Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Shepherd and the Shepherdess / Maiden Lane

 

A long, hard winter is still trying to cling on here in London – but I’m banishing the blues (and ending a dismally long Fiddletails break) with this absolute frolic of a set guaranteed to put the Spring back in your step.

The Shepherd and the Shepherdess is from an unpublished manuscript found by Boldwood members in the Vaughan Williams Library, Cecil Sharp House, London (home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society). Maiden Lane is an early Playford tune, from the 1651 first edition.

Two tunes across three videos, then. First, Christine Cooper and Jamie Huddlestone play both tunes as a fiddle/melodeon set (Key: G). Second, the Boldwood string/accordion quartet play Maiden Lane with a different flavour (G). And we finish with fiddler Laurel Swift’s slow teaching video of Maiden Lane (A).

Aaaand…. dance!

 

Christine Cooper (fiddle), Jamie Huddlestone (melodeon)

(‘The Shepherd and the Shepherdess / Maiden Lane’, YouTube video 3.58. Published by Christine Cooper on Jul 20 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8H8W7eAQJM)

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (accordion), Daniel Wolverson (viola), Matthew Coatsworth (fiddle), Kate Moran (fiddle)

Filmed during a recording session at Christ Church, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England in November 2016.

(‘Boldwood – Maiden Lane’, YouTube video 2.45. Published by Boldwood on Dec 1 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCUTMHVp0S0)

 

Laurel Swift (fiddle)

Teaching video made for Laurel’s West London Folk Bank class at the West London Trades Union Centre in Acton, London.

(‘Maiden Lane’, YouTube video 1.34. Published by Mary Doody on Sep 19 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HXSjaeP2gQ)

 

Christine Cooper Bandcamp Tumblr Folk and Honey

CD available at: http://christinecooper.tumblr.com/music

 

Jamie Huddlestone Soundcloud Youtube

 

Boldwood website Facebook

New album Glory of the West and previous CDs available from the website, plus two brilliant dance tune books: The Boldwood Dancing Master, a book of over 70 English country dance tunes from 1679 to 1838; and The Second Boldwood Dancing Master, over 60 tunes from 18th century manuscripts with suggested chords

 

Laurel Swift website Facebook

Details of Laurel’s collaborative folk music project Travelling With Thomas

Laurel’s West London Folk Band tunes: YouTube and ealingsessions

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Filed under English folk/traditional, 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

 

insect dance_b

 

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