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Everything posted by Lakeman

  1. Please can I alert concertina/net readers in the north of the UK to a short tour I shall be doing in a fortnight or so.It is part of a national launch tour of folk clubs, arts centre and folk festival gigs that I am doing this year to introduce my debut solo CD " After All These Years"...which i have made at the age of 69.It was produced by my eldest son Sean, a well-known producer and musician.In fact, for those of you who know the folk scene- both in the UK, America, Europe inc Ireland - the " solo" album is peppered with some of the biggest names: Sean on guitar and his Yorkshire-born wife Kathryn Roberts on vocals;middle son Sam on piano and his acclaimed Irish singer wife Cara Dillon also on vocals, plus my famous son Seth on violin and viola.The legendary Nic Jones- who is a neigbour in my Dartmoor village- even sings on the CD!Also helping out is fellow Dartmoor musician Jim Causley,Ben Nicholls,Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis,Dan Crimp and Gill Redmond.The album has had national radio plays on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radiio 2 Folk Show, plus BBC Radio 6 Tom Robinson show. Mike Harding has played several tracks on his popular worldwide podcast, and a dozen or more other BBC local radio and other indepedent radio stations have given airplay.You can buy it from amazon, iTunes, Proper or, best of all, via Paypal on my website www.geofflakeman.co.uk Better still come and hear the " stuff" live . On Thurs, Feb 16 I'll be playing at the renowned Black Swan Folk Club in York. On Fri, Feb 17 I'm supporting ace singer-songwriter Pete Morton at the Harlequin Theatre in Northwich, Cheshire. On Sat, Feb 18 Mike Harding has very kindly set up a solo gig for me at The Lion pub in Settle,Yorkshire On Sun, Feb 19 I play the Bothy Folk Club at Southport, Lancs. All concertina fans - especially duet players - will, hopefully, find something of interest in my shows.I use a Crane duet to perform self-written and west-country songs, English and Irish folk, Americana and even 19210's30's jazz. I would love to meet some concertina players from ' oop north.'Do come along . (While I'm here - for 'tinba players further south and west, I have solo gigs this Sat, Feb 4 at the David Hall, South Petherton,Somerset and on Sat, Feb 11 I'm at the Blazing Stump Folk Club, Carhampton Village Hall, near Minehead,Somerset.
  2. Any concertina fans near Dorking , Surrey - I play a solo gig TONIGHT , Weds, Nov 30 - at the opposite end of the country to my home - it is held at Dorking Golf Club.Come and enjoy English and Irish folk songs, Americana and 20's -style jazz, all on Crane duet concertina and myself singing.I'll also have pre-release copies of my debut solo album "After All These Years." Produced by award-winning eldest son Sean Lakeman, the CD has a dazzling array of guests who will be recognised internationally by folk fans.: Sean, Sam and Seth Lakeman,Kathryn Roberts and Cara Dillon,Nic Jones, Jim Causley, Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Ben Nicholls, Dan Crimp and Gill Redmond.
  3. Hi Susanne ...you need a duet ? Please visit my new website ( and perhaps even buy my debut solo concertina CD) www.geofflakeman.co.uk It includes a tune in Bb "The Road Together " written by irish button box virtuoso Mairtin O'Connor..it'll give you an idea of the notes/chord progression in this key
  4. Hi Squeezers -I have a new CD out soon , "After All These Years". It has only taken me about 50 years to record my debut solo album!It is available exclusively via my new website. Please visit and share - www.geofflakeman.co.ukFolk fans please note - guest performers on the CD include some of the finest folk artists from the British Isles, drawn from my family and friends: Sean,Sam and Seth Lakeman, their wives Kathryn Roberts and Cara Dillon, folk legend Nic Jones, Ben Nicholls,Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Dan Crimp and Gill Redmond .The album has been produced and recorded here on Dartmoor by my eldest son Sean, an award-winning producer who has gold and silver discs on his studio walls!Thanks to all who helped make this happen...please have a listen.My website also includes details of gigs where you can see me in the UK. Incidentally, I just did a great double-header gig in Cornwall with USA's Jody Kruskal who is on tour here at the moment. It was a blast and we played duets on everything from English hornpipes, to mock Baroque O'Carolan tunes to ragtime.
