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Chris Ghent

Australian Bush Music

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Are there any experts in the role of the concertina in Australian Bush Music out there..?

 

The adoption of the Anglo in Ireland is well known, and its popularity amongst the Boers and Zulus is also known. But the Anglo had another natural home in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Australian bush. It was often the only instrument at a dance. A repertoire and a style developed, derived from the Irish, Scottish and English tunes the settlers brought from home. Some recordings exist of older bush players, I think from the post war period, and thinking of Dooley Chapman in particular.

 

In a poem about a bush dance by Australia's best known 19th century writer the instrument is mentioned, as the dance has to stop while repairs are carried out on the concertina in the back room.

 

The early Australian concertina, the Stanley, was a classic bush instrument, a two row C/G.

 

I was expecting some mention of Australian Bush Music on the Anglo International CD, at least a track or two, but perhaps we have kept it too secret.

 

What I have said here is about all I know about the concertina in bush music, apart from recognising it when I hear it. And any of this could be wrong. Are there any experts out there..? Tell us more...

 

Chris

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Thanks for that link, very interesting. Unfortunately Warren plays an English rather than an Anglo. I have heard, don't know whether it is apocryphal or not, that when the folk revival started people who wanted to play bush concertina went looking for instruments. They were told that the English was the only proper concertina, and the link between the anglo and bush music was severed...

 

Chris

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What I have said here is about all I know about the concertina in bush music....

Years ago, I passed on a book on this kind of music (by John Meredith?) which had a picture of Fred Holland of Mudgee. Googling for Fred threw up a page of bush music concertina players.

 

Edit: .. and the photo of Stanley himself shows an *English* ???

Edited by wes williams

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Chris, I'm sure you know this............but there is a lot of information in the old Australian Concertina magazine about Bush music. Have you seen it ? Malcolm Clapp is the man to ask. Cheers Robin

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I hear the old Concertina magazine inches slowly closer to being available on line.

 

Re the pictures of older players, the irony of Stanley being pictured with an English is not lost..! As far as I know he only made Anglos. The picture of Fred Holland includes one of Stanley's concertinas

A very worn example, though no more than the player...

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Ghent

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I followed the link to the pictures and a lot of them were already familiar to me from a silver-jacketed book of Australian songs I picked up while I was at Concertinas at Witney last year - I remembered Fred Holland particularly clearly.

 

I'll have a look in it tonight and see if there are any more pictures of concertina players that aren't included there (I somehow doubt it, but you never know).

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Chris

 

Perhaps you already know of Graeme Smith and his research into Australian music (and the Irish conections) Graeme is easily Googelable or alternatively, I've got his e-mail address somewhere. Graeme plays a 2 row melodeon and was one of the founder members of Flowers & Frolics - he probably also knows where to find the members of the Bushwackers band (assuming they're lost).

 

This connection may not be to the true bush music, but it might help you on the way

 

Alex

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Chris

 

These photos are from a book by John Meredith & Hugh Anderson (1985) Folksongs of Australia and the men and women who sang them Volume 1. I also have Volume 2 (1987) written by J. Meredith, R. Covell & P. Brown.

 

I will browse through these books in the next couple of days and let you know what I find. Your local library should have copies of these books.

 

Photo captions:

Fred Holland proudly shows his Anglo/German concertina made by Stanley of Bathurst.

Bill Large of Cooks Gap. Two of his sons and several of his friends perpetuated his many songs and tunes.

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These photos are from a book by John Meredith & Hugh Anderson (1985) Folksongs of Australia and the men and women who sang them Volume 1.

 

That's the one!

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Chris

 

Perhaps you already know of Graeme Smith and his research into Australian music (and the Irish conections) Graeme is easily Googelable or alternatively, I've got his e-mail address somewhere. Graeme plays a 2 row melodeon and was one of the founder members of Flowers & Frolics - he probably also knows where to find the members of the Bushwackers band (assuming they're lost).

 

This connection may not be to the true bush music, but it might help you on the way

 

Alex

 

The original Bushwackers are getting on and I think a couple have made the big leap in the last few years.

 

I think I am firming up on what I'm after, and that is any old recordings of bush music on anglo. I'm off to the national festival tomorrow and I'll ask around.

 

Chris

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Some of the members of the original (1953-1957) Bushwhackers (note spelling) were Alan Scott (concertina), Chris Kempster, John Meredith, Alex Hood and Jamie Carlin (concertina).

 

The later group (1971-1984), the Bushwackers, included Jan Wositzky, Dobe Newton, Mick Slocum (concertina) and others.

 

There are some interesting photos and other info on this webpage

Edited by Poaceae

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When I was in Sydney a couple of years ago I met a guy called Bob Bolton at a barbeque - he played Anglo and was very much involved in Bush Music - contact him on bobbolton@netspace.net.au

 

 

Andrew

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FOLKS: just to announce in advance that volume 5 of PICA will have an article by Jill Stubington on the concertina in Australia. . . .just what the article will deal with i don't know at this point. . . . . .

 

note that the electronic version of vol. 3 is almost ready to be posted. . . .volume 4 is almost done and will be out in october..................allan

Edited by allan atlas

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Some of the members of the original (1953-1957) Bushwhackers (note spelling) were Alan Scott (concertina), Chris Kempster, John Meredith, Alex Hood and Jamie Carlin (concertina).

 

 

Both Alan Scott and Jamie Carlin played English system (Jamie still does; regrettably Alan passed away some years ago, though his son continues to play his father's English as well as a Maccann, but with a very different repertoire, and has been known to frequent this forum of late.

 

MC

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You may want to look up an Australian player named(I think) Dave De Hugard(or something like that) Close to 20 years ago he recorded an album of tunes, on 20 button Anglo called "the Magpie in the Wattle" which garnered a good review by Joel Cowan at the time. I never bought it, and wished I had, now I can't find it. The Bushwhackers have a website, though. I emailed them a year of two ago trying to get a CD copy of "Shearers Dream"(one of my favorite albums of all time), but they never(to that point) re-released it on CD, which they told me on the reply. Find Dave DeHugard though, he may have some of the info you are looking for.

Don

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Hi all. I just googled Dave DeHugard, and came to a webpage for him, I spelled it right! Anyway, he has a new CD of Australian Bush music, and pictured on the page is a 20 button Lachenal(six fold bellows), so this could be promising! Take care,

Don

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I will attempt to attach (don't laugh, I may be admin but I don't do this often) a thumbnail of Warren Fahey and Dave DeHugard performing 14 July 2006 near Brisbane. Part of my not yet written story of the trip down unda. (I seem to engage in deficit living these days)

 

Ken

post-4-1176848367_thumb.jpg

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