Category Archives: Scandinavian folk



Pre-eminent English melodeon player Andy Cutting presents this airy tune in two videos, one teaching, and one performance. According to a YouTube comment, ‘Andy isn’t sure of the real name, and only knows that it’s Scandinavian.’ If you knowGunga’s secret identity, please let us all know!

Andy Cutting is renowned for his work with a number of iconic bands, including Leveret, Blowzabella and Topette. You can hear him live right now, along with fiddler Sam Sweeney and conertina-player Rob Harbron, on the current Leveret album launch tour.


Andy Cutting (melodeon)

Recorded playing for his class at the 2016 Burwell Bash folk music summer school.

(‘Andy Cutting, playing “Gunga” Melodeon and Accordion Workshop Burwell Bash 2016’, YouTube video 4.36. Published by Burwell Bash Aug 22 2016.


Andy Cutting (melodeon), Jock Tyldesley (fiddle), Tola Custy (fiddle), Katherine Mann (flute), Brian Finnegan (whistle), Ed Boyd (guitar)

‘Gunga’ is first tune up (1.20) in this clip from the wonderfully eclectic 2016 Burwell Bash tutors’ concert.

(‘The Tutors’ Group Performance, Burwell Bash 2016 Tutors Concert’, YouTube video 16.15. Published by Burwell Bash, Aug 9 2016.


Andy Cutting:  website   Facebook   Twitter


Leveret:  Current tour   website   Facebook   Twitter

New album Inventions available from RootBeat Records and via their website


Burwell Bash 2018


Use the Fiddletails search box to find more tunes by Leveret and Blowzabella




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Filed under European traditional, Nordic traditional, Scandinavian folk, Uncategorized

Morning Hambo



Olaus Magnus Historia om de nordiska folken. Bok 1 – Kapitel 1 – Om Bjarmaland, dess läge och beskaffenhet. Utgivningsår 1555.


What better on a sunny Sunday than this wonderful daybreak of a tune! The hambo is an old Swedish dance, part of a set of old folk dances known as Gammaldans. This modern hambo was composed by acclaimed American mountain dulcimer player Mark Gilston.


Mark Gilston (mountain dulcimer)


(‘Morning Hambo by Mark Gilston on mountain dulcimer’, YouTube video 1:54. Published on Oct 5 2016 by Tradman X.


And here’s a brief clip of how to dance the hambo. Enjoy!


(‘Folkdans, Gammaldans.Hambo’, YouTube video 0:43. Published on Jun 2 2009 by Josephina Jia.


Mark Gilstonwebsite   Facebook   YouTube


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Filed under Nordic traditional, Scandinavian folk, Swedish folk dance, Swedish traditional

Skrap-Ollas Polska




I begin with apologies. It’s been a while since I last posted a tune – Christmas and work and a strained hand have driven a coach and horses through my blog schedule.

But though it’s a freezing January in the Northern hemisphere, here’s something to raise our heads, lighten our steps and give thanks for the glimmerings of longer days. Glorious Swedish duo Marin/Marin play Skrap-Ollas Polska on fiddle and viola – both 5-string instruments, in standard tuning CGDAE, (viola an octave lower).

I include two videos: the first shot at a festival with Swedish dancers; the second, a closer stage performance where some of the fingering is visible and the interplay/improvisation is right up front.

Keep warm, everyone – and enjoy!



Mia Marin (5-string fiddle), Mikael Marin (5-string viola)

With dancers Petra Eriksson and Anton Schneider, at the Korrö Festival, 2014. (The video starts mid-tune, comes round to the beginning again at 0:22.)


(‘Marin/Marin – Skrap-Ollas Polska’, YouTube video, 3:39. Published by BornLonesome, 2 Aug 2014.



Performance at Studio 55 Marin, San Rafael, California in 2013.


(‘Marin/Marin (Mikael & Mia Marin) perform a Swedish Polska at Studio 55 Marin), YouTube video, 4:34. Published by Studio55Marin, 10 Dec 2013.


Marin/Marin: see Mia’s website

Mia Marin:  Facebook

Mikael Marin:  Facebook

Korro Festival:  website


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Filed under Nordic traditional, Scandinavian folk, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

The Atlantic Waltz




Bid farewell to sweet October with this beautiful composition by Anna Gustavsson – one half of American/Swedish duo Premo & Gustavsson, whose US tour I featured earlier this week.

It’s also a great chance to hear a nyckelharpa, the iconic Swedish instrument famously played by 18th-19th century master nyckelharpist Carl Ersson Bössa (Byss-Kalle), composer of last week’s Fiddletails post.


Premo & Gustavsson

Laurel Premo (fiddle), Anna Gustavsson (nyckelharpa)

(‘The Atlantic Waltz – Premo & Gustavsson’, YouTube video, 4:47. Published by Laurel Premo, 24 Aug 2015.


Album alert!

Laurel & Anna’s new album I Walked Abroad is out now – available as download or CD from cdbaby


Premo & Gustavsson:  website

Laurel Premo:  website    Red Tail Ring*

Anna Gustavsson:  website

*From time to time, Fiddletails features Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp‘s duo Red Tail Ring – use the Search box to find posts of their acclaimed music.

You can hear another tune by Premo & Gustavsson here, in a wonderful pairing of nyckelharpa and gourd banjo.


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Filed under American old-time, American old-time/modern, American traditional, Scandinavian folk, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

Gig Alert!


Premo & Gustavsson USA CD-Release Tour

October 19th – 30th, 2016


Chicago TODAY!

Then: MI, PA, MD, NY, MA,

and finishing Sunday 30 October in Boston, MA

Details/booking here

A great follow-up to yesterday’s Swedish tune: Anna Gustavsson on nyckelharpa, Laurel Premo on gourd banjo and fiddle, as they launch their new CD I Walked Abroad. This duo is really special – catch their fabulous concerts and workshops wherever you can.

I’ll be featuring a track later this week. In the meantime, here’s a reminder from an earlier Fiddletails post: Sally in the Garden

premo-gustavsson-closeup1Premo & Gustavsson




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Filed under American old-time, Scandinavian folk, Swedish traditional