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gcoover

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  1. 7th Annual Old Palestine Concertina Weekend - March 25-26, 2011, in Palestine, Texas In conjunction with the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival (www.oldpalmusic.com), we are once again organizing a big weekend of concertina workshops and events. This will be our 7th year! Our guest headliner this year will be Jody Kruskal, master of old-time music on the concertina, and he will be teaching several classes for Anglo and Old Time Music. Here is schedule for the concertina classes: For all systems: •Slow Jam (Nancy Bessent) •Tune Swap (Nancy Bessent) •Accompanying Tunes and Songs (Kurt Braun) •In the Footsteps of the Sally Army - Hymns for Concertina Bands (Ron Wilson) •Old Time Music for All Concertinas (Jody Kruskal) •Master Class with Jody Kruskal •Pachelbel's Canon in D (Ron Wilson & Gary Coover) •Construction & Repair with Harold Herrington Specifically for English Concertina: •Irish Tunes & Styling for English Concertina (Mark Gilston) Specifically for Anglo Concertina: •Old Time Music for Anglo - 1 (Jody Kruskal) •Old Time Music for Anglo - 2 (Jody Kruskal) •Third Row Anglo (Gary Coover) Jody has prepared some great old time tunes and teaching materials, including special mp3's both slow and fast. He always has a tremendous amount of energy and we are excited to have him back this year. The Third Row Anglo class is for those who have yet to venture beyond the C and G rows and will concentrate on chords and old English tunes. We have a wonderful tradition every year for all concertina players/spouses/families/partners/hangers-on - this year we will be having our dinner on Friday night at the newly rebuilt Ranch House Restaurant in downtown Palestine. This event is always great fun, with dinner music provided by anyone with a few solo tunes to share. It's our own mini-concert, and a great way for everyone to relax and enjoy the sounds of all the different types of concertinas. As in years past, we will have music from English, Anglo, Crane, Jeffries and Hayden duets. The classes are on Friday and Saturday in an old 3-story brick school building that will be full of old time musicians with their own classes and concerts, with old time jam sessions sprouting up all over the place at all hours of the day and night. Check out the line-up and schedule at www.oldpalmusic.com. Tickets are available at the front door, and there is an additional concertina surcharge of $30 to pay for Jody's travel arrangements. For more information, email gcoover(at)swbell.net.
  2. How about "Eastwell Park", as played by Andy Turner on Anglo International? It's 6/8, with a good English pedigree from c.1748.
  3. I'm pleased to announce the concertina workshops have now been finalized for the concertina portion of the Old Palestine Music Festival, and we have a great location reserved for our annual Concertina Dinner. So far we have over 15 confirmed attendees, and we know there will always be quite a few who show up the day of. If you are coming and you let me know which classes you're interested in, I'll make sure and send out any special music and mp3's so you can get an advance look or even a head start. If you play by ear, or consider yourself paper-trained, we've got you covered both ways. These concertina classes will be for all systems: Slow Jam (Nancy Bessent) Tune Swap (Nancy Bessent) Accompanying Tunes and Songs (Kurt Braun) In the Footsteps of the Sally Army - Hymns for Concertina Bands (Ron Wilson) Old Time Music for All Concertinas (Jody Kruskal) Master Class with Jody Kruskal Pachelbel's Canon in D (Ron Wilson & Gary Coover) Construction & Repair with Harold Herrington Specifically for English Concertina: Irish Tunes & Styling for English Concertina (Mark Gilston) Specifically for Anglo Concertina: Old Time Music for Anglo - 1 (Jody Kruskal) Old Time Music for Anglo - 2 (Jody Kruskal) Third Row Anglo (Gary Coover) Jody has prepared some great old time tunes and teaching materials, including special mp3's both slow and fast. He always has a tremendous amount of energy and we are excited to have him back this year. My class on Anglo is for those who have yet to venture beyond the C and G rows and will concentrate on chords and old English tunes. We have a wonderful tradition every year for all concertina players/spouses/families/partners/hangers-on - this year we will be having our dinner on Friday night at the newly rebuilt Ranch House Restaurant in downtown Palestine. This event is always great fun, with dinner music provided by anyone with a few solo tunes to share. It's our own mini-concert, and a great way for everyone to relax and enjoy the sounds of all the different types of concertinas. As in years past, we will have music from English, Anglo, Crane, Jeffries and Hayden duets. As we've mentioned previously, the classes are on Friday and Saturday in an old 3-story brick school building that will be full of old time musicians with their own classes and concerts, with old time jam sessions sprouting up all over the place at all hours of the day and night. Check out the line-up and schedule at www.oldpalmusic.com. Jerry and Margaret Wright do a great job of organizing a fun festival, and we're always excited to be part of it. Just let me know if you're planning on coming and I'll make sure you get on the confirmed email list for music and mp3's. Gary
  4. Does anybody know who the Japanese group is on these YouTube links? There's not much info on YouTube, and most of it is in Japanese. It looks like they're mostly a trio with two young girls playing anglo concertina and button accordian with a guy on piano accordian, but in other videos they are joined by two more girls playing uilleann pipes and harp. It's obviously recorded live at a gig somewhere, but the arrangements and playing are all top notch! Gary
  5. So far, we have at least 15 confirmed concertina players coming, and we're still two months away from the actual event - that's very exciting! We've got a good mix of English and Anglo, plus two Cranes and at least one Jeffries Duet. Still waiting to hear from any McCann Duet players. And there will be at least two English basses - we might have to work up the first ever concertina arrangement of "Big Bottoms" by Spinal Tap! We will be sending music and notes out shortly for those who have confirmed they will be attending, so if you haven't yet me know yet please do so in the next week. I'll also send out info about the really cool concertina t-shirt designed by professional artist Carol Lay from LA. As a sneak preview, Jody Kruskal is planning on teaching: Elk River in G Tombigbee Waltz in G Shove the Pig’s foot a little Further in the Fire in G Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss (Western Country) in D Tenessee Mountain Fox Chase in C I will be teaching a class on Third Row Anglo for those who might still be stuck on the C and G rows. Tunes will be Bobbing Joe in Dm, Leaping Jack in C, Herrington Hall in C, and a French Waltz in Dm. We're also planning on a class of 4-part hymns, perhaps one on ear training and arrangement, a slow jam or two for beginners, arrangements for duets, and once again we'll tackle the Pachelbel Canon in D for those who are paper-trained and adventurous. It's a pity Dan Worrall will be at his son's wedding elsewhere that same weekend. We offered them a concertina ceremony at Palestine but the offer was inexplicably declined. Probably something do to with the bride and groom hearing enough concertina from Dan at home? Dan's done such a great job organizing this event the past six years, we have some pretty big shoes to fill - he will definitely be missed. Dan, if you start having any withdrawal symptoms just phone in at any point and we'll conference in a tune. Sorry, but we're keeping all the good BBQ from Shep's to ourselves! More info soon as the workshops develop. Once again, let me know if you're coming and I'll make sure we send you the music out in advance. Thought for the day, from the words of Hugh O'Brian from a Bruce Lee movie on TV this week: "We ought to do some squeezing". Could Wyatt Earp's next movie be........wait for it........"Kung Fu Concertina"? Gary
  6. Bernard Wrigley used to joke about having to pour a pint of Guinness into his big bass English, but I don't think he recommended it for anyone else!
  7. I suppose it only goes off if someone tries to pick the lock? Otherwise, no protection at all from someone swiping the box and running off to open it later. I know we can be quite proud of our fancy cases that obviously hold something small and valuable (and easily grabbed), but the best solution I've seen yet is to put that nice case in a ratty old backpack. Easy to carry, and no one will ever suspect what's inside!
