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Dan Worrall

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Everything posted by Dan Worrall

  1. McDouglas, A minor correction to Erica's note. Any concertina workshops are over by 3 or 3:30 latest, typically. Cheers, Dan
  2. Hi David, I hear you, although with all those unspeakable accordions around ?, I've never counted that as a concertina workshop or weekend per se, like the Button Box used to offer. But point well taken! Cheers, Dan
  3. Today was a cold and frosty morning in Texas…so it must be time to start thinking of springtime in the sleepy east Texas town of Palestine, and our fifteenth annual concertina workshop, which takes place tucked within the wonderful Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival, Thursday, March 28 through Saturday, March 30, 2019. We're not sure, but this may be the oldest continuous concertina workshop in North America! Our ‘modus operandi’ at Palestine is to engage a concertinist who can not only teach us but who can entertain as one of the general festival’s headliners and take part in old time jam sessions; in past years our workshops have been graced with such varied folks as Jody Kruskal (many times!), Bertram Levy, Dave Roberts, and Ann Kirrane. We have two full days of concertina workshops and events, along with the festival’s three evening concerts, workshops for instruments of all sorts, and plenty of old time jams. Our concertina workshops are generally oriented toward all systems, with usually some workshops that are Anglo specific. This year, we are very pleased to welcome back by popular demand Ann Kirrane, from Tuam, Co. Galway and Bellharbour, County Clare, Ireland. Ann has a very welcoming way of leading what will be a number of concertina workshops concentrating on tunes in the north Clare concertina style of her father, Chris Droney. That particular playing style lends itself well to all systems, and the emphasis is on the development of clear melody and danceable rhythm. In addition to her concertina playing, Ann is a superb singer, and she’ll be performing during some of the festival’s lunchtime and evening concerts. Here is some more information on Ann: http://www.annkirrane.com/bio.php The concertina workshops are on Friday and Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. each day. As is our usual custom, the concertina players pay $30 for attendance at the workshops, in addition to paying the normal all-weekend admittance to the larger Palestine music festival of which we are a part. The festival website, below, has information on all of the other activities, including evening and lunchtime concerts, dozens of workshops on various old time instruments as well as voice, plenty of impromptu tune sessions, shape-note singing workshops, and many other events. The festival is a small, family-friendly event that takes place in a turn-of-the-(last) century schoolhouse and auditorium. Palestine is a wonderful old lumber and railroad town, and the festival happens near the peak of dogwood season; a drive or walk through Davey Dogwood Park is a must! Lodging information is on the festival website; we recommend asking for the festival rate at the Best Western. There are also campsites and RV parks around town. We only request that you let us know if you are coming, so that we can reserve a slot for you in the workshops; please email either Erica Braverman at eabraverman@gmail.com or Dan Worrall at danworrall@msn.com . We’ll send more details on the workshops, as well as music dots for those wishing them, to those who pre-register. Thanks for supporting this concertina weekend and the Palestine old time music festival! Dan Worrall and Erica Bravermann, organizers Festival website: http://www.oldpalmusic.com/Home.html (information at time of writing is for 2018, but it should be updated soon for 2019).
  4. Ditto thanks from me, Larry. Kimber'as style of playing was exquisite, and it is nice to see some trying to keep his memory alive.
  5. Yes, I check in occasionally, and responded to Larry's note. I donated the Kimber book from its beginning (2005) to the English Folk Dance and Song Society (London), who publish and sell it. As someone mentioned, The Button Box carries it. The version that I uploaded on my former website included the text but only a very few tunes. For Anglo players, might I mention the House Dance CDRom, available for cheap download at The Concertina Journal website? It is without competition in being a repository of 200 recordings of the very earliest recorded Anglo players from England, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. We sell it to help fund the (free) online Concertina Journal website. The text, telling the history of the Anglo's ubiquitous use in playing for house dances in the late nineteenth century, is available free on the Journal website, but the 200 recordings require a $10 donation. I mention this because I keep meeting concertina players who are neither familiar with the new online Concertina Journal or with this tune collection. Here is The Concertina Journal: http://www.concertinajournal.org Here is the text version of House Dance, with instructions on downloading the music: http://www.concertinajournal.org/House_Dance_Text/ Cheers, Dan
  6. Right. That note reminds me to mention that I fixed the crack, and it is playing great now. I also took that time to make a set of higher wooden hand rests for it (1.1 in instead of 0.6 in originally) and that makes all the difference in the world ergonomically. The distance from the hand rest to the buttons of the G row is 1/4 in shorter on a Jeffries than on my Dipper Clare....go figure....and it always felt a little cramped. No longer.
