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gcoover

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Everything posted by gcoover

  1. I totally agree with what everyone has said so far. Another point of consideration is available instruction - to date there is only one book for G/D (hard to find), compared to dozens and dozens for C/G written over the past 150+ years. I, too, initially thought a G/D would be more logical for tunes in G and D, but you'll quickly learn that logic has nothing to do with it! The Irish play the C/G since that was/is the more common instrument, and it is also how they can develop so much energy and lilt in G and D, especially by playing across the rows. I had a really nice Jeffries G/D but never learned to play it due to the lack of any tutors. It has long since moved on to a new owner, and I'm now perfectly happy to explore all the options and quirks of the C/G, both 20-button and 30-button. Gary
  2. Hopefully in a couple of months. He has been working on accompanying videos, and he just sent me the final chapter this morning, so we're just about to the final formatting and assembly stage. As you can imagine, it's going to be a really great book with great instruction - it's very exciting to be working with Cohen to help make it happen. Gary
  3. Quite a lot of sea songs and shanties can be played on the 20-button Anglo, but of course the 30-button gives you more options for different keys which might be important for matching the ranges of certain singers. Shameless plug time: Sea Songs for 20-button Anglo Concertina has 96 songs, excerpted from Pirate Songs for Concertina and Sailor Songs for Concertina (both of which also have songs for 30-button Anglos). And yes, the whole sudden shanty phenomenon is great to see, perhaps building on the interest in Sea of Thieves and Assassin's Creed. Sales of The Pocket Shantyman are currently skyrocketing as well! It's wonderful to see so many people interested in these great old songs that are so much fun to sing and play. Gary
  4. Bertram Levy is back! His Anglo concertina tutor, The Anglo Concertina Demystified, is now back through Rollston Press in paperback and Kindle in a print-replica edition of the 1985 original. But instead of cassettes (remember them?) and CD's (also becoming a thing of the past), it now has QR code links to the audio files. And there are a lot of them, 74 in total. It's written for the 30-button C/G Anglo, and he uses his own notation and tablature system, numbering the buttons 1-15 on both sides, and using "i" and "o" for push and pull. He also indicates the fingering he recommends. This is not a collection of tunes, but more of a structured approach to learning the instrument. The first place to have the book is Red Cow Music in Yorkshire, so support your local music store first! Gary
  5. I also just now gave it a try in the key of C and didn't find any problematic C chord issues. There's a fairly advanced arrangement in Sailor Songs for Concertina in the key of D with only one long-ish section on the pull if that key works for you. Riding the air valve is good when you can plan ahead, and you can also leave out some of the left hand harmony notes which take more air. Leaving out the third works really well (no need for full chords). Also, you can play brief staccato chords, just tapping them for emphasis, no need to play big heavy lengthy chords. It's very common for beginners to push and pull way too hard, which also uses lots of air, so easing up and playing it lightly will save lots of air too. Gary
  6. The version in the video is essentially in the key of C, perfect for Anglo, and easily playable with harmonies on a 20-button. It was on the original list of tunes to put in the books, but lost out since it is obviously still in copyright. Hopefully you can pick it out from this video! Gary
  7. Here's the source of James's birthdate of 1879, from the man himself, complete with some really charming misspellings: www.genealogy.com/ftm/b/a/r/William-Barney/FILE/0010page.html
  8. Just wondering if anyone is familiar with Arthur James Richardson and his brother Harry (Edward Willian Henry Richardson) who both played concertina around 1900-1920 or so? I stumbled across a newspaper article from 1905 mentioning a performance in Honolulu by James on "the Anglo-Chromatic and English concertinas" accompanied by his daughter, Miss Elsie Richardson. His set list included: Selection from Il Trovatore, "In Happy Moments" (Maritana), "Scenes that are Brightest" (Maritana), "Cherry Ripe" (and old English ballad), Patriotic airs, Selection from Les Cloches des Corneville, and Scotch airs. He was born in England in 1879, the family emigrated in 1883 to NSW, Australia, and later to Hobart, Tasmania. He became a bricklayer and at age 18 went to Cape Town and Johannesburg "and had a good time on the boat with my consertina". He later moved to London, then Canada and Florida, and ended up in Baltimore and lived until 1967. The newspaper account said he was passing through Honolulu on his way to London. I did an internet search and found these two photos (James with jazz band, and Harry with concertina) on a genealogy website. Gary
  9. A most excellent choice for a starting book, even if I am a bit biased! You'll find the tablature is the easiest to follow, most of the tunes have corresponding videos via QR codes, and there are now well over a dozen other books that utilize that same notation and tab system, including 75 Irish Session Tunes for Anglo Concertina. There is an absolutely bewildering array of tab and notation systems out there for Anglo, so be careful before you purchase - it's hard enough without trying to mix the different notation systems. But having said that, the Anglo is very much an ear-players instrument too, so once you get it put the box in a closet and leave the instrument out where you spend most of your time, and you'll find you keep picking it up and trying things again and again until it starts to click for you. Listen to lots of recordings and videos of other Anglo players, and the inspiration alone will be worth its weight in gold. For serious Irish style, you'll learn a lot from Caitlin nic Gabhann's online course - highly recommended. And she doesn't use any tab system at all, just teaches you which notes from printed music, slowly at first, and with lots of repetition until you can play up to speed. The Anglo is great fun to play, either in ITM style or harmonic style - hope you enjoy it as much as the rest of us do! Gary