  8. Happy New Year and greetings to all! We are very excited to announce the 7th Annual Concertina Workshop in conjunction with the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival in Palestine, TX, to be held March 24, 25 and 26, 2011. You can check out the Old Pal website at: www.oldpalmusic.com. For those of you who have been before, you know how much fun it is spending two and a half full days and evenings of jam sessions, workshops, and concerts in the East Texas piney woods in springtime. If you haven't made it to Old Pal yet, the welcome mat is always out for concertina players of all types, from pre-beginner all the way to expert squeezer. In addition to a wonderful old building full of dulcimers, guitars, mandolins, fiddles and shape note singers, the concertina players commandeer a couple of rooms specially for concertina workshops, jams and good fellowship. This year's featured visiting concertina player is Jody Kruskal, renowned old time Anglo concertina player - yes, there really is such a thing! This will be his third time at the Old Pal Festival, and he will give four concertina workshops as well as appear in several concerts and jam sessions during the festival. His workshops will feature: • Old Time Music for All Types of Concertina • Old Time Music for Anglo Concertina • Master Class Check out his website at: www.jodykruskal.com for lots of news and great tunes. Do you have a concertina you don't know how to play? Are you thinking of getting a concertina? Are you just learning or are you already an expert player? Ever wanted to learn old time music on the concertina? How about the chance to play ensemble music just like the concertina bands of yore? Do you enjoy the opportunity to meet fellow players and enjoy listening or playing along? If so, then this festival is for you! The concertina workshops are in the final planning stages, so now is the time to send in any requests. We will have concertinas of all sizes and shapes and fingering systems - English, Anglo, Crane Duet, McCann Duet, Jeffries Duet, Hayden Duet, even a bass English, and who knows what else might show up. This is where you can see dozens of different concertinas all in one place, by just about every concertina maker imaginable. If you're thinking of getting a concertina, this is an excellent opportunity to look, learn and try the various types. A special treat will be a repair workshop with noted Texas concertina builder Harold Herrington, maker of Herrington Concertinas. He is always eager to share his vast knowledge of concertina construction and repair, and he usually brings an exciting new prototype to show us. Another favorite feature is our Concertina Banquet where concertina players with their spouses and friends dine together and then perform solo pieces for each other with all types of music on all types of concertinas. All of this is in addition to nightly and lunchtime concerts by scores of Old Time musicians who come to this festival from all over the US, and did I mention there are jam sessions going on all the time, everywhere, even after the main concerts? The two-and-a half day festival is only $70 ($140 for families), and there is and additional $30 to cover the concertina [/font]workshops and guest artist (Jody Kruskal). If you are planning on attending please let me know asap. Also let me know what type of concertina you play, and if there are any specific lessons or activities you'd like to see or participate in. We're a very egalitarian bunch who love to play and love helping others learn to play better, so no matter your skill level you're in good company. Please send me a message with your email address to confirm your interest - that will also place you on the email list for pre-distribution of sheet music for the workshops as well as logistics information, etc. And please pass this information along to anyone you know who might be interested. Last year we had about 20-25 concertina players from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and even California. Hope to see you all at this year's festival! Gary Coover English, Anglo and Jeffries Duet
  9. Alan, I know Wheatstone EC, #19938, "48 Rosewood Steel Polished" from July/Sept 1881 has riveted steel reeds. For years I've played a wonderful unpolished rosewood 56 EC with riveted steel reeds. Unfortunately the only number is inside - "71" - probably a batch number or maybe the last two digits of the serial number? If it is the last two digits of a serial number, the only ones that might match in the ledgers are c.1888-1891. Gary
  10. In addition to meeting and hearing all the different players and styles, a special treat was the opportunity to see and hear lots of different concertinas by lots of different makers. In addition to English and Anglo we had Crane and Jeffries and Hayden duets, plus a bass English. There were concertinas by Wheatstone, Lachenal, Jeffries, Crabb, Dickinson, Dipper, Edgely, Tedrow, Herrington, Carroll, Morse, Stagi/Bastari, Chinese-made, and I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two. The thing that surprised me most was the Ensemble Workshop. Everytime we changed who played what part, the tunes sounded wonderfully different due to the different textures of each instrument. We tackled folk duets and trios, Sacred Harp classics like Evening Shade and Sons of Sorrow, plus some very unusual baroque arrangements of O'Carolan tunes by Douglas Gunn from Cork. Each time we switched the parts around, it was like hearing the tunes in an entirely new way. I just wish we could all get together more than once a year to experience such a great sound. And I'm still amazed how one guy with an Anglo was able to read music and keep up with everything - that'll teach me to not be so English-centric when I think about parts playing! Gary
