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Farmer John

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About Farmer John

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  1. In Dyersburg, Tenn, on July 4, 1899, a fiddling contest was held to raise money for a Confederate monument that now sits on the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn. I believe I have found versions of every tune save for one: "Dilapidated William." The prize was "one pair of pants" for winning. Has anyone ever heard of this tune? By July 4 of this year my friends and I want to duplicate that contest program and play it for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
  2. Unless you're talking about a piccolo D/A, it should only be one musical whole-step above a C/G. Is it really significantly more shrill than a C/G? Those metal reeds above G# on the right hand can really peep at you. BUT you can really play a Scottish reel in A major fast with a box like Paul described above. As far as the baritone row A is concerned, I don't know about that. I had an A-D melodeon but didn't care much for that bariton setup. Maybe it is just that I was used to playing G major on the C-G Anglo and wanted a box that duplicated it in A major. Call me old fashioned, but I sort of like a 20 button Lachenol refitted with rivetted action. They really sound great with fine reeds. Nice, resonant tone. Light. Fun to wail on. I'll bet a G-D 20-button Lachenol would sound really sweet. Still, D-A is practical. My opinion anyway.
  3. Some years ago, I had in my possession a Lachenol 20-button set up in the keys of D and A. I have often regretted that I traded it back. The D-A setup offers some very unique fignering opportunities, although it can get a bit shrill in those A row notes above the middle-finger button of the right hand. I have been thinking hard about investing in another D-A by a modern maker of rivetted-action boxes. Are any of these makers still putting out 20 button boxes or are those a thing of the past? I have a 33-button Connor I like very much, set up by Paul Groff. A little heavy, but made to last. Suggestions? Comments?
  4. You may have to forgive me as I am completely new to this website and forum. I began by playing Irish music and own a 33-button John Connor set up by Paul Groff. However, when I returned home to the South I had to adjust to Old-Time with a few Scottish and Irish dance tunes thrown in for good measure. I have my doubts that the concertina shows up very much in the South until the latter half of the 20th century, but the melodeon or button accordeon certainly does. I have seen 1920s era photos of black street musicians playing a single row accordion and a "fiddler's contest" of 1899 in West Tennessee featured "best accordeon player." None of the accordions I have seen in museums in the South from that era were piano style. All diatonics. I believe I can safely presume said competition was for a button box player. But I have seen no concertinas in museums or noticed them in historic photos of the South. Does anyone have information on the concertina in rural U.S. folk music? I am sure this topic has been discussed before and I apologize for the redundancy. By the way, I am an heirloom tomato farmer in the South, hence the name.
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