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Everything posted by gcoover

  1. And a Bastari it is indeed. I did a Google search of "Desi Arnaz concertina" and found several more images, including one with a cheap Italian instrument. So he must have played it at some point, or else just liked being photographed with it!
  2. Here are the tunes included in the book: The Radetzky March Lassus Trombone The Entertainer Maple Leaf Rag The Washington Post Under the Double Eagle The Stars and Stripes Forever The Liberty Bell Funeral March of a Marionette Tea for Two I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside Dill Pickles At a Georgia Camp Meeting.
  3. The current Vanity Fair article titled "Did Desi Really Love Lucy" (about the 1950's TV show "I Love Lucy") included this photo showing a rather nice 30-button Anglo, not the typical stage prop. I'm sure the conversation in the photo goes something like this: DESI - "Of course I love you more than my concertina" LUCY- "I don't think so"
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Nice one Alan - makes me think of the circus! Gary
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Likewise, it will only be 10am in Hawaii. Curious to see who all shows up! Cheers, Gary
  15. And here's what the ends of these beasts look like, from Neil Wayne's collection (photo taken in 1979). Gary
  16. 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
  17. You are in luck! Every new copy of every Rollston Press book from Amazon will be the latest and greatest - one of the beauties of print-on-demand publishing. Gary
  18. The good news is Rollston Press is currently working with Judy Hawkins on a Hayden Tutor, which will be a continuation and extension of the "Harum Scarum" tutorials she has posted here on cnet. Not sure yet when it will be out, maybe by the end of the year? Gary
  19. It was originally written as a very nice strathspey, and that is indeed how most people play it, but I much prefer the Tricolor/Corona treatment. Joan's family really enjoyed it too, something refreshingly different with their mother's tune. Irish Concertina player Mandy Murray did something similar many years ago when she was in Aleanna and played "The Orphan" very slowly and expressively. Every time I hear someone blazing away on it I want to shout - stop, slow it down and make it really beautiful! Gary
  20. Ok, I've further updated the previous example to include how the 19th century Anglo tutors showed the music - all on one single treble clef. And I must say I could get used to the way it looks, especially if the stem directions are in different directions and the resulting measures don't get too cluttered. Let's dispense with all the theory - I'd most like to hear from folks who regularly play harmonic Anglo from printed music! Thanks! Gary
  21. Interesting stuff indeed, but way above my pay grade! To get back to the original question, here's an example (Shepherd's Hey, Longborough) of what I'm asking all you paper-trained Anglo music-readers: Dots in actual pitch? (with double treble clef) or Dots an octave low? (with treble and bass clef) Gary Shepherds-Hey-G-notation-example.pdf
  22. Awesome - doesn't get much more nautical than that! Now if you could just turn that sailboat into a proper pirate ship... Gary
  23. Are you looking for something all in one clef, in double treble clefs (like Dan Worrall's Kimber book), or octave low with regular treble and bass clefs (like Alan Lochhead's book)? I'll be showing all the notes (plus button numbers and direction) in the upcoming John Watcham book, but still debating which octave. That's the biggest problem with the notating the Anglo since middle C is deep in the left-hand side. And, just having the dots by themselves won't tell you which button or direction in the case of alternates. I think if you stick with it you'll find the numbering helps you to learn the patterns in the left hand, which after a while will become close to automatic and you won't think much about which note is which (for harmonic style). Gary
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