  10. I asked John what his formal title is, now that he is semi-royalty, and he replied he can be addressed as "Your Memberness" - while bowing/curtseying, of course! Gary
  11. The really beautiful version of "Sweetness of Mary" played by Tricolor (Anglo concertina, guitar, octave mandolin) and The Corona (piano, drums, pipes, string bass) seems to have completely vanished off the internet... but the good news is I was able to grab a copy of it before it disappeared. The bad news is it is 34MB, but I'm happy to share it via WeTransfer if anyone wants to send me a PM with their email. Gary
  12. It's amazing what turns up on the internet sometimes... A couple of months ago I stumbled across this c.1985 promotional photo of my old band, The Four Bricks out of Hadrian's Wall, on eBay. The really weird thing is although we recognize the venue (Rockefellers, in Houston, TX) none of us had ever seen this photo before, or have any memory of when or why it was taken, or by whom, or why everyone is holding my concertinas and melodeon (which they didn't play)! And... why am I hanging from the ceiling? Gary
  13. The ever amazing Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, absolutely phenomenal playing. The
  14. Fear not, it's hiding in the three little dots in the upper right corner. Re: playing the Jeffries Duet, Stuart Estell makes the interesting comment "I find it much more manageable than the Maccann keyboard in remoter keys. The Maccann makes me think, the Jeffries just lets me play.” And yes, it appears the last Jeffries Duet was made in the 1970's by Crabb. But now that there is The Jeffries Duet Tutor, perhaps it might help those struggling towards mastery like Gavin's and Michael Hebbert's playing. Or, just playing for fun - I find I spend a lot of time just experimenting with melodies and finding unusual chords quite by accident. My next lockdown project is to work up a Leon Russell tune on the JD! Gary
  15. Re: the link, if you cut and paste it, it works. Gary
  16. That sounds too high to me, for that price maybe get a new McNeela Swan or Blackthorn? I'm sure (and hoping) others will chip in about what else might be good at that price point. Gary
  17. Absolutely lovely arrangement and playing! If you close your eyes, it sounds like a medieval portative organ. Nice. Gary
  18. Major thread drift, but I reached out to John Watcham who replied: Ah yes, Chris Beale - what a nice guy he is/was. I haven't heard of or from him for many years. (I was going to ask you whether he's he still alive) He did join Chingford Morris for a little while and played a LARGE Jeffries duet. Not quite the thing for lugging around on a Morris pub crawl but indeed a good player particularly of those ragtimes. (He must have had a brain like a computer in order to get to grips with the Jeffries fingering). I recently acquired a 58-button Jeffries Duet from a shop in Colchester, no special markings, but perhaps it might have belonged to him at one point? Gary
  19. I'd vote for stepping up at least to the Swan or Blackthorn if at all possible. I haven't personally tried either but have heard good reports. They will have none of the stiffness or clunkiness of the cheaper models and you'll find you enjoy playing a lot more, and that's the whole point! Gary
  20. Well I suppose the recommendation is to get a loud Jeffries (or Herrington) so you don't need hearing aids, at least for concertina! In my experience, the Eargo units can make the sound a little tinny if cranked up, and they also create some annoying minor feedback at seemingly random times for music in general. But other than that, they're rechargeable, work very well, are almost unnoticeable, and are an amazing piece of tech. Since we play a Victorian instrument, maybe we should just get a pair of nice brass ear trumpets mounted on some sort of hands-free headset - it would fit in better with the whole Steampunk theme. Or perhaps an industrial size unit like the photo? Gary
  21. Hi Maarten, I would recommend you think of using the bellows to breathe the life into the tune. As in speaking and singing, there are natural pauses between phrases, so those would potentially be the times to change direction. Also, as others have mentioned, bellows changes can be for emphasis, dramatic and otherwise. And sometimes even out of necessity if you've mistakenly gone too far in either direction! I don't know where that whole fan thing came from, but I find it far too static and limiting for the EC. Watch players like Alistair Anderson and Simon Thoumire as they and their fingers dance all over the place, even swinging the concertina about for doppler effects. Learn the notes first and play them into your subconscious until they are almost automatic, and then experiment with how you want to phrase it. There's no right or wrong way, just how you choose to interpret those dots and make them sing. Gary
  22. Not to worry about copyright as it was published in 1911 - music published before 1924 is now in the public domain. Gary
  23. Nice! It makes me think of those old-time calliopes and nickelodeons. You've used your lockdown time well, that's a very difficult and long piece to work up - great job! Gary
  24. Don't give up yet - there might be folks here who work with accordion-reeded concertinas, but often the reeds are held on by screws instead of wax. A more likely place to get a good answer would be at the melodeon.net forum since a lot of melodeons have reeds held in with wax - I know that for a fact as several reeds melted and fell down into the bellows of my Hohner pokerwork while I was playing on stage in 100+ degree weather in San Antonio - yikes! Gary
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