each time through. I think it was Pete Coe who said "I don't even play it the same way once". And yes, Kesh can be played in a lot of different ways, none of them "wrong". That's the beauty of these old tunes - they are tough enough to survive all these years and all these millions of players and variations and still be essentially the same recognizable tune. That's a pretty awesome thing. Gary
  9. Yes, huge can of worms! Firstly, there is no "correct" way of playing any of these tunes, only individual approaches and styles, some of which are more proscribed (e.g. Noel Hill) than others. I would say the only correct way of playing is when it has that Irish energy and lilt, regardless of specific notes or ornamentation. Caitlin nic Gabhann's Irish Concertina Course is excellent stuff, as is the OAIM material. Start there, listen to everything you can get your hands on (not just concertina), develop your style, and enjoy what you play as opposed to trying to find some sort of questionable and unobtainable "perfection"! Gary
  10. Special thanks to Michael for setting this up - it was great to see so many folks from across the globe, many of whom I only knew by reputation or via email. Some old hands and some new faces, plus nice to see so many instruments including the insides of Howard Mitchell's bass Anglo. And, by fortunate coincidence I was able to give everyone a sneak peak at Seth Hamon's new mini-anglo which is still in prototype development, as well as show a proof copy of the new John Watcham book which will be out very soon. Maybe next time everyone should introduce themselves by playing a tune or telling a good concertina story - that would be fun! Gary
  11. Hi John, if you search "Hayden tutorial" on cnet you'll find a series of posts by Judy Hawkins, which she is currently working on turning them into a book. Gary
  12. Likewise, it will only be 10am in Hawaii. Curious to see who all shows up! Cheers, Gary
  13. And here's what the ends of these beasts look like, from Neil Wayne's collection (photo taken in 1979). Gary
  14. And here, at the bottom of the page, is Luke's beautiful arrangement with full accompaniment (with his blessing)......but with different tablature notation. Luke plays with Berkeley Morris, check out their awesome new "Zoomingtion" tradition: Gary Gypsy-Hornpipe-C-ANGLO-Luke-Hillman.pdf
  • Create New...