Tunes from Kirk Sutphin

Kirk Sutphin & Bertram Levy
Banjos, Bows and Bellows

Sunday, March 10, 2013, 6:30pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

B.Y.O.B. Snacks will be provided.

Fiddler Kirk Sutphin, from Walkertown, North Carolina, joins with banjoist and concertinist Bertram Levy for a unique presentation of old-time tunes from the Blue Ridge Mountains. For more background, visit this earlier Fiddle Club post, or Bertram Levy’s website.

All fiddlers and friends of fiddlers, including players of other instruments, are welcome. $15 admission. Click here to register.

Kirk and Bertram will present a short concert, followed by a jam session. Here’s some of the tunes we’ll play in the session. (Some teaching may happen.)

The Rout learned from Burt Edwards

Here it is a bit slower.
The Rout learned from Burt Edwards

Jump Jim Crow learned from Alan Jabbour

Here it is a bit slower.
Jump Jim Crow slow

Paddy on the Turnpike learned from a recording of Frank Jenkins

Here it is a bit slower.
Paddy on the Turnpike slower

Paul Tyler, convener

Filed under: Session Tunes,Tunes by Paul | February 23, 2013 | Comments (0)

Jimmy Keane brings his accordion to Fiddle Club

Sunday, January 27, 2013, 6:30pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

B.Y.O.B. Snacks will be provided.

All fiddlers and friends of fiddlers, including players of other instruments, are welcome. $15 admission. Click here to register.

Here’s a tune I recorded Jimmy playing on stage at the Indiana Fiddler’s Gathering in 1980 when he was a mere lad of 22.
Frieze Britches aka The Friar’s Breeches, aka Cunnla

And a half dozen years later he played with the also youthful and equally accomplished Liz Carroll in a concert for the Adler Cultural Center in Libertyville, Illinois.
unnamed reel-Limerick Lasses

From that same 1986 concert comes this solo performance of two Cuz Teahan tunes: The Road to Glentowne and The School of Glentowne . . .

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Jimmy, of course, has had a long and outstanding career performing and composing wonderful tunes in the Irish tradition. You can find more samples on his own website (click here).

Paul Tyler, convener

Filed under: Meeting Schedule,Preview Tunes,Tunes by Paul | January 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

Fiddle Club Tune Sessions

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
In two weeks, Jimmy Keane will be our featured guest at a concert and session at Seman Violins. So let’s brush up on some of the Irish tunes we’ve learned in the past.

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 NĂ­ Chonghaile.

Maybe also
Tripping to the Well & Galway Belle from Frank Ferrel

February 17, 6:30 at the Leadway
Old-Time night. Suggestions?

February 17, 6:30 at the Leadway
A little Klezmer, a bit of Scandinavia and a Ukrainian tune.

Filed under: Meeting Schedule,Tunes by Paul | January 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

Guest Artist for next Fiddle Club meeting

Frank Hall, Old-Time Fiddler
Sunday, September 30 – 6:30p
Atlantic Bar & Grill (5062 Lincoln), in the back room

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.

Frank Hall Easy Street String Band

You can register at and search the class catalog for Fiddle Club. That brings up two choices: 1) a single meeting registration for $15, or 2) a year’s subscription to all Fiddle Club events for $60.

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

Filed under: Meeting Schedule,Session Tunes,Tunes by Paul | September 18, 2012 | Comments (1)

Tune of the Week for July 2, 2012

A classic rag, as played by Les Raber of Hastings, Michigan.
Check out his cool Michigan Fiddler trading card.
Collect the whole set.

Les Raber
(click to enlarge)

back of the card
(click to enlarge)

Dill Pickle Rag

T:Dill Pickle Rag
S:Les Raber of Hastings, Michigan
degd egde | gdeg2 edB | GABG ABGA | BGAB2 AGE | DEFD EFDE |1
FDEE2DEF | GFGE2 FG2 | A^GA2 d4 :|2 FDEE2 FGA | Bd2B dBA2 | G6 z2 |:
D2^D2 E2F2 | G2ed2 ed2 | F2ed2 ed2 | G2ed2 ed2 | DA^DA EAFA |
G2ed2 ed2 |1 AB^ca2 ege | fde2 d4 :|2 A2ed2 ed2 | g5 g2z2 |:
cAGc AGEF | GEGA GECE | DEDd2 BA2 | G4 A2B2 |
cAGc AGEF | GEGA GECD | EDEG2 ED2 | C4 c2B2 |
A^GAB cBcd | e^dea2 ge2 | d^cdg2 ed2 | c4 c2z2 :|
NB Twenty-four Tunes of the Week have been posted through the first half of 2012. Since the second half of the year just started, I’ve started the numbering back at 1.

