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Rick C.

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  1. If anyone has Coover's current email address, please PM it to me. I have a couple of questions not directly related to concertina, but to the radio show he did for years in Houston. I've not contacted him in a few years-- didn't know he had bailed out of Arkansas and headed to Hawaii. (Sounds like a good call, eh?) Thanks, Rick
  2. Delete. Sorry.
  3. Thanks Pete. I'll do that as well, just thought I'd post it here since I know some folks here. All the best, Rick
  4. With mixed emotions, I'm selling my C#/D Bouebe. It's 3 years old, in excellent condition, tuned swing. You may have seen my posts a few months ago concerning arthitis, etc., and that's the only reason I'm selling this box. It has one stop on the basses for the 3rds. Great tone, loud- but "round", not strident. IM me for MP3s. Comes with Saltarelle straps and original HSC-- the case does have a small crack in it (came that way new from Saltarelle), doesn't affect it. I'll take $1550 US for it (firm), shipped to US/Canada. Thanks, Rick
  5. Hey Jeff, We're semi-famous: http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltas...5_mike_simpson/ I was laying back on the National mando so I could hear everybody, which was probably a good thing! Rick
  6. Many thanks Greg, and godspeed on getting your tunes back. It does sound as though your concerns mirror mine, and I do appreciate your input. For the moment I'm concentrating on learning my D box tunes with 3 fingers (which is a real rollercoaster), and looking for a easy-to-handle box. One of my mandolin students just happens to have a Tedrow concertina and brought it with her to her lesson this past Sunday and showed me a couple of scales. So for now Anglo will remain on the back burner, but I'm not yet ruling it out. All the best, Rick
  7. Sounds like harmonica might be worth considering? Similar suck blow system to box, and nothing to strain the joints. A well-known musician in NE England, Will Atkinson, was a box player for many years, gave it up for harmonica in (I think) his 50s or 60s. He played till the end of his life at age 95. Theo, 'Round here, if you bust out a harp you'd best be blowin' some Blues, or else have a pistol in your pocket if you're not! Interesting idea though. I recall a man in Boston who'd been a box player and lost both hands in an industrial accident. Rather than give up on the music, he had a sort of carousel made with harmonicas in different keys attached. He'd attach his hooks in the eyelets of the harp carousel and go at it. Sort of an odd sight the first time, but there's no doubt the man could play ITM very well indeed on it! Seems the man's name was Conlon. Rick
  8. After another trip to the doctor yesterday, I've been re-reading the posts here. Larry, I don' t think I gave a decent response to you, but I certainly thought about it at the local session Monday night when my former student handed me her C#/D box (the one I played for a few years and sold to her). I made it through Gravel Walks, but it wasn't fun. The ortho surgeon called me out into the hall to look at the X-rays yesterday, and pointed out the white line at the last joint of the little finger, which had no dark in it as all the other joints did. No cartilage, bone-on-bone. "See that, Rick? That's not from injury, that's mileage". So while I haven't lost the use of that finger for normal stuff, in the context of playing button accordion, I have. Am I alone in sometimes wishing I could somehow make ITM not so important to me? Life would certainly be simpler. I've done that from time to time over the years, usually in the wake of a band breakup and all the Badness that comes with that. But after a couple of weeks of doing something else, I have to go right back to it even if it's only playing tunes in my room. (I actually pursued Old Time fiddle for a while, which is both much easier to do and MUCH easier to come by in Alabama-- just doesn't do the same thing for me--and Irish fiddle is beyond me.) Steve, I have been working in relearning tunes already, and interestingly enough, the tunes that play in a straight line on D box and have the high B (Musical Priest, Tommy People's, etc.) seem to be fairly easy on which to make the subsitution. What's giving me fits are tunes that go all over the place such as Feral O'Gara, Dm tunes (I don't play that many, but I may just have to concede The Tempest to mandolin, that B part is a handful). The shifting around to put the ring finger in the position the little finger would have makes it tiring to play (at least for now), and on this particular Saltarelle (Irish Bouebe), the high reeds don't speak as easily as they might, which means I have to lean on it a bit when playing up there to even things out. That one thing may have been the largest contributing factor in the RSI. So it appears if I do continue with C#/D I'll need to find an easier-playing box. That can be a frustrating and expensive search! Which is another entirely different issue, it takes a while for a new box to break in, and you don't really know what you have for several months to a year. I'd hoped this one would be easier in the higher range (say, above high G) in time, but after 2 1/2 years, it's still not. I suppose it's possible to have the reeds replaced, but that's a pricey option. So far the biggest drawback to that approach musically is the inability to cut the highest note in a passage because I top out with the ring finger and there's no place else to go. Scrambling to put the middle finger there and cutting with the ring finger is very awkward, and is a pretty disruptive substitution. The only things I know for sure are that: 1. Life as I knew it on the box is over 2. I need to hit the ground running with something The jury's still out on all this, and again I do appreciate the input from everybody. I hope to meet you all someday, I may be the guy in the corner playing spoons. All the best, Rick
