Category Archives: 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!

 

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St. Catherine

 

stcatherine

 

A tune for 25th November feast-day of the legendary Alexandrian princess, scholar and Christian martyr who has her work cut out as the patron saint of a diverse slice of humanity, from potters and unmarried girls to knife-grinders and librarians.

‘St. Catherine’ is the 1701 Playford name for My Lord Cutt’s Delight, a tune from Henry Atkinson’s 1694 Northumberland manuscript. (The Session has notes on repeats, if playing this tune for the dance.)

The two featured videos this week pair St. Catherine in dance sets with another tune – Leveret play it second to New Anything; melodeon-player Anahata places it first in a set with The Cotillon.

 

Leveret

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

A track from the trio’s 2015 debut album New Anything. (St. Catherine begins at 1:58.)

(‘Levert – New Anything/St Catherine’ YouTube video, 4:19. Published by Sam Sweeney, 12 Dec 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tev4RxJQwJE)

 

Anahata (melodeon)

A very clear solo version that makes an excellent a teaching video. Played on an Oakwood D/G melodeon.

(‘My Lord Cutt’s Delight/The Cotillon’ YouTube video, 3:10. Published by anahatamelodeon, 30 Aug 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko6pY_5VD78)

 

Leveret:  website   Facebook  Twitter

Anahata:  website   YouTube

 

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Filed under English folk/traditional, Uncategorized

Da Shaalds O’Foula/Old Favourite

 

shetland3

 

A set of two beautifully-matched jigs from different Celtic traditions. Da Shaalds O’Foula is a traditional Shetland jig named for the hidden reef that lies off the remote island of Foula, where standing stones mark the midwinter sun and the local dialect speaks out of Old Norse roots. The second tune, Old Favourite, is a traditional Irish jig known by many other names, including the West Clare Jig.

 

methera-millMethera describe themseves as ‘a string quartet with roots firmly planted in English traditional music’ – a music that dissolves the walls we’ve built between traditional and classical. They take their name from the ancient northern English sheep-counting system that begins ‘Yan, Tan, Tethera, Methera…’. (If you feel like a linguistic adventure, you can learn the rest here.)

 

Methera

Lucy Deakin (cello), John Dipper (Fiddle), Emma Reid (Fiddle), Miranda Rutter (Viola)

The quartet playing for the live recording of their new album Vortex, at a house concert in a gorgeous Suffolk barn, April 2016.

(‘Methera – Da Shaalds a Foula / Old Favourite’, YouTube video, 4:17. Published by Methera 8 Sep 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38cx-FoTBaU)

 

087kopiahighresGIG ALERT!

Methera November Tour 2016

18th: Embleton, nr Alnwick, Northumberland

20th: Lancaster

21st: Riding Mill, Northumberland

22nd: Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire

23rd: Cecil Sharp House, London

24th: Corpus Christi College, Oxford

25th: Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Details and bookinghttp://www.methera.co.uk/gigs

 

Methera:  website   Facebook

methera-vortexALBUM ALERT!

New album Vortex (and previous albums) available as download or CD on bandcamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Irish traditional, Scottish traditional, Shetland traditional, Uncategorized

The Atlantic Waltz

 

atlantic-sun

 

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO8zjMNDfjw)

 

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

Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle

 

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The Swedish 3/4 time slängpolska plays in some strangely danceable world between polka and waltz. This popular example was composed by Uppland herring fisherman, bargeman and renowned nyckelharpist Carl Ersson Bössa (1783-1847), known as Byss-Kalle (or Byss-Calle).

To non-Scandinavian ears, the rhythm is extraordinary: there’s an interesting discussion of slängpolska timing, along with details of Byss-Kalle’s life, at Banjo Hangout here.

 

Christer Häggmark (fiddle), Urban Andersson (accordion)

Lovely dance-speed rendering played on the hoof at the Delsbostämman festival, Delsbo, Sweden, July 2007.

(‘Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle’, YouTube video, 2:35. Published by Scan Fiddle, 16 July 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjnSrDsUlcI)

 

Laurel Swift (fiddle)

Teaching video from Laurel’s West London Folk Band class.

(‘Swedish Polska’, YouTube video, 1:16. Published by Mary Doody, 16 Feb 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7tCRCyB3Iw)

 

Anahata (melodeon)

(‘Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle’ – Anahata, melodeon, YouTube video, 2:48. Published by anahatamelodeon, 3 Apr 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMJpbMzAFQ)

 

Gig Alert!

Laurel Swift plays double bass and clog dances for ancient/modern folk dance band Gadarene – currently on an their second album launch tour. album_6panelmooncut_proof

Dates remaining:

Tuesday 25 Oct: Exeter
Friday 28 Oct: London
Friday 4 Nov: Watchet
Friday 25 Nov: Bristol

Details/booking here

 

Christer Häggmark:  Facebook

Urban Andersson:  Facebook

Laurel Swift:  website   Facebook

Laurel’s Ealing workshop videos and sheet music:  https://ealingsessions.wordpress.com/

Anahata:  website  YouTube

 

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Filed under European traditional, Nordic traditional, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

Stop Press: Radio Rich Pickings

Radio Rich Pickings launches today!

club_holds_radio_dance_wearing_earphones_1920Tuesday 27 September 2016

6-8pm UK

1-3pm EST

TO LISTEN ONLINE:

  1.  Click the LINK
  2.  Click PLAY

 

 

My good friend and West London neighbour, ex-Genesis roadie turned environmentalist Richard Macphail, goes solo on air tonight with his shiny-bright new radio station, playing an eclectic mix of rock (1960-1985 ish), jazz, classical, folk, and a whole kaleidoscope of you-heard-it-here-first stories from his years on the road.

The second hour he describes as Off Piste – and it does what it says on the tin. Tonight, acclaimed English folk band Leveret (a Fiddletails favourite) is on the playlist with a track from their 2016 CD In The Round.

Kick back and stretch your ears for a while. I’ll see you there!

(Radio Rich Pickings: http://69.175.94.98:8200/index.html)

 

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

Georgia Row

 

Monday already? So what better way to start the week than with this breezy Old Timey/Ragtimey tune – originally from renowned Uncle Charlie OsborneVirginia fiddler ‘Uncle’ Charlie Osborne (1890-1992), who played left-handed on a conventional right-handed fiddle, and was famous for his fiddling from the age of 15 until his death at the age of 101.

First up, Adam Hurt and Beth Williams Hartness lay out a jaunty, fluid version at dance speed, along with some great banjo ornamentations over subtle fingerstyle guitar. The second video – a slightly slower rendering showcasing the fiddle’s double-stopping and dulcitar/strumstick fingering – is by Danish Old Time afficionados The Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo, who learned the tune from a recording of Uncle Charlie Osborne.

And of course, Georgia Row makes a great pair with a previous Old Time Fiddletails post, Too Many Days in Georgia.

Have a happy week, everyone!

 

Adam Hurt (banjo), Beth Williams Hartness (guitar)

Recorded at the Washington, DC studios of radio station WAMU’s Bluegrass Country.

(‘Adam Hurt & Beth Williams Hartness – Georgia Row [live at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country]’, YouTube video, 3:07. Posted by  WAMU’s Bluegrass Country 105.5, 21 Apr 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N52oZyhOWSg)

 

Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo

Tobias Enevoldsen (fiddle), Jesper Deleuran (strumstick/dulcitar)

(‘Georgia Row’, YouTube video, 4:00. Posted by The Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo, 16 Apr 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keVVoca12U4)

 

For more information on gigs, CDs, videos etc:

Adam Hurt:  website  Facebook

Beth Williams Hartness:  Facebook

Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo:  website  Big Hungry Joe

Jesper Deleuran:  YouTube

 

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Filed under American old-time, American traditional, Uncategorized

Whitehall Minuet

 

whitehall-palace-river

Whitehall Palace, London

 

This lovely tune is named for the Palace of White Hall, which had grown larger than Versailles or the Vatican by the time it was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1698.

The Whitehall Minuet was published in 1709 by John Young in his tunebook Dancing Master, and in John Walsh’s Compleat Country Dancing Master, 1718.

Hare’s Maggot and French Morris, the ‘set’ partners to the minuet in the two very different renderings below, are both Playford tunes from 1701.

I’ve always understood that ‘maggot’ in a title means a tune that sticks in your head – an ear-worm. But I see from the wonderful Traditional Tune Archive that although the word can mean a dram (a liquid measure), ‘the musical meaning may stem from the word’s derivation from the Italian word maggioletta, or a plaything’.

 

The Askew Sisters

Emily Askew (fiddle), Hazel Askew (melodeon)

From a 2014 performance at TwickFolk, Twickenham, Middlesex, UK. The set is also on their CD In the Air or the Earth.

(‘The Askew Sisters – The Whitehall Minuet and Hare’s Maggot’, YouTube video, 5:10. Published by Eugey Baby, 15 Oct 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guZEJy_ggRQ)

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (accordion), Miranda Rutter (fiddle, viola), Matthew Coatsworth (fiddle, viola)

From the acclaimed but unreleased 2012 album Mudlarking. Whitehall Minuet starts at 1:41.

(https://soundcloud.com/boldwood/06-french-morris-whitehall)

 

GIG ALERTS!

Askew Sisters:  this coming Monday 19 September, at London’s Green Note, Camden. Last few tickets here!

Boldwood:  Saturday 15 October, St Peter’s Church, Wolvercote, Oxford. Tickets: info@stpeterswolvercote.org  or 01865 559316

 

For more information on CDs, gigs etc:

Askew Sisters:  website   facebook

Boldwood:  website   facebook

 

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Filed under English folk/traditional, Uncategorized

Folk Music Retreat with Laurel Swift

Street, Somerset

7-9 October 2016

Street retreat

Just a few places left on this first event in Laurel Swift’s 2016-2017 varied teaching programme – a multi-instrumental weekend retreat with the emphasis on developing ensemble skills alongside individual playing and musicianship. Expect dynamic, inspirational teaching in great company, fuelled by wonderful food and drink in glorious country settings.

Oh, and you’ll need to pack walking boots with your instruments!

Glast Tor

Full details and booking here.

For Laurel’s full programme of retreats, workshops and classes, see the Teaching menu on her website.

 

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

Durang’s Hornpipe

 

DurangHornpipe

The Hornpipe, by John Durang, watercolor from his Memoir, Courtesy of the York County History Center

Meet John Durang (1768-1822), dancer, acrobat, actor and performer with Ricketts’s Circus across the northeastern United States and into Canada. Born in Pennsylvania of German and French parents, he was George Washington’s favourite dancer.

The tune was composed for  Durang in new York in 1785 by Mr. Hoffmaster, his German violin teacher.

Durang's Hornpipe orig

Here are several different versions from North American musical cultures: two teaching videos (American and Canadian); a performance video (traditional African-American string band); and archive reel-to-reel audio of a West Virginia fiddler.

Choose your favourite to learn!

 

 

Katie Henderson (fiddle)

America: teaching video from Katie’s encyclopaedic New Tune A Day Youtube site.

(Durang’s Hornpipe (Old-Time Fiddle Tune) NTAD) YouTube video, 2:11. Uploaded by Katie Davis Henderson, 20 Sep 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMTzACv31Lg)

 

Patti Kusturok, Shamma Sabir (fiddles)

Canada: teaching video from Patti’s YouTube fiddle tunes vlog.

(‘Day 229 – Durang’s Hornpipe – Patti Kusturok’s 365 Days of Fiddle Tunes’ YouTube video, 2:14. Published by Patti Kusturok, 17  Aug 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNDgl5iws5o)

 

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Justin Robinson (fiddle),  Dom Flemons (snare drum), Rhiannon Giddens (flat-footing)

The wonderful African-American stringband performing at Mass MoCA, May 2010.

(‘Carolina Chocolate Drops – Durang’s Hornpipe’ YouTube video, 2:24. Uploaded by Music Maker Relief Foundation, 31 May 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mef_qNAj6o)

 

Frank George (fiddle)

Recording by widely-respected West Virginia fiddler William Franklin ‘Frank’ George at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, 30 October 1976.

FrankGeorge

(From the Digital Library of Appalachia, Berea College http://dla.acaweb.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/berea/id/3104/rec/10)

 

More information:

Katie Henderson:  NTADblogspot  website  YouTube

Patti Kusturok:  website  YouTube

Carolina Chocolate Drops:  website

Frank George: Berea College recordings

John Durang:  http://johndurang.yorkhistorycenter.org/

 

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