Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gunga

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6los3syfWVg)

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvHsEn-jdM0)

 

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 http://www.burwellbash.info/

 

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

Sylvia’s Serenade/Blew Bell Hornpipe

 

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It’s been a shamefully long time since my last post (see News), but to make up for it, here’s a great set of tunes for fiddling, dancing, whistling (if you’re good enough!) and all-round good-timing. Wonderfully synchopated, fun to learn, and total ear-worms. What could be better for a Sunday afternoon?

Two videos: first, ace English folk trio Leveret playing the two tunes as a set, followed by melodeon-player Anahata with a three-part version of the 18th-century Blew Bell (a 3/2 hornpipe). And as always, you’ll find the usual folk/aural tradition variations in the tunes as played. Just choose your favourite, and off you go!

 

Leveret

Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion), Rob Harbron (English concertina), Sam Sweeney (fiddle)

From a 2015 concert in Lummen, Belgium. You can hear the set on their album New Anything.

(‘Sylvia’s Serenade / Blew Bell Hornpipe’ YouTube video, 7:08. Published by mattias de smet, Nov 13 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzRwD8Ny4HM)

 

Anahata (melodeon)

(‘Blew Bell Hornpipe – Anahata, melodeon’ YouTube video, 1:32. Published by anahatamelodeon, Feb 15, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAPD1xbyLMM)

 

Gig Alert! Leveret are currently touring! https://www.leveretband.com/gigs

Leveret:  website   Facebook  Twitter

Anahata:  website   YouTube

 

 

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Filed under English folk/traditional, Uncategorized

Bacon Rind

 

 

Get your contra dancing shoes on for this deceptively simple ear-worm of a tune from the playing of Kentucky fiddler Everett Kays.

Here are three versions.

Take 1: Everett Kays lays the tune out at dance speed with a stringband for the original 1973 field recording (now in the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives*).

Takes 2 and 3: Seattle-based fiddler Greg Canote plays two slow teaching versions – first a music camp video; second, a slightly more uptempo audio track from the Canote Brothers’ Seattle stringband class.

Key of G, standard tuning on all three recordings. Choose whichever speed suits you best for tunecatching, and for playing along with once you’ve got it down.

 

Everett Kays (fiddle), accompanied by unnamed musicians

Anderson County, Kentucky, 1973

(Tune number B02 on reel BG-R003 in the Bruce Greene Collection SAA90, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives. http://dla.acaweb.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/berea/id/317/rec/2)

 

Greg Canote (fiddle), Candy Goldman (banjo)

Filmed at Walker Creek Music Camp, October 2014

(‘Bacon Rind’, YouTube video, 1:25. Published by Wayne Grabowski, Oct 13, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58B5H-maPc)

 

Greg Canote (fiddle), Candy Goldman (banjo), Jere Canote (guitar)

Recorded at the Seattle Stringband class, April 2014

 

Canote Brotherswebsite  (move the radio dial to search!) and Seattle Stringband class

Maya Whitmont’s compilation of audio tracks and banjo tabs from the Seattle class here

*Digital Library of Appalachia/Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives:  website

 

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Filed under American old-time, American old-time/traditional, American traditional, Uncategorized

Mrs Saggs

fiddle-saggs

I’ve wanted to learn this beautiful air for a long time. Composed by English musician/songwriter/composer Chris Wood – one of English folk music’s iconic fiddlers – it seems to have become known online predominantly as a melodeon tune. The version I’ve chosen for tunecatching is played on melodeon with clarity and heart by Cambridgeshire-based musician Anahata.

Fiddle versions are few and far between, but I love the Will Pound Band’s soulful arrangement* with English fiddler Henry Webster. Enjoy it here (Will preferred me not to embed the video as the band is no longer together, but as it’s still up online I’m assuming a simple link is acceptable.) *Note that harmonica virtuoso Will tweaks the straight melody to fit the harmonica’s range.

Anahata (Oakwood D/G melodeon)

(‘Mrs Saggs – a tune by Chris Wood – Anahata, melodeon’. YouTube video, 2:33. Uploaded by anahatamelodeon on Aug 18, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv2LkaxLOw4)

Anahatawebsite

Henry Webster:  website

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Filed under English folk/modern, English folk/traditional, Uncategorized

Skrap-Ollas Polska

 

marinmarin_05

 

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!