  7. Very nice playing Jody! I hope you'll be bringing some copies to Palestine! For those who have missed that thread, Jody will be joining us in Palestine, Texas March 22-24.
  8. Just an update.... For those attending, make sure to let Erica or me know, so that you'll be on the list for a pre-workshop sendout of the music (and a worskhop schedule). And don't forget to make your hotel reservations...it is a small town so that can be tricky. Recommended is the Best Western, ask for the festival rate. Looking forward to it....spring is almost here! Dan
  9. Quote HaHa...hadn't noticed the back ground. But having just spent 8 years building ( and now completed) a cabin on the very remote west side of Vancouver Island, Marlene said she would like an outdoor shower. All the ones I could buy were stupidly expensive, so for a Christmas present I made her an outdoor steam-punk shower, complete with pressure gauge and heated soap holder. I love being retired ! There is also a Aluminium cello in the background but another story, another time ! Robin, I'd call you a Renaissance Man, but the concertina wasn't around then.............
  10. Robin, Thanks for posting. The bass is amazing! But my question for you relates to the last video; what is all that copper piping behind you? Have you and your new bass been thrown into the garage, or perhaps a bathroom, by an unsympathetic relative??? Best, Dan
  11. I don't know why my two pictures didn't show....they seem to have uploaded just fine.
  12. Many thanks, all! It is just a hairline crack, with no step, thankfully. I think I'll go for the PVA glue and will let you know how I get on with it! Dan
  13. Hi Gary, I apprenticed with Harold during 2005-2006, when he generously taught me to build my own concertina in his fashion. That little L-shaped piece that you mention was not part of his method at that time or later, from what I know. So cannot help you there. I can however confirm Dana's interpretation of the board with the circle cutout; it was to keep the bellows off of the swinging reeds. His bellows, imported from Italy (from, I think, Galassi) had a lot of motion to them. Concertina-making didn't take with me, but I built two instruments. One of the lasting memories I have of my time with Harold is of building many homemade jigs (he called them 'fixtures') for various manufacturing steps. They are elaborate contraptions that he designed himself to get the most out of his limited collection of power tools. I still have them, stored on the high shelf of my woodshop, along with notes and photos from my lessons from him. I doubt they would be of interest to anyone today, but if there is a serious aspiring builder who is interested in making hybrids, I could part with them. Howard would have wanted that! Here are two pictures from that time; one is of the action board of my concertina made with Harold (note no L-shaped thing), and Harold and I holding my first concertina. You can tell from the photo that he had as much pride and ownership in that instrument as I did. Years later, I had parts that I had made for a second Herrington-style GD concertina, the wooden parts of which I had built. Harold had passed away, and I wanted to make sure it was a keeper, so I asked Frank Edgley to finish the interior action setting. It is a great player, and the world's only Herrington/Edgley/Worrall! Dan
  14. I have a lovely old Jeffries 30 button that I recently purchased. It had been completely rebuilt in the 1970s by Colin Dipper, and is a wonderful player. However, it has developed an air leak. Investigating, i found the culprit -- a hairline crack has opened up in the action board, extending about 3 inches from the air button hole down to a nearby note hole, along the grain. The crack is only wide enough to see daylight through, but it is enough to render the instrument sluggish and leaky. The soundboard, built during restoration, appears to be spruce or some such, and is single wood (not a ply). In later days, Colin used plywood for these boards, for just this reason....stability and resistance to cracking; my 1991 Dipper's action board is made with ply. No doubt the change in climate from the UK to here in Texas had something to do with this crack developing. And of course, there is the issue of dry air from inside heating during the winter. I'm thinking of spreading some wood glue into the crack, on both sides, to seal it. Or possibly some rubber cement. Any suggestions on this from seasoned repairers? Cheers, Dan Worrall
  15. Ah, Palestine and the East Texas Pineywoods in the Spring....dogwood blossums, azaleas, concertinas and the local brew-pub. Great old time music at the festival, non-stop. Jody. Barbecue. Sacred Harp singing. What's not to like? Its our 14th year. Come join us! Thanks so much, Erica, for posting this announcement. See y'all there! Dan
  16. All, A number of new items are being added to The Concertina Journal (www.concertinajournal.org), just in time for your holiday reading: An Article by Allan Atlas entitled A Richard Blagrove Letter at the Royal Academy of Music. Blagrove was a prominent nineteenth-century proponent of the English Concertina. Reviews by Roger Digby of recent recordings by Charles Marshall, Cormac Begley, Steven Arnston, and Michael Hebbert. A new serial segment within Brief Notes entitled Concertina Tutors of the Victorian and Edwardian Eras. Three old tutors are posted in their entirety (one by Richard Blagrove for the English Concertina, with comments by Allan Atlas, and two by Charles Roylance for the Anglo Concertina, with comments by Dan Worrall) A Current Chronicle entry for Australia, by Warren Fahey, who joins the editorial staff as Country Correspondent for that country. Warren comments extensively on the history and status of the concertina Down Under. Also in the Current Chronicle, a text-only version of a book by Dan Worrall entitled House Dance: Dance Music Played on the Anglo-German Concertina by Musicians of the House Dance Era, originally published by Musical Traditions in 2014. There are instructions there on how to hear the 200+ archival sound recordings from around the world that accompany the text. Access to this digital journal is free. Please navigate to the Site News page on The Journal's website for a listing of and links to all the new content. Comments are most welcome, here on this thread. We are in the process of collecting new material for the next digital issue; please contact us if you have an article to contribute, or a CD or book to review. With best wishes for the Holiday Season, The Editors (Allan Atlas, Roger Digby, Randy Merris, Dan Worrall, and Webmaster Alex Holden)
  17. For folks in the greater Tex/La/Ark region, Mill Fest is on this weekend in the east Texas town (hamlet, really) of Kennard, deep in the Piney Woods. Jody Kruskal is giving workshops on Friday and Saturday, and appearing in concert Saturday afternoon. Here is the website: http://www.oldmillmusicfestival.com/ Lots of good old timey music there, too.
  18. Thanks John. Jeremy Hague would be a good contact. I meant to say Wes Williams not Wes Wallace; I must have watched Braveheart once too many times. At any rate, I don't see him on the ICA contacts list.
  19. Christian, This is wonderful stuff. Gary is right - these recordings give a much more favorable impression of Loveless' playing than anything else that I have heard. I can't help but compare his playing to his teacher - Kimber. Loveless has the basic style nailed - the melody right, snappy chords left is perfect. The versions are somewhat different than those of Kimbers, however, which I find interesting. The Twenty-ninth of May is pretty close, but the others have little alterations scattered here and there. I would strike this up to the fact that Loveless learned, I would think, mostly from periodic visits with Kimber in person, not from recordings. It certainly doesn't detract; they are all well done indeed. I'll have to compare tempos with Kimber - Loveless is really blazing along. Would it be too much to ask you to send digital copies to Wes Wallace at the ICA for archiving there? These are significant enough that they should be formally saved, and ICA is the best place for that at present. Thanks so much for sharing this! Dan Worrall
  20. Well done, Alex. It is gorgeous. And I like the rectangular shape...back to basics of concertina history!
  21. Wheatstone Model 24 56 key English concertina, serial number 30702, built 1925. From the 1925 Wheatstone catalog: Best nickel-plated Raised Ends, spherical end silver keys and finger plates to match, best steel vibrators, morocco leather five-fold bellows, keys and tops bushed, new improved action, short touch and rapid articulation. Powerful tone. Fifty-six keys, G to G. I purchased this instrument in the early 1980s from Fred Oster of Vintage Instruments, Philadelphia, at the suggestion of Alistair Anderson, who tipped me off to its existence. I played it extensively in sessions and for contra dances for years. In 1997, Steve Dickinson refurbished it with new pads and bushings, a new 6-fold bellows and finger straps, and a fine new case. By the early 2000s, I began to switch over to Anglo, and it now sits a bit forlorn on my shelf, having been my best music friend for many years. It is in wonderful shape and plays superbly, and the words “powerful tone” above are no joke – it can cut through a crowd. Full of snap. Time for someone else to enjoy it. $3,300 plus postage, payment via Paypal. Contribution to C.net if sold here. Cheers, Dan
  22. Hi all, I'm selling my Tedrow 30 button Harley-inspired CG. Bob Tedrow built it; it is one of only two or three of his Harley-inspired Anglos. I had it tuned in quarter comma meantone so that the chords would be sweet. Here Bob describes it and posts some audio clips (mine is the one in meantone tuning): http://hmi.homewood.net/harley/ I had visions of playing this period-type square-ender for some Civil War re-enactors dances, but that never happened! A square-ended Anglo very like this one in appearance is at the Gettysburg museum in Pennsylvania. Attached below (and in Bob Tedrow's article) are some photos. It is in nearly mint condition. The hybrid reeds are efficient and the action is fast. No case, but I'm including the casual soft case that I used for it. Price $2000 plus shipping and insurance, payment via PayPal. Contribution to c.net if it is sold here. Cheers, Dan
  23. Sad news, indeed. He made wonderful instruments; I was fortunate to be able to play one once. And a superb musician. RIP. Dan
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