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About synchopepper

  • Birthday 08/08/1949

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  • Interests
    Interested in Local history specializing in the House of David (israelitehouseofdavid.com). Performing and researching folk music. I play 4 & 5 string banjo, english concertina, guitar, mandolin, bodhran and bones.
  • Location
    Mattawan, Michigan USA

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  1. The fat cook story may be the one I posted about six years ago. http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=1283&st=0&p=12631&hl=maplewood&fromsearch=1entry12631
  2. When I was twelve years old I asked for a banjo for my birthday. My favorite great-uncle, who had been a well know musician and the member of a colorful religious sect that fielded famous vaudeville march and jazz bands from 1907 until 1927 gave me a really great banjo. Other than a couple of pairs of bones and a ukulele from my father it was my first folk instrument and is still one of my most prized possessions. Many years ago I wrote an article about this strange sect's musical traditions which can still be found here: http://israelitehouseofdavid.com/music.html In plate #37 of the article the banjo player second from the right in the back row is holding this banjo which is a Gibson Mastertone TB Grenada. The trumpet player second from the right in the front row was my great-uncle. This specific banjo is also featured twice in Gibson's 1926 Banjo Catalog. It was appraised last year at Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan at $10,000. Now if someone would just give me a $10,000 EC!
  3. Since this topic bubbled back up due to recent posts I thought I would like to add a few updates after reviewing the threads - Several years ago after these threads were first posted I went to Philadelphia for their famous New Years Mummer's Parade. (why aren't there any concertina bands in the Mummer's Parade?) I also visited the Race Street Quakers Meeting House, the largest in the world and the oldest in the US. While there I meet one of the elders and during our conversation I brought up the George Fox song. The elder reached around and me, pulled a hymnal from the pew rack, and flipped it open to the song! I then told him the story about the Monk's March connection and a brief bio of General George Monk which was all news to him. He got a huge kick out of it and couldn't wait to tell the whole congregation! Regarding the point about "Lord of the Dance" not appearing in the Anglican Hymnal - sometime ago I attended a funeral in an American Methodist Church and "The Lord of the Dance" was part of the service and in their hymnal. Hat's off to Jim and his great rendition of Monk's March. I have to come clean and confess I perform George Fox with the banjo.
  4. I have been singing with instruments (EC, tenor and five string banjo, guitar, dulcimer and bones) for over 40 years. During a performance I will switch every few songs to another instrument and do very few instrumentals only. Over the years I have gotten more proficient in both singing and playing. I don't think I have ever run into a performer who was both a proficient singer and player who didn't do both simultaneously and always assumed that persons who could do both would have no problem doing them at the same time. How many players out there find this to be a problem?
  5. A member of one of our local folk clubs has asked me about including an article one of our newsletters about: "New UK legislation is threatening the practice of traditional dances involving swords and sticks. The Violent Crime Reduction Bill recognises and exempts historical re-enactment and sporting activity involving swords from the provisions of the bill, but there is no such exemption for traditional dance, some of which have been using props such as swords and sticks for hundreds of years. These dances are forms of art that are of great historical and cultural relevance. Banning the use of swords will inevitably cause them to die out. It is crucial that they are preserved and allowed to continue. Please show your support and sign the petition to get dance included so that we can continue preserving the beautiful art of sword dance. Whether you are a dancer or not, your support is needed! We desperately need more signatures! (Please note you must be a UK citizen to sign) Here is the link: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/dancers Can any of our UK friends involved in traditional dancing give me any information on this issue and also pictures of sword and/or stick dancing for the article?
  6. Love those crosspieces... the blocked end of one of the chambers on my 1880 era Lachnal New Model extended treble was an exact fit for a high reed I removed to make an air button and provides a perfect long term storage location where it will not get seperated from the rest of the reed set!