  9. Thanks fellows. Woody, I think you've been reading my mind! Steve, great to hear from you, I hope you're well up there in the cold, cold North! Larry, I hope things work out for you, hang in there. All those things mentioned have gone through my mind (well actually, have been about all that's on my mind lately). From examining what's important and why, to playing with 3 fingers-- which I've found very frustrating, by the way, Steve, but I haven't given up on it. Honestly, the B/C tunes I still have are easier to make that change on, but probably only because I'm not trying to reprogram so many years of muscle memory. So that's being weighed against learning a new instrument totally from scratch, thus the concertina questions as well as possibly considering PA though the little finger is still used but is not having to combat bellows force at the same time. One thing I did do a couple of weeks ago was to borrow my old Mengascini C#/D box back from a former student who bought it from me. I much prefer the sound of the Saltarelle (I'd had that box about a week when I took it to East Durham, Steve), but the little Mengascini (same box as James Keane's Borelli) is physically much easier to play. Took the box to the local session and had maybe 10 tunes on it the whole night, nothing too taxing. Had to ice that finger down when I got home, I've never had to do anything like that after playing music! While I've never been much into holistic stuff, it certainly has my attention now. I'll have to deal with this whether I play music or not, and I started the glucosamine regimen about 3 weeks ago. Can't tell yet whether it helps. Thanks again, and I won't try to address the good points Woody brought up right now-- I'd be typing half the day and few would want to wade through all that! Rick
  10. Panpipes, autoharp... Nose flute, maybe.... The reason I'm asking this, and please understand this is not flame bait, is to try to figure out whether Anglo C/G would for me be either another dead end due to physical considerations, or something that would take years to figure out before being able to get down to the business of reclaiming tunes I'm about to lose. Here's another reason- And I'm speaking only in the context of ITM here-- As a former uillean piper I've noticed similarites between pipers and Anglo players that I've never mentioned until now- That is, a large percentage of the players in the US I've run into on these instruments are very enthusiastic about their instrument, may own more than one, can quote unimagineably obscure trivia about the instruments, have been at it for years-- yet still obviously struggle at actually playing the things past the intermediate stage. As for the pipes, I know them to be a hard row to hoe for many reasons. My Lynch half-set was a wonderful sounding instrument (except for outdoor gigs in the summer when tuning was hopeless), but ultimately I sold the pipes, bought a Saltarelle box , and never looked back. As with any instrument, there are those who are content to make a career of Out on the Ocean, Egan's Polka, Swallowtail, and the like. Not me. What I'm really after is trying to (without investing 5 years of my life into the instrument) is get an idea of whether this is a road I could/should pursue. So I've come to a place where Anglo players may be able to shed some light on this issue for me-- and I do appreciate the input. Rick
  11. Query doesn't quite ring true if you've been playing box and mandolin for a dozen years or more?! First thing I would think most folks do with a new instrument who are proficient on others is pick out tunes they know well and work them out. Only takes a few minutes, some obviously are easier to play than others and the more difficult keys/ tunes are put to one side for a while. On that basis, you should surely be able to work out several tunes a night....... Maybe I didn't phrase that question the best way- what I meant to ask was whether many players continue to struggle with the mechanics of "working" the instrument even after being at it for quite a while. Of course, with any instruments some tunes just lay out more easily than others. Maybe that's not a good question...
  12. I am talking about squeezeboxes-- I can still use mando as my ace in the hole, but I'd rather not. I didn't spend 12 years and thousands of dollars chasing Irish box just to be back where I was 20 years ago, on mandolin. It wouldn't bother me if playing mando hurt (it doesn't), if I could still play box without pain. So another question about playing Anglo that's sort of related-- Though I'm used to playing a diatonic instrument, changing bellows directions AND hands looks to be an awful lot of muscle memory to get down when learning tunes. Which may account for many of the Anglo players I've run into over the years who could play well, but were slow. Not that there's any merit in playing reels at 130 bpm as some do, but face it, unless your name is Martin Hayes you're not going to be able to get away with playing them at 80 bpm, either. So the question-- is this as big of an obstacle as it seems from the outside, or can someone who's been at it say, a year or so knock out a tune a week? Thanks, Rick
  13. Many thanks, folks. I appreciate the advice on C/G as well as the input on pain issues. I was able to catch Bob in today (who was an occupational therapist in a former life) and told him what was up. When I mentioned the possibility of piano accordion, he said, "Yeah, but that's not cool". Ha! I can still play mandolin fairly well so I'm not out of Irish music altogether (and I have a National resonator mando which can be a fierce session weapon), but the role of mandolin in Irish music is a discussion for another time and place. I suppose I could sell my Saltarelle and finally get that Foley, but I remember finally getting a Sobell after years of coveting one-- and I didn't like it. One difficult aspect of this dilemma is unless an instrument is just obviously painful up front, it's hard to know whether it's a long term proposition until you can actually play the thing at a level you're accustomed to. More food for thought, thanks. In the meantime I have Karen Tweed and Oliver Laughlin CDs on the way here. And a mando workshop to finish preparing... Rick
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