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Concertina player wins Cowboy Idol contest in Kenton OH


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Bravo to the OP!

 

Suggestion: How about a collection of dots for good cowboy concertina tunes? Here are a few titles to start you out. Move the collection to the right forum though!

 

Colorado Trail

Red River Valley

I Ride and Old Paint

Bury me Not on the Lone Prairie

Streets of Lerado (I suspect that is what the OP called "The Lament")

the original tune to Yellow Rose of Texas

Timber Trail (might be in copyright by Sons of the Pioneers)

 

There are more.....

 

If someone starts the collection in the tunes forum I'm willing to add those I can.

 

I've posted a list of collections for folks here a couple of times, and I have thought about putting together a cowboy songbook for thirty button Anglo, even though I expect historically most of the concertinas on the range were twenty buttons. Do we have place for sheet music here?

 

Humorous aside, the last time Robin and I were at NESI, we were playing a couple of cowboy songs out of the Fife's "Cowboy and Western Songs," when a woman came over to look at our songbooks. Her husband pulled her away, saying something like, "We don't have time for that, we're sticking to Irish Music."

 

If I get up your way again, maybe we can play some cowboy songs together.

 

Alan

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since my motto is "Have concertina, will travel"

Reminds me of Heinlein's SF novel "Have Space Suit — Will Travel"; but your story is nicely told as well... :)

 

I'd forgotten about that story. I was actually referencing the old Western tv series "Have Gun Will Travel", which also has an SF connection as Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry wrote a large number of episodes for the series. I suspect Heinlein might have been a concertina fan, after all the main character of "The Green Hills of Earth" was a blind concertina player.

 

Alan

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http://www.adventuresinmusic.biz/Archives/Adventures_in_Music/Cowboy_Songs.htm

 

This article says that cowboys sang, and played harmonicas and "small concertinas" continuously to keep the herds quiet at night.

 

It goes on to point out how they adapted a variety of music like Irish jigs to the gait of a slow walking horse. I don't think I'll try that as I'm worse on a horse than a concertina.

 

It fits with the period, as I noted that an impromptu band set up by some early Saskatchewan pioneers included a concertina.

 

My guess is that these folks needed instruments that were small, not too fussy, and easily portable, which made the concertina a good candidate.

 

Nice article, the only thing I noticed that stood out as questionable was that Jack Thorpe, a southwestern rancher, that put out the first collection of cowboy songs not Lomax. Lomax used the Thorpe book as a resource.

 

I know from experience that cattle like to be sang to. It does keep them calm.

 

I don't know that I would want to play concertina on horseback either, and I am probably a better rider than a concertina player.

 

Finally, are you out in Saskatchewa? For some reason I thought Kelowna was in Ontario.

 

Alan

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This is one of the only YouTube hits for "cowboy concertina" that seems to be what we're looking for:

 

- Jody Kruskal and Paul Friedman performing "Bravest Cowboy" on Anglo concertina and fiddle from their album "Paul and Jody - American Songs and Tunes" JMK 104, available at http://www.jodykruskal.com/

 

 

We need more cowboy concertina on YouTube (hint, hint).

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Actually, the Kelowna in south central BC. The Saskatchewan reference is just because of my passing interest in history - although I think half the population in the Okanagan wine country is from Saskatchewan or Alberta. A favourite retirement area, lakes, decent climate, and you can visit a different winery every week and have some left over for next year. Good ranching country northwest of here.

 

About 6-7 hrs drive north and west of where Wim Wakker hides out in Valleyford, Wa.

 

Have to admit the only horse I ever felt comfortable on was a 4H trained quarterhorse gelding my daughter had. Big fella with a heart of gold, and when I did something wrong, he'd just quietly turn his head with a look like "huh?". He'd probably be the only horse I wouldn't scare with my playing...

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This is one of the only YouTube hits for "cowboy concertina" that seems to be what we're looking for:

 

- Jody Kruskal and Paul Friedman performing "Bravest Cowboy" on Anglo concertina and fiddle from their album "Paul and Jody - American Songs and Tunes" JMK 104, available at http://www.jodykruskal.com/

 

 

We need more cowboy concertina on YouTube (hint, hint).

 

If I played as well as Jody,maybe. Actually, given sometime, it maybe possible.

 

Alan

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Bravo to the OP!

 

Suggestion: How about a collection of dots for good cowboy concertina tunes? Here are a few titles to start you out. Move the collection to the right forum though!

 

Colorado Trail

Red River Valley

I Ride and Old Paint

Bury me Not on the Lone Prairie

Streets of Lerado (I suspect that is what the OP called "The Lament")

the original tune to Yellow Rose of Texas

Timber Trail (might be in copyright by Sons of the Pioneers)

 

There are more.....

 

If someone starts the collection in the tunes forum I'm willing to add those I can.

 

I've posted a list of collections for folks here a couple of times, and I have thought about putting together a cowboy songbook for thirty button Anglo, even though I expect historically most of the concertinas on the range were twenty buttons. Do we have place for sheet music here?

 

Humorous aside, the last time Robin and I were at NESI, we were playing a couple of cowboy songs out of the Fife's "Cowboy and Western Songs," when a woman came over to look at our songbooks. Her husband pulled her away, saying something like, "We don't have time for that, we're sticking to Irish Music."

 

If I get up your way again, maybe we can play some cowboy songs together.

 

Alan

 

Point me at your lists I couldn't find them in a quick search. And, if you get up to Minneapolis (Gopherland) and out of Buckeyeland give a holler and we'll find some way to get together. EC and Anglo go nicely together.

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I suspect Heinlein might have been a concertina fan, after all the main character of "The Green Hills of Earth" was a blind concertina player.

Oh, this had completely slipped my mind!

 

In musical terms I just seem to recall the moment, where "Valse triste" is brought to its effecitve appearence...

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Bravo to the OP!

 

Suggestion: How about a collection of dots for good cowboy concertina tunes? Here are a few titles to start you out. Move the collection to the right forum though!

 

Colorado Trail

Red River Valley

I Ride and Old Paint

Bury me Not on the Lone Prairie

Streets of Lerado (I suspect that is what the OP called "The Lament")

the original tune to Yellow Rose of Texas

Timber Trail (might be in copyright by Sons of the Pioneers)

 

There are more.....

 

If someone starts the collection in the tunes forum I'm willing to add those I can.

 

 

Suzy Bogguss has recently recorded 'The American Songbook' which comes with an excellent song book with all the dots plus chords etc. Very concertina friendly. Lovely recordings too (at least to my ear!). This was a project triggered by her frustration and fear that a whole generation were growing up unaware of this great music. Content includes:Shady Grove

Shenandoah

Red River Valley

Froggy Went A-Courtin'

Wayfaring Stranger

Banks Of The Ohio

Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier

Ol' Dan Tucker

Rock Island Line

Sweet Betsy From Pike

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Careless Love

All The Pretty Little Horses

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In "Folk Song USA" , a kinda strange presentation of Alen Lomax's work presented by Old Gold Cigarettes, Lomax goes on at great length about "Red River Valley" and its wholesale suitability for concertina, comparing the sound to smoke from a campfire wafting away on an evening wind. Pretty prosey.

As for the list, have you included "Buffalo Skinners Blues"? It has a plaintive melody just right for the subject matter and instrument.

Cheers,

Rob

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Point me at your lists I couldn't find them in a quick search. And, if you get up to Minneapolis (Gopherland) and out of Buckeyeland give a holler and we'll find some way to get together. EC and Anglo go nicely together.

 

I have a small collection of cowboy collections. My three favorites are the aforementioned "Cowboy and Western Songs" by Austin E. and Alta S. Fife, Songs of the Great American West by Irwin Silber, and "The Hellbound Train" by Glen Ohrlin. The Ohrlin book is nice for the asides as he was both a working and a rodeo cowboy as well as a performer of cowboy songs. The Fife is the most comprehensive. I have other books as well including John Lomax's "Cowboy Songs", but it is light on tunes. Often I have use the two collections he did with his son or the son's "Folksongs of North America" for the tunes. I have two other cowboy songbooks, plus two that are Texas oriented that my wife got for me from a friend who has been liquidating his books. One of those is Margaret Larkin's "Singing Cowboy" that I picked up in East Lansing during the Great Lakes Folk Festival. I found it at the local book store before D W Groethe did. Unfortunately, D Dub found the Fife's Comprehensive index of Western Song. So, actually not a bad day for either of a couple of cowboy song collectors. The last book, "The Whorehouse Bells were Ringing," is a collection of cowboy songs that includes several blue songs as the title might suggest. I can't lay my hands on it at the moment for the name of the collector. I don't remember what the name of the topic that I posted the information in earlier, but it was a while back, and it only had a handful posts.

 

I wish we could have got together three years back when I was in Brooklyn Center for a month for work. It would have made it go a lot more pleasantly.

 

Alan

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In "Folk Song USA" , a kinda strange presentation of Alen Lomax's work presented by Old Gold Cigarettes, Lomax goes on at great length about "Red River Valley" and its wholesale suitability for concertina, comparing the sound to smoke from a campfire wafting away on an evening wind. Pretty prosey.

As for the list, have you included "Buffalo Skinners Blues"? It has a plaintive melody just right for the subject matter and instrument.

Cheers,

Rob

 

I'll have to smoke a few packs of Old golds and get me a copy. Oddly enough, red river valley isn't'at in Folk songs of North America! I went to look to see if that story was in there.

 

By "Buffalo Skinner Blues", do you mean the song tha starts out, "'twas in the town of Jacksboro, In the spring of seventy three"?

 

Alan

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Yah, that's the one, although as usual, the melody has done lots of duty elsewhere. I heard a Willie Nelson version of "The Days of '49" that used the same tune, with a couple of added fillips to make things fit; essentially the same, though.

 

I have in hand the volume in question, It is titled "Folk Song USA, 111 favorite ballads and musical arrangements for piano and guitar. Collected and arranged by John A. and Alan Lomax, Musical arrangements by Charles and Ruth Seeger. Compliments of Old Gold." Published in paperback by Signet in 1966.

 

Looks like material originally copyrighted by the Lomaxes in 1947, so I assume that the material is around elsewhere, too. Good book, though.

 

Cheers,

Rob

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...I have in hand the volume in question, It is titled "Folk Song USA, 111 favorite ballads and musical arrangements for piano and guitar. Collected and arranged by John A. and Alan Lomax, Musical arrangements by Charles and Ruth Seeger...

 

...Pete Seeger's father and stepmother. Also, to be more on-topic (since she plays the EC), Peggy Seeger's parents.

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