Jolly Old Hawk

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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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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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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

Gig Alert!

 

Premo & Gustavsson USA CD-Release Tour

October 19th – 30th, 2016

PG-UD109-prepared

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

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