  5. Hi concertina fans within reach of the UK west-country. Tomorrow (Fri, Nov 11) Jody Kruskal and I play an exciting double-header, called " Duelling Concertinas- USA versus UK" at an amazing venue- the beautiful Old Chapel Arts Centre on the babnks of the River Tamar at Calstock, East Cornwall - near Tavistock,Callington etc.Jody is on a UK tour at the moment .. this is a one-off where you will be able to see/hear probably the best annglo player from the USA with his wide mix of folk song, contra dance tunes, comic American cariety songs etc AND my approach to folk, Americana and twenties jazz on the Crane duet concertina.We'll play-off against each other , and try a few things together.Even if you are not a concertina enthusiast, this will be an entertaining evening of songs and tunes covering a vast variety of material/genres.Tickets £8,get there early for a good seat, marvellous acoustics, good bar etc.You can even get there- cheaply-on the train from Plymouth, on one of the most beautiful lines in the country, and get the last train back to the city after the show
  6. TJ -I believe you are in Yorkshire- where's about ? I would love to have a tootle on that instrument, never played one by that maker. I am heading to Yorkshire to play the Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley on Friday. Depending on where you are I might be able to pop in on the way up on Fri, or on my return on Saturday. My email is geoffreylakeman@btinternet.com Home tel; is 01822 852274 and my mobile is 07710 613932 . Have a look at my new website which is only just becoming active- www.geofflakeman.co.uk
  7. Chris - this is a textbook, precise summary of the different systems and their suitability.Well done. I have just done a talk/presentation at Orkney Folk Festival on playing by ear etc and the audience brought up all the points you have mentioned.I am, of course, an advocate of the duet, especially for accompanying song and playing different genres of music in multiple keys.The one thing I emphasise, time and time again, is that the concertina is not a SIMPLE instrument.It is not just a matter of pressing the correct buttons.Like any other musical instrumemnt the dynamics and delivery of melody, rythmn, tempo,mood, volume ( soft or loud) takes dedicated, long and hard practice.There are no short cuts."Let the music keep your spirits high"
  8. Are you sorted yet? I have a Lachenal 55 button Crane that I could part with for the right price.At the moment I'm about to start four days of performing at the Orkney Folk Festival, but if you are interested, when I'm back in the west country I'll post more details, photos etc. We would be talking £2,000 sterling.
  9. I played the very good Nether Edge Folk Club only a few months ago to a good crowd, including a few concertina enthusiasts. (It is right opposite the uber-cool Cafe 9 where I play on Wed) Looking forward too to Crookes Folk Club 'cos locals tell me it is quite "intimate" but has exceptional acoustics.
  10. Anyone who lives within reach of Sheffield, UK, may be interested in either of these gigs next week. If you are not familiar with what can be played on a duet it would be of particular interest- but it would be good to see players of any system. LAKEMAN FOLK PATRIARCH PLAYS BACK-TO-BACK SHEFFIELD DATES --------------------------------------------------- THERE'S a rare chance to see one of the country's most unique concertina players and singers in Sheffield ,at back-to-back gigs in the city. GEOFF LAKEMAN - a Cornishman who lives on Dartmoor -is a stalwart of the west country folk and acoustic scene and is also father to a virtual folk dynasty- SETH, SEAN and SAM LAKEMAN. He's a widely acclaimed exponent of the rare Crane duet concertina and plays his own songs, English, Irish and Scots folk,"Americana" like Jimmie Rodgers,The Louvin Brothers,Hank Williams, Randy Newman and Buddy Miller.... and even cool 1920's and 30's jazz. Retiring after 50 years as a Fleet Street journalist he's now indulging in his passion for music and is striking out as a solo performer at folk clubs, arts centres and festivals from Cornwall to the Orkney Isles. * He's the dad of Top Ten and Mercury Music Prize nominated folk star SETH. Middle son SAM is piano player and musical director for the band of his wife, Irish singing sensation CARA DILLON. Eldest son SEAN plays in an award-winning duo with his wife, Yorkshire singer KATHRYN ROBERTS (from Barnsley) They've been voted "Best Duo" in the BBC Folk Awards and at the time of writing were nominated for the trophy for a third time. All three boys were inspired in their love of music by their parents and began playing in a family band at a very early age with their violinist mum,Joy, and their dad. CATCH HIM ON: WEDS, APRIL 20 at CAFE 9 in Nether Edge or THURS, APRIL 21, CROOKES FOLK CLUB, 43 Slinn St,Sheffield