  11. Just wanted to add a quick hello from a Jeffries Duet player in the lovely Arkansas Ozarks! C. Jeffries, 50-button, key of C, to be more particular. The analogy to a typewriter is very apt, since the keyboard is just about as logical. But we've all learned to type, so it's just a matter of getting used to its quirks. I've only found one other player here in the US who will admit to playing a Jeffries Duet, and that's the wonderfully entertaining Nick Robertshaw in the Washington, D.C. area. I know a few others who have duets, but they must be well closeted. The "Ramping Cat" album is indeed the definitive Jeffries Duet sound - "octaves in the right hand and fistfulls of chords in the left". Micheal Hebbert is absolutely brilliant. I heard that album and HAD to have a concertina that could sound like that. And I must say, I've never heard a MacCann or Crane make the same kind of racket. I suppose it should be of some concern that I enjoy playing an instrument that most people find to be incomprehensible... The best advice I can offer about learning to play the Jeffries Duet (or any other concertina), is to hide the case somewhere and leave the instrument out in your way - the sofa, the dining room table, etc. - and keep picking it up and having a go at it. Eventually you'll find you're throwing it down in disgust less and less, and playing real tunes more and more. It's like a big combination lock - find the right combination and out comes some lovely music! Gary Coover
  12. Alan, Welcome to the elite club of Jeffries Duet players! There aren't many of us, but that doesn't mean you can't make a lot of racket once you get the notes and chords all sorted out. Michael Hebbert is indeed the undisputed master of the instrument, and the album "The Rampin' Cat" on the Free Reed label shows just what this instrument is capable of. Perhaps Mr. Hebbert has copies of his album, or perhaps someone could make a copy (assuming it is totally out of print - don't want to deprive Michael of his meagre royalties). Since you already have the note diagram, specialise in the home key, learn the major and minor chords, maybe a seventh chord or two. If you play Anglo, do NOT try to learn the same tunes on the Jeffries Duet or you will never be able to play them on either instrument! The similarities are just enough to scramble your brain for good. And if you get out of the home key, you might never get your fingers unscrambled! Morris and country dance tunes work really well, and believe it or not, so do old calliope tunes (this instrument is made to oompah). Schmaltzy waltzes also come fairly easily. However, the best advice is to take it out of the box and leave it somewhere out in your way, like the couch or dining room table. You'll pick it up, play a few notes, and then throw it down in frustration. Next time you pick it up, play a few more notes before throwing it down - eventually you'll be getting some tunes to appear. And before you know it, you'll be exploring the complexities and joys of owning a very unique instrument that is capable of "octaves in the right hand and fistfuls of chords in the left", quite impressive at full steam! Gary Coover Jeffries Duet player in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks
  13. Do you mean that the G row buttons are moved one-up on the left hand side ? If so, that is termed "Artistic Fingering", and it is sometimes found on Jeffries 39-key instruments. It seems to go back to some of the early German concertinas, sold in the 1850's, that had the G row offset that way. I have two early Nickolds anglos with the same arrangement too, both a 20-key and a 28-key. If you played across the rows, and were already used to having the notes like that, you would have needed to have any new concertinas, that you bought, built to match. However, the system is now obsolete, and I have always rearranged the reeds in the ones I have been given to tune, to make them more "normal" (it should be perfectly feasible). Well, the "G" rows are certainly not "artistic" - but I've yet to figure out the reason for the unusual notes. The reed pans have been altered very professionally (probably at the factory) to fit the different reed frames. The sequence goes like this from left to right (keeping in mind they have 19 keys on the left and 22 on the right): LHS: B/C.....D/F#.....Eb/C#.....B/C.....D/E.....F/C# RHS: Bb/C#.....F/F#.....B/D.....D/C.....G/E.....B/F# (both the unusual F and D are an octave higher than expected) and there are the two buttons Eb/E and Eb/D underneath - that D is the lowest D on the instrument! If none of this makes sense, let me know and I'll try to post a fingering chart. BTW, Hi Jim and Stephen - we met once way back in 1979 when I was enroute from Houston to New England to Old England in search of Morris Dancers and concertina players - glad to hear you're both still at it! Gary P.S. I did an internet search on the penciled 1897 address on the reed pan, and there is a 10+ story building on that site in San Francisco now!
  14. If weight is a key consideration, that would probably exclude the Jeffries Duet, as the ones I've played tend to be fairly heavy and solidly built. What type of music do you want to play on a duet, and in what keys? The Jeffries is "theoretically" chromatic, but if you get too far out of the home key you might never get your fingers sorted back out. After hearing Michael Hebbert's Jeffries Duet LP "The Rampin' Cat" many years ago, I simply had to have an instrument that could make those "fistfuls of chords" and have that rich fairground organ sound. I wouldn't trade my 50-button Jeffries Duet for any instrument out there! Gary
  15. I'm currently restoring twin Lachenal Anglos, #121324 and #121325, and found a penciled note inside one of them: "tuned by Louis Miller, 706 Mission St., S.F. Cal., May 21, 1897". Both instruments are identical 41-key C/G with squeak and baby cry, ME, BB, 7F gold-tooled bellows, steel reeds, and square "Jeffries-style" reed chambers (right side normal, left side slanted). The "G" rows on both have some strange reeds out of sequence. The serial numbers are stamped on the reed pans, and are on a little piece of paper on the action pan. Does anybody know anything about Mr. Miller or what date these serial numbers would indicate? Thanks! Gary
  16. It's definitely a baby Chemnitzer, the funny button names give it away. It's basically like a double-reeded anglo with weird notes around the edges. Didn't know Bastari ever made one of these...
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