  7. I have a Lachenal New Model EC made in the 1880's. Compared to other concertinas I have played and heard and according to the expert judgment of others it has exceptionally fine sounding steel reeds. It was this quality that convinced me to purchase it. In other threads on this forum it has been mentioned that Lachenal obtained reeds from different reed makers over the years and some makers were better than others. I have learned from some of the excellent treatises posted on those threads about the construction techniques and mechanics involved in traditional concertina reeds and that many other factors play a part in the sound a reed produces when mounted inside a concertina. I am curious about these makers of vintage reeds and wonder what is known about them. Some questions - Were many of these reed makers independent (suppliers vs. employees) of the concertina makers? Did some reed makers produce reeds for multiple concertina manufacturers? Did some vintage concertina manufactures have more consistent quality of steel reeds in the same model line/time period than others? Can vintage steel reeds be identified today as the work of specific makers? Are these perceived differences in the quality of sound between different vintage steel reeds always traceable to demonstrable differences in construction, materials, design, etc? Is there any evidence regarding whether the original reed sets in vintage instruments were usually/always produced by the same maker or, conversely, that the concertina manufacturers may have ordered quantities of specific reeds in lots and made up reed sets for new instruments without regard to source? Is there really a noticeable difference between the sound qualities of steel reeds in different examples of one model, say New Models, manufactured during the same period?
  8. After re-reading Bob Gaskins' excellent treatise on installing leather baffles I am considering giving it a try. I am put off, however, by the cost of purchasing an entire goat skin for the purpose. Does any one know of a source of goatskin blanks suitable for baffles in smaller (less costly) pieces?
  9. I hadn't thought about the bellows. Since mine has six folds the extra fold could account for the difference - maybe even when offset by the additional reeds. Considering the difference in age they sound very much alike.
  10. Very much enjoyed listening and playing along with Jim's sound clips on my New Model SN: 29161. Beautiful instrument, wonderful responsive sound and well worth the price. Money can't buy a better sounding instrument. (Of course I might be a little prejudiced) Out of curiosity I weighed mine (a 56 key extended treble w/Solid rosewood sides) and found it to weigh 2lbs 11oz. I wonder if ebony weighs more than rosewood?
  11. I was considering this very topic this weekend when during a two and a half hour performance I had occasion to hit more than one sour note. I did the same on the three other stringed instuments I was playing but those were much less noticable than on my EC. Part of the reason is that with the stringed instruments the missed note is often within the context of other strings playing a chord and go unnoticed. This is not the case with the EC. If it is within the context of a chord the whole chord is usually offset. Once offset on the buttons I will likely play several buttons before I get it corrected making the mistake all the more evident.
  12. Hats off to Richard on the suggestion on what to do with the reeds removed to provide an air button. I found that when paired with the right sized closed off upper section of a reed pan air chamber the reeds fit perfectly. No need to package or attach the reeds - they fit snugly with the reed blocks wedged in the pointed end and the chamois air chamber seal over the reed block screw heads keep the reeds assemblies from moving - no rattling (or falling out when exposed). Also if I am hit by a truck the next owner (or service provider) will immediately see the reeds when they examine the chamber from which they were removed. The perfect solution!!
  13. I removed two reed last night. While I have been inside many times to trim valve pads that were overlapping I hadn't noticed the reed plates were dovetailed mounted. Removing them was a breeze and the results just as I had hoped. I have wrapped the two reeds separately, then bagged together and put with the heirloom jewelry in the safety deposit. It would be a much better idea to find a good place to store them within the instrument so that they do not become permanently separated at some future date. Does anyone have the perfect storage location for extra reeds within the concertina?
  14. I have a Lachenal New Model Extended Treble EC. Other than for calling bats I seldom use the highest reeds. I do, however, play regularly in public and, try as I might, never seem to end a song with the bellows in the closed position. Invariably while struggling to get the EC back in its box it emits a series of loud complaints as I try to bleed out the air by pressing multiple buttons - much to the merriment of the audience. In the past I have relied on an air button to circumvent such situations and am thinking about removing a high reed on the right side to gain an air button. Does anyone have any experience in this procedure? I would appreciate advice about which reed, how to remove it, whether any additional adjustment need to be made, how to store the removed reed for safekeeping, etc.
  15. Speaking of Internet Radio don't forget Folk Alley, the Internet-only folk station from Kent State in Ohio. All music, no commercials 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also like to listen to FolkWaves on BBC's Derby station. It broadcasts from 4:00pm to 6:00pm EST on Mondays and features a lot of British folk music including a generous share of EC. And, for the past 25 years, I have been a regular listener to Mary Cliff's Traditions program on WETA from Washington, D.C. on Saturday nights. Since moving to the mid-west I have been recording it via Replay Radio from the Internet. While I'm at it I also recommend Replay Radio for recording Internet radio. This great program lets you schedule to automatically record Internet radio programs and save them in a number of ways. I use it to record programs in 30 minute MP3 files that I can transfer to my MP3 player.
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