  11. Sorry - some of those images got repeated...but they are good aren't they?
  12. Awesome photo shoot with photographer Matt Austin for a spread that glossy magazine, Devon Life, is running on me in their March issue.The man is an artist- some of the best close-ups concertina pics I have ever seen.The instrument featured is a very rare Jeffries Crane duet .]
  13. Jody will remember singing along to "Canadeeio" with Nic Jones, as it was played by a young guitarist in my local pub the Drake Manor.I've just waved to Nic as he walked his dogs past my front door !(Jody - I thiunk you may even have a photo I took of this event ?)
  14. An elegant, well-designed and informative site.Super pics of those concertinas.Detailed- yet succinct- biography of yourself, and an honest and moving account of your cancer treatment and ongoing issues.Brave stuff. An inspiration to others.And p;enty there to encourage other concertina players..."Let the music keep your spirits high"
  15. DON- thanks for your interest. There are four or five videos if you Google "youtube Geoff Lakeman" hey'll pop up. There might well be others( taken by other people) elsewhere on the net, but these few are reasonable quality, done in one of my sons' studios.I've just seen someone else has posted one of these videos after your post here.
  16. I have a mini UK tour next week that might interest concertina players- whatever system you are into. I'll be playing an eclectic choice of material from some of my own compositions, west country songs, English, Irish and Scottish folk, twenties jazz, through Jimmie Rodgers, The Louvin Brothers, Hank Williams, Richard Thompson, Randy Newman......all accompanied on Crane duet concertina. Be good to meet other players- particularly other duet squeezers ( I know there is at least one at the first gig.) Tues, Jan 26 - My second solo gig at BRADFORD-ON-AVON Folk Club (WILTSHIRE) , The Swan Hotel cellar bar. Weds, Jan 27 - First visit to SHEFFIELD (YORKSHIRE),NETHER EDGE Folk Club ( at the bowling club). Thurs, Jan 28 -Second visit to BRADFORD (YORKSHIRE), TOPIC Folk Club, Gylde House, Bradford.My last gig there was with our family band when the three boys were all young teenagers- it must have been about 24 years ago.
  17. Jody - You don't appear to be in my neck of the woodson this trip ..but there's always a bed here "Let the music keep your spirits high"
  18. I have acquired what I regard as " the holy grail" of Crane duet concertinas - a Jeffries ! I had been told they exist, but have never seen or heard one. Just to make clear - this is a Jeffries Crane- fingering duet, NOT a Jeffries duet.(I know they are incredibly rare too, although I know of several able players). I was able to get my hands on this instrument through the lovely Mary Humphries and Anahata - very gifted English and anglo players from East Anglia.I met them at Whitby and they told me they'd had this Jeffries for some time, but not really got around to learning how to play it. They wanted it to go to a good "playing home." and were very reasonable about passing it on to me. It will need work- I have the talented Nigel Sture ( who does much of Chris Algar's Barleycorn repairs/ refurbishments lined up . The bellows seem sounds, but the reeds sound just like the strident anglos that I know ITM players, both in Ireland and the USA, fight to get their hands on. At least I have saved another one from being turned into an anglo.It is quite a lumpy, heavy thing.. but I am used to playing 58 and 55 button Wheatstone and Lachenal models.Only downside is that the layout/curve of the buttons is slightly different to both the Wheatstone and Lachenals, but I hope that with practice " muscle memory" will facilitate easier playing. Can't wait to get it tweaked up for proper playing. Anybody else out there who has got- or plays- a Jeffrius Crane duet ?
  19. Yes, I've just spent a week playing with Matt Quinn- and his dad Dan, a great melodeon player - at Whitby Folk Week.Matt is exceptional, 'cos he's only been playing the McCann duet for a couple of years. The Dovetail Trio also includes Jamie Roberts, who is the brother of my singing daughter-in-law Kathryn Roberts.(Lakeman and Roberts )I've written elsewhere that I've never seen - or heard- so many concertinas as at Whitby, of all systems, including all types of various duets.You could not , literally, walk down the street, without bumping into someone carrying a concertina case. My duet workshop was well attanded.. and the likes of Alistair Anderson and John Kirkpatrick also gave workshops on English and Anglo..I would say - to anyone, anywhere in the world- Whitby is THE best festival I have been to yet for free-reed enthusiasts.You would find plenty of players - of mixed ability-to swop notes with.(Previous to this, the biggest gathering I have been to was a NESI about 10 years ago.The general standard of ' tina playing was, I thought, very high. And this was across song accompaniment, players in tune sessions, and musicians with the 18 different ritual dance sides that were at the event ( including very impressive Rapper sides.) There were also two or three stalls - including the " brand-leading Barleycorn Concertinas (Chris Algar) that had dozens of tinas to buy, try and handle...plus repairs and advice on playing and buying.
  20. I knew Nick well when Joy and I were residents - alongside him- at the Herga Folk clb in Harrow, London, 40 plus years ago !It was just before Nick moved to the USA I had just acquired my duet and he was a huge inspiration...His songs included a great unaccompanied version ( with rousing chorus) of Tavistock Goosey Fair - which I learned from him... and, coincidentally I have lived close to Tavistock for the last 38 years.
  21. I attended a workshop held by the great Alistair Anderson at Dartmoor Folk festival a couple of weeks ago , obviously mainly English players. But alot of what he said applies to all concertinas. It was ALL about technique - and especially attack, volume and decay.This included punching notes (s) and then letting them fade - then, conversely, starting softly and increasing the volume of a note. Likewise, I can only point you towards the accurate and eloquent advice of Jody ( above). Having said that - we are all striving to be better players/ musicians and that should be encouraged.But to try and emulate the likes of Alistair, Jody and John Kirkpatrick or the jazz player Simon Thoumire, for example, is a tall order.They are all virtuosos and have dedicated their professional life to this instrument. Most concertina players are trying - alot of the time- just to hit the buttons in the right order ! It just takes infinite time and patience to improve and acquire these subtleties. I, for one, would be alot happier with concertinas if you could truly bend notes because that would make the dynamics of playing more interesting..But - to finish my contribution- I would say that, instead of thinking too much, the more you play and get control of the bellows , the more natural/organic it becomes.While I made mention in my earlier post about the differences in concertinas with different number of bellow folds, I now find that I compensate automatically when switching machine, and that I may be changing bellow direction at different times on the same tune......but I am probably not aware of it at the time.It WILL come more naturally the more you play. "Let the music keep your spirits high"
  22. Reudiger - Good to hear from another Crane player. One thing you don't mention - but it might , other than technique, be central to solving your problem. How many bellow folds does your instrument have? My main/ favourite instrument is an Aeoloa Wheatstone, 58 buttons,and has eight folds. I find that ideal. I have other very playable Edeophone Lachenals- 55 buttons- with seven bellows- and controlling the volume/ dynamics etc is noticeably different. I also have a 48-button Crane with just six folds - although the reduced bellows in this smaller machine does not seem so critical. It may seem drastic, but if your Crane only has six folds, you might consider new bellows and increasing it to eight. It would not be any more unwieldy and, in fact, because you would probably not have to change bellow direction so often, might even be easier to handle.You can control the dynamic and volume in one direction far better with larger bellows - especially when you are playing big six-finger chords.
  23. Hi Matthew - I had no plans to video this workshop or suchlike. However if someone else asks to phone-film and post it I'll have no objections. Likewise, if anyone should post a review of the workshop I'll make sure it gets copied to you."Let the music keep your spirits high"
  24. Please see other topic I have started on General Discussion entitled "Whitby Folk Week" which includes details of a Wheatstone, 55-button, metal-ended, Crane duet concertina FOR SALE - which I will have with me at the festival
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