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You ever tried any ska, Stuart? I was listening to Carolina by Rico and thought it might work well with a small band. I can't get it to sound like ska as a solo.

 

Ah, takes me back to a happy day at Concertinas at Witney last year, spent steering the Sunday band through various Jamaican styles - reggae, rocksteady and ska. Sadly we didn't have much time to spend on ska so it was all a bit of a scramble, great fun tho!

 

As for me, yes, but what I've done in the past is play the walking bass in the left hand and the off-beat chords in the right while singing over the top. I've not tried any instrumental ska but it should be more than possible to cover walking bass plus the off-beats and a melody on a duet.

 

The trick for getting it to feel right, I think, is in putting that slightly lop-sided swing into it so that the rhythm doesn't just sound like standard oom-pah. If you listen to old ska records the rhythm often isn't quite straight, although it's not far off. Sometimes it's proper triplety swing.

 

Also, the other thing is that the off-beats are actually more important than the bass-line, so if you can get the feel right with melody plus rhythm you can always add chunks of bass-line into it afterwards, if that makes sense? :)

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I think Bellowhead (with John Spiers playing anglo) are there already with a SKA/FOLK fusion sound but 14 muscians isn't a small band. They even made it onto "later.... with Jools Holland" last autumn.

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Standard oompah is all I achieved; I'll have another go! Thanks.

 

Another way round might be to have a go at some slower tunes - I don't know how keen a reggae/ska enthusiast you are, but if you spent a bit of time getting something like the rhythm parts for Marley's Exodus or Vivian Jackson's Conquering Lion feeling right then by that time the upside-down-ness of the rhythms will be natural to you and you'll probably then be able to translate that back to the ska idiom.

 

He says, guessing wildly. :lol:

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I don't know how keen a reggae/ska enthusiast you are,

Well it's another thing I like a bit of now and then, but I prefer the more urgent ska beat, and I suspect half the truth is I need to put more effort into it rather than giving up when it doesn't seem to work immediately. 'Twas just an idle thought...but I will have another go.

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I play mainly folk, but one of the first things I played was the theme to BBC's "Last of the summer wine" it just fell out of the concertina one day and sounds right - the tune was lodged in my head. It sounds great particularly if you slow it down even more.

 

I also enjoy playing old english trumpet tunes such as "minuet and trio (royal fireworks)" by Handel. Purcell, Clarke, Greene and Stanley also sound great on concertina.

 

I also have the odd bash at "The Theme from MASH", and Louis Armstrong stuff that I used to play on Cornet such as "Sunny side of the street" and Blueberry Hill".

 

I think that the concertina sounds very good for most music designed for brass treble instruments.

 

BTW Playford tunes were not "folk" originally, just as O'Carolan tunes were not "folk" originally, although now most people playing those tunes would have a folk background rather than anything else.

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Hymns. Not just the tunes, but in the four parts (SATB on the tina -- a duet)

 

Standards from the 30s and 40s from fake sheets (I used to be in a big band.)

 

Simple classical stuff mostly beginning piano and guitar transcriptions.

 

Folk songs, mostly American or the English stuff that came over -- much of this is now considered "Old Time" or even Blue Grass.

 

A smattering of blues.

 

Novelty stuff (Tom Lehrer, and the like)

 

Children's stuff, though as mine get older, that is going away.

 

Christmas (December is a big month for concertina at my house)

 

Anything fun

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Whatever sounds like fun for me. Right now I'm pairing up with an oboe player in the neighborhood on Pachelbel's Canon in D, and a couple of klezmer tunes, Yoshke Yoshke and Tangissimo. EC and oboe sound really nice together. B) Based on my seasons of blade shearing in Scotland, I just finished working up a Highland version of a great old Aussie shearing song, Shearing In A Bar by Duke Tritton. I enjoy American and Scottish folk - strathspeys and reels, slow airs, ballads, Scots Gaelic songs, etc. - and a fair number of Irish songs that were popular in the Highlands.

 

However, as I pointed out on another thread, I find Irish reel-to-reel playing (or jig-to-jig, for that matter) boring and oppressive, <_< so I studiously avoid anything labeled "Irish Seisiun." :P

 

 

Ah, if you're ever down this way, our Sunday session at Quinn's pub goes round the circle, each person can play, pass or request, and we get a good variety of jigs, hornpipes, Irish polkas, Scots fiddle tunes (like J. Scott Skinner's stuff...sweet), some Breton, and some Cape Breton tunes, plus ballads and as close an approximation of Sean Nos singing as we can muster withoug any native Gaelic speakers...you'd be most welcome for any or all of the songs/tunes you describe, at our session. Klezmer would be fun...I've heard some but never tried to play it.

 

Definitely NOT wall-to-wall reel-to-reels.

 

Paperpunchr.

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Paperpunchr: your Quinn's sounds like the sessions we had in the Highlands - taking turns around the room and everyone expected to contribute something (non-musical types might recite a poem or tell a story). No one dominating, no one impatient with another's contribution. Music as it should be, without haste and without judgment. If I get out your way, I'll try to look in. :D

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:D I play any tunes I like, whatever style it's in. At the moment it's a Purcell air that's got itself lodged in my head :lol: I'll have to get it shifted shortly as I'll need to play for the Morris side in a week or so and the thought of a dozen or so strapping clog shod North West Morris men trying to progress to 'What shall I do to show how much I love her' doesn't bear thinking of :D :D
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