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ldpaulson

Concertinas In Country

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Hokay:

 

Not wanting to be accused of hijacking the pop-rock thread, let's talk about concertinas in country music. I think they are more prevalent. Who's used 'em? Off the top of my head:

 

Don Walser

ZZ Top -- Billy Gibbons plays

Kimmie Rhodes

Kathy Mattea

Dixie Chicks -- Fly

Steve Earle -- may feature some, but I could be wrong and just hearing imaginary arrangements in my head ...

 

This list is weighted to the Texans that tend to use concertina. There's that whole exposure to the squeezebox thing going on between the polkas of the German settlers and the Mexican norteno. That's no surprise. For others, it's that Celtic influence in the Appalachians, I'm sure. Also, I think there's a tendancy to be exploratory in using various acoustic instruments in modern country.

 

Again, all this just off the top of my head to get some discussion going.

 

Other thoughts?

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One Texan, who plays a lot in country bands, is Tim Alexander, from Fort Worth, 5 times "Best Country Instrumental" Grammy winner, and formerly of Asleep at the Wheel. (I must confess to a weakness for Western Swing music !)

 

He has played with the likes of Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Huey Lewis, George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Brooks & Dunn, Marty Stuart, Buddy Greco, Dorden Smith, Johnny Rodriguez and the Blues Butchers, to mention a few. However, I don't know which, if any, of those he has played concertina with, as he is also a brilliant keyboard and Norteno accordion player.

 

Tim certainly plays "concertina, organ & accordion" on Don Walser's album "Rolling Stone from Texas".

 

John Mock is the player on both the Dixie Chicks "Fly" and "Live" albums, as well as Kathy Mattea's "Roses".

 

Joey Miskulin plays on Marty Stuart's "Hillbilly Rock".

 

(Just added the last two after doing a "Concertina" search on eBay.)

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Doink! How could I forget Asleep at the Wheel?! Prolly 'cause I haven't listened to them in eons unlike the other artists listed. I really like Don Walser bunches.

 

It's perfectly acceptable to confess, profess and exclaim your enjoyment of Western Swing. I was at a jam tonight in which some Bob Wills was played. "A Maiden's Prayer," to be precise. Done right, it's great stuff.

 

FYI ... found this from The Broken Spoke website:

 

Texas Hwy Magazine is doing a story about accordions in Texas Music, and we hope to be featured in this article. We have been booking Debra Peters and her "Love Saints" on the last Tuesday of every month for several years now. She brought out a group of people known as the "Accordion Round-up". It's very interesting to see the many variations of beautiful accordions and concertinas which they all bring to play. As you know, German music, Mexican Music, Cajun Music,and Zideco Music all feature accordions in their music. It's very lively when all the "squeeze boxes" get going.

 

 

ldp

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Stephen,

 

Do you know what type concertina John Mock is playing with the Dixie Chicks? I kept trying to zero in on him when they were playing on TV, but of course he was not the focus of the camera angle. I for some reason thought he was playing an English.

 

Do you do swing dancing?

 

Idp,

 

Great fun thread.

 

Helen

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My memory of the concertina in the Dixie Chicks' 'Traveling Soldier' video is too foggy to remember. Also, I think when that video was real popular, I was still in a pre-concertina owning stage, and wouldn't have noticed the particulars :(

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It's perfectly acceptable to confess, profess and exclaim your enjoyment of Western Swing.

Oh, OK then : Bob Wills is Still the King ! :)

 

Do you know what type concertina John Mock is playing with the Dixie Chicks? ...  I for some reason thought he was playing an English.

It could be, he certainly seems to be more a "celtic" player than a "polka" one anyway. He is a multi-instrumentalist and arranger in Nashville, who has also played with James Taylor, Nanci Griffith, Rosanne Cash, Melissa Manchester and Andrea Zorn, as well as being a member of a celtic band called "Isla".

 

But I must confess, I had never heard of him 24 hours ago, I was just looking for anything concertina-related on eBay last night, and came across albums he was playing on, I got the information above from Google.

 

Do you do swing dancing?

No, I just love listening to good swing music, especially French gypsy jazz, I go to the Django Reinhardt Festival, in France, every year. Sometimes you will hear echoes of Django and Stephane Grappelli from western swing musicians, Spade Cooley made some recordings that were very much in their style.