 

Marin/Marin

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-1Pb8j0Ios)

 

Marin/Marin

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eASpnw9MX2M)

 

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

Jolly Old Hawk

falcominorkeulemans

A heartfelt but short post today (a strained hand means I can’t type much at the moment). And unusually for Fiddletails, it’s a song, brief but beautiful – an old ‘twelve days’ counting song from iconic Yorkshire group The Watersons, to welcome in the ‘twelfthmost day’ on Epiphany, Twelfth Night.

Jolly Old Hawk is a Roud ballad; for possible origins and links to lyrics, see Mainly Norfolk, and the usual fascinating debate on mudcat.

Wishing you all a year of hope, health, happiness – and plenty of whatever music lights your life!

The Watersons

Norma Waterson, Elaine (‘Lal’) Waterson, Mike Waterson, John Harrison

From their 1965 first album, Frost and Fire.

(‘The Watersons – Jolly Old Hawk’, YouTube video, 1:09. Uploaded by SirD4venport on 14 Nov 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTRSBbrioSo)

For more singing and background to The Watersons, watch the BBC’s wonderful 1960s documentary, here

A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!

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Filed under English folk/traditional, Uncategorized

Grigsby’s Hornpipe

 

To celebrate Christmas and the slow tip of the Earth from dark to light, here’s a lilting hornpipe that will fill you with a warm glow and dance you through these last days of the Old Year.

eck-robertson

But this is a hornpipe with a difference – a Texas fiddle tune, known from the playing of Alexander ‘Eck’ Robertson, of Amarillo, Texas (1886-1973).

 

First up, Haas, Walsh and Marshall introduce the hornpipe with haunting Indian/world music overtones before whirling into their lyrical arrangement.

Second, icon of American fiddling Bruce Molsky plays a ringing, fast-but-clear rendering that will help musicians catch tune and chords.

You can hear Eck Robertson’s original 1929 recording on Larry Warren’s Slippery Hill here.

 

Cross-tuning

Grigsby’s Hornpipe is generally played with the fiddle tuned AEAC# – known as Calico tuning. Bruce and Brittany are both playing in Calico.

For more information on cross-tuning, see notes under Newt Payne’s Tune, or see Wikipedia’s excellent page here.

For more cross-tuned fiddling here on Fiddletails, search ‘cross-tuning’ in the Search Box.

 

Haas, Walsh and Marshall

Brittany Haas (5-string fiddle), Joe Walsh (mandolin), Owen Marshall (guitar and harmonium)

Filmed at a pre-Christmas house concert in Rhinebeck, NY, December 2013.

(‘Brittany Haas, Joe Walsh, Owen Marshal “Grigsby’s Hornpipe”’, YouTube video 5:31. Published by Owen Marshall on 29 April 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijuu59yS0t4)

 

Bruce Molsky (fiddle)

Bruce plays the hornpipe first in a set with Pickin the Devil’s Eye. Filmed during a live recording at the Magnolia Avenue Studios of KDHX, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2011.

(‘Bruce Molsky “Grigsby’s Hornpipe/Pickin’ the Devil’s Eye” Live at KDHX 3/26/11 (HD)’, YouTube video 4:07. Uploaded by KDHX on 19 Jul 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHupO7fJE_0)

 

For all the information you could ever want, including CDs, videos/recordings, news, gigs, tickets, and social media links, see:

Brittany Haas:  website

Owen Marshall:  website

Joe Walsh:  website

The trio’s EP is available on Bandcamp, here.

Bruce Molsky:  website Sign up here for music and news from Bruce’s fab ‘from the road’ newsletter, including tunes from his great band Molsky’s Mountain Drifters.

 

Wishing tunecatchers everywhere a very Merry Christmas, and a year to come that’s full of light and hope and joy for all. And music, of course!

 

a_christmas_carol_-_mr-_fezziwigs_ball

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Filed under American old-time, Uncategorized