Dispatches from the road from our wayfaring travelers.
Wow! What a trip! As Jason said, we have a ton of stories and joys to share with you!
Here are a couple of tunes we played at a pub called the Tap and Spile at the end of the Hexham Gathering. The session and conversations were the perfect ending to a wonderful festival!
Jaime Allen is a really popular tune, we heard it all throughout the week! I think it’s kind of like our Angeline the Baker (which they also play!
Some say that Jaime Allen was the last man to be hung in Durham – whoa!
Here is Reed House Rant, a tune a thought just bounced up to the sun!
These tunes are also being added to the Tune Archive if you wan