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Oh, OK then : Bob Wills is Still the King ! 

 

Indeed! Was there any question?

 

... I go to the Django Reinhardt Festival, in France, every year.

 

And here I was just beginning to like you! :P I'm very green with envy. :angry: Some of the gypsy jazz contingent I play with periodically managed to go one year. This was years ago and they are STILL talking about it!

 

One of my projects is to eventually get competent enough on concertina to be able to play lead on a couple of our Hot Club tunes. This also might involve a duet with the accordion player.

 

Isn't it fun to enjoy just so many types of music?

 

ldp

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I too, confess to liking Western Swing a whole, whole lot. :)

 

Bob Wills RULES!

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I saw Isla in Savannah back in the late '90s and John Mock played some simple anglo on a couple of tunes. Where he really shined was on whistles.

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Okay, the concertina in the Dixie Chicks' video "Traveling Soldier" has been noted and identified!

 

Somehow managed to catch the video yesterday. Frustrating at first, because there were only a few glimpses of the concertina player, just enough to tell me, by observing the handstraps, that it was not an English. I'm thinking, hey, this group sells more tickets faster than anyone in the pop or country genre today, bet it's a nice one!

 

The guy playing it: nicely dressed, dark hair, neat beard. Which, I realize, probably describes half the guys on CNet! :rolleyes: Wish we could find out who he is...

 

Finally, finally, at the end of the video, there was a lovely close-up of the concertina. The size in relation to the guy's hands makes me think it could be a treble or a baritone. And it was a 30-button.

 

There was also a lovely close-up of the brand name in distinctive white cursive:

 

Stagi.

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Jon, the concertina player with Dixie Chicks has been in the shop here in Alabama.

I confirm that he does indeed play a Stagi.

 

 

Chalk me up on the list of swing guitar players as well. I spent some time in Tulsa as a younger fellow and fell in with some players who showed me lots of Eldon Shamblin style rhythm playing.

 

 

 

 

You all need to hear some of the backup guitar I provide Mrs Tedrow when we perform locally.

 

 

Bob Tedrow

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One of my projects is to eventually get competent enough on concertina to be able to play lead on a couple of our Hot Club tunes.

 

Me too! I just love those old tunes. I haven't even attempted it yet though.

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One of my projects is to eventually get competent enough on concertina to be able to play lead on a couple of our Hot Club tunes.

In that case, did you ever hear Pietro Valente ? (And before anybody asks, yes, he's the brother of the singer Caterina Valente.) He has a great album called Concertina, Pietro Valente mit Otto Weiss Trio, on which he plays with a jazz trio of piano, bass and violin. You will find it on eBay, or you can order it from him direct, as I did (he sent me a signed photo too) :

 

Pietro Valente,

Guardinistr. 87,

81375 Munchen,

Germany.

Tel:089-7409597

 

But I don't know if he speaks any English.

 

Isn't it fun to enjoy just so many types of music?

Absolutely !

 

I'm hoping to hear the Hot Club of Cowtown, at the beginning of May, playing during the Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots Weekend.

 

I saw Isla in Savannah back in the late '90s and John Mock played some simple anglo on a couple of tunes. Where he really shined was on whistles.

I gather that the whistle is more his speciality.

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[in that case, did you ever hear Pietro Valente ? (And before anybody asks, yes, he's the brother of the singer Caterina Valente.)

I know Pietro. I have yet to hear his sister. :(

He has a great album called Concertina,...

He and it get mentioned here from time to time.

But I don't know if he speaks any English.

He does.

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Okay, you all, I am still confused. Does the guy playing concertina with the Dixie chicks play an anglo or an English? I think Rhomylly said the straps were not English, but then wondered if it was a baritone or treble which I thought were only types of English.

 

So I'm showing my ignorance here AND I STILL WANT TO KNOW.

 

What a fun thread.

 

Helen

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It's an anglo, Helen, but it still looked awfully big.

 

Maybe he just has small hands.

 

Bob, is it one of your old turbos?

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Thank you, Rhomylly,

 

Another of life's little questions answered.

 

Helen

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