Paul Tyler, convener

Filed under: Tune of the Week,Tunes by Paul | July 8, 2012 | Comments (0)

Clarke Buehling Tunes

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. (
Click link to see notation)

Here’s how they sound . . .

Peaceful Henry

Peaceful Henry slow

Spanish Galopade

Spanish Galopade slow

As played by . . .
Paul Tyler, convener

Filed under: Session Tunes,Tunes by Paul | July 6, 2012 | Comments (0)

Tunes from Clarke Buehling

For Sunday, July 8 – 6:30p
Atlantic Bar & Grill (5062 Lincoln)

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.

Peaceful Henry
Peaceful Henry
Spanish Galopade
Spanish Galopade

(click each thumbnail for a downloadable full size score)
You can register for the Fiddle Club meeting for $15 by clicking here, or click this link for the $60 yearly subscription that gives you entrance to all Fiddle Club events.

Note: Recordings of the tunes can be found here.

Filed under: Notation,Session Tunes,Tunes by Paul | June 22, 2012 | Comments (0)

Tune of the Week for June 18, 2012

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.)

Bill & Joe Birchfield of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Bill & Joe Birchfield
of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Photo by Al Smitley
(click to enlarge)
Easy Street String Band
Easy Street String Band
(click to enlarge)
On the right is Frank Hall, who was the source for an earlier Tune of the Week.

Rattletrap by the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers

Rattletrap by the Easy Street String Band

S:Joe Birchfield & the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Bc | d2c2 BcdB | e2c4 Bc | d2c2 B2G2 | ABA2 G2Bc |
d2c2 BcdB | e2c6 | g2=f2 d3B | ABA2 G2 ::
(3DEF | G2GD B,2B,D | +C2E2++CE++CE+ +^C2^E2++^C^E++^C^E+ | +C2E2++CE++CE+ D3D | +CE+D+C2E2+ D2EF |
G2GD B,2D2 | +C2E2++CE++CE+ +^C2^E2++^C^E++^C^E+ | +C2E2++CE++CE+ D3D | +CE+D+C2E2+ D2 :|

Paul Tyler, convener

Filed under: Tune of the Week,Tunes by Paul | June 21, 2012 | Comments (0)

Tune of the Week for June 11, 2012

We all need a hero like John Henry.

Howard Armstrong
Howard Armstrong
(click for another view)

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.

John Henry

Click here for lyrics.

T:John Henry
S:Howard Armstrong with Ted Bogan
ef | “verse”aa2a- a2f2 | e2=c^c A4 |aa3 =gfec | e6 ef | aa2a- a2f2 | e2=c^c A4 |
“refrain”fe=c^c A2FA | c2c2 A4 | fe=c^c A2FA | A3A- A4 |
fe=c^c A2FA | fe=c^c A2FA |fe=c^c E2F2 | A3A- A2ef |
“verse”aa2a- a2=c’a | c’a2a- a3=c’ | c’=c’^c’a =c’a=f^f | e2e4 =c’2 |
(3c’2=c’2a2 (3f2e2=f2 | (3^f2=c2B2 A4 |
“refrain”fe=c^c A2FA | c2c2 A4 | fe=c^c A2FA | A3A- A2FA |
f8 | f2{=c}^c2 A4 | f2e2 c2d=c | A6 ||

Note: the triplets in the third line from the bottom should be quarter note triplets. Some Abc readers render them as eighth note triplets.

Filed under: Tune of the Week,Tunes by Paul | June 14, 2012 | Comments (0)

Melodia z tygodnia na czerwiec 4, 2012

Tune of the Week for June 4, 2012

Brian Marshall
(click to see Brian Marshall’s solo CD)

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

S:Brian Marshall of Bremond, Texas
BA | G2B2 d3a | g2e4 ef | gega gfed | c2e4 dB |
G2B2 d3a | g2e4 ef | g2f2 dcBd | c2c2 c2 ::
dc | Bcde f3c’ | b2a4 g2 | a2ab c’3a | a2g4 ga |
c’2g2 e2c2 | d2b4 ef | gega gfed | c2c2 c2 :|

This notation is just a skeleton. Get Brian’s CD from CDBaby and hear his exciting variations every time through.

Filed under: Tune of the Week,Tunes by Paul | June 13, 2012 | Comments (0)