Five years worth of Fiddle Club of the World guests, a total of 36 from six different countries (and fourteen states in the US of A)! We’ve heard a lot of great music and played a fair amount ourselves. This would be a good time to remember and work on some of the tunes our guests have shared with us.
Starting today, Fiddle Club will hold a Tune Session every month, usually on the third Sunday of the month, at the Leadway Bar & Gallery (5233 N. Damen)–back to our original home. The tune sessions will run from 6:30 to 8:30 (or beyond). Each month, we’ll pick out a few old treasures to work on. A little bit of teaching might happen. Plus we can play anything that strikes our fancy.
January 13, 6:30 at the Leadway
A set of Kerry Polkas from Paddy Jones
The Black Rogue a jig from Liz Knowles
Gone for his Tea a reel also from Liz
Cuz Teahan’s Polka from Kathleen Keane
Check out this set of hornpipes we worked on with Deirdre Ní Chonghaile.
February 17, 6:30 at the Leadway
Frank Hall, Old-Time Fiddler
Founding fiddler of the Easy Street String Band, Bloomington, Indiana’s finest in the 1980s. Frank also played with the Yeah Buddys and the Monks before moving to Ireland right at the start of this century. He’s still playing American old-time tunes along with some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians.
Here are some tunes to learn for the jam session with Frank . . .
Sopping Up the Gravy learned from a 1972 recording of Charlie “Jake” Corns of Battle Ground, Indiana
Jim Shank from Bruce Greene
Frank is a fine dance fiddler. So Fiddle Clubbers get to decide. Do we want him to play a concert set, or should we have a dance? If the latter, we’ll start with the jam session at 6:30, and follow with the dance. Let me know your druthers with a comment below.
- Paul Tyler, convener
A classic rag, as played by Les Raber of Hastings, Michigan.
Paul Tyler, convener
Clarke Buehling will guest at Fiddle Club on Sunday, July 8 at 6:30 pm in the backroom of the Atlantic Bar & Grill (5062 Lincoln). Click here to register for a single meeting ($15 ), or click here for a year-long subscription ($60) to all Fiddle Club events..
Clarke sent us written music for two tunes. (
Here’s how they sound . . .
As played by . . .
For Sunday, July 8 – 6:30p
Banjo King (and Man of Many Costumes), Clarke Buehling, visits the Old Town School on his summer tour for an afternoon workshop in the 19th century styles of class (3-finger picking) and stroke (clawhammer) banjo. Workshop info can be found here (scroll down) here (scroll down). In the evening, he will present a short concert for Fiddle Club of the World, and then work us through a couple of vintage fiddle rags and other Gilded Age tunes. The notes can be found below. Recordings to be posted soon.
(click each thumbnail for a downloadable full size score)
Note: Recordings of the tunes can be found here.
It’s Battle Ground week! That is, time for the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in lovely Battle Ground, Indiana, just a couple hours out of Chicago, just off interstate 65. This years festival will be the 40th. I missed the first four, but have only missed two since. Lots of folks look forward to reuniting for a weekend of tunes and friendship. Plus there are concerts on the stage, workshops under the trees and an old-time square dance on Saturday with music by the Bum Ditty Barn Dance Band.
I think the year was 1979 when the Gathering was treated to the music of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, a family band from Tennessee. Their tunes were great. Their spirit infectious. And they hawked their most recent album in LP and 8-track tape formats! (Now available on the CD Down Home.) Banjoists take note of the distinctive left-hand style in the picture below. The Easy Street String Band, an outfit from Bloomington, was inspired by a Hilltoppers original, and included it on their LP Money in Both Pockets. (Originally released on the Prairie Schooner label out of St. Louis, it is now available as a CD from Yodel A-Hee.)
Rattletrap by the Easy Street String Band
Paul Tyler, convener
We all need a hero like John Henry.
Recorded at a Lark Productions concert in Bears Back Room in Bloomington, Indiana in the Spring of 1982. The concert was a double bill of Bogan & Armstrong along with Yank Rachell. Howard took the lead on this number and Ted Bogan played guitar. Yank Rachell may be playing along on mandolin. Yanks accompanist, Peter Roller, was on dobro.
Note: the triplets in the third line from the bottom should be quarter note triplets. Some Abc readers render them as eighth note triplets.
Tune of the Week for June 4, 2012
Brian Marshall is a fiddler and band leader from the Polonia (Polish colony) of East Texas, between Houston and Dallas. He was raised with old village dance music played by local fiddlers like John Meleski, Raymond Zievert, and–most influential of all–Steve Oksonski. While Brian leads a full-on polka band, The Tex-Slavic Playboys, the following tune from his solo CD features and old country sound.
Brian Marshall & Ron Kasowski on fiddles, Mark Rubin on bowed bass
This notation is just a skeleton. Get Brian’s CD from CDBaby and hear his exciting variations every time through.
Låt i veckan för maj 28, 2012
Anders & Maria Larsson of the Swedish band Svanevit will be guests at Fiddle Club on Monday, June 4 at 7 pm in Room E124 — Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln). Click here to register ($15 for a single meeting).
This tune, from their album Rikedom och gåvor (Wealth and Gifts), is actually two waltzes. The first is played on bagpipes. The second waltz starts when the fiddle joins and is played in D, then raised an octave, and finally changed to the key of G. Both the album and the tune honor John Enninger, from Skåne in southern Sweden. A fiddler, writer and tune collector, Enninger (who died in 1908) played his best after “partaking of some schnapps and about half a yard of boiled eel!”
Tune of the Week for May 21, 2012
Edwin Johnson was born in 1905 in Rättvik, Sweden in the province of Dalarna. That’s almost like being born in Galax, Virginia or Mamou, Louisiana, the heart if a vibrant regional folk music tradition. At the age of 19, he joined the stream of Swedes emigrating to the United States, and made a new home for himself in the twin cities Minneapolis and St. Paul. As he helped raise a family, the old Dalarna fiddle tradition was passed on–as heard on this 1977 recording–to his son and grandson.
Lead fiddle by Edwin Johnson, seconding by Bruce Johnson & Paul Dahlin
Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear some masterful Swedish musicians at Fiddle Club.
Anders & Maria Larsson of Svanevit
Single meeting dues is $15: register here
Nota Bene: The Old Town School website has been migrating to new servers, and access to the Fiddle Club blog has been a bit spotty over the past week. All problems should now be solved.
Paul Tyler, convener