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9Th Annual Old Palestine Concertina Weekend - Recap

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I'm sure others will join in on this thread with their pictures and experiences, but the 9th annual Old Pal Concertina Weekend in East Texas was a huge success and a great time was had by all. We even had nice English weather - cool and rainy - as opposed to the oppressive heat and humidity we've sometimes had in years past. We had concertina players who came from New York, California, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.


In addition to English, Anglo, Maccann, Crane, Hayden and Jeffries Duets, we we thrilled to have concertina doctor extraordinaire Greg Jowaisas doing a history and repair workshop and bringing along a fine selection of instruments available for checking out and possibly purchasing. He also brought along the new Art Deco styled Anglo by Wally Carroll.


Jody Kruskal was our main headliner once again, and he taught how to play oldtime music on the Anglo - "Throw the Old Cow over the Fence" and "Can You Dance a Tobacco Hill" . He also organized a group performance on the main festival stage of the old Carter Family standard "The Storms are on the Ocean", which even included a bass concertina solo that I'm sure brought a tear to many an eye.


Another special treat was Sean Minnie, originally from South Africa, who taught us the "Turfloop Walz" and showed us how to do that amazingly bizarre Boer music bellows shake.


In the ensemble workshop we tackled some great old Sacred Harp hymns - "Welcome Welcome", "Northfield", "Evening Shade" and "Sons of Sorrow". Powerful stuff for massed concertinas!


Dan Worrall taught us the "Blue Gentian Waltz", which originally was a minstrel tune called "Why Did My Master Sell Me", in the old octave style. He also presented interesting historical info about how this tune and others traveled to Europe, Australia and South Africa.


We were saddened by the loss of Harold Herrington, who passed away only weeks before the event. He attended and supported the weekend from the very start, and we had several of his instruments represented at our workshops, and of course played several tunes in his memory.


BBQ. What can I say? We pigged out at Shep's, Bishop's and Bubba's. Oink, oink.


Great food, great people, and great music - doesn't get much better than that!






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It was a delightful weekend filled with great music and great people. It seemed way too short to fully appreciate everything that was going on. I enjoyed talking and playing with other duet aficionados and in particular I was impressed with the skills and abilities of Jody Kruskal to teach us how to better utilize our beloved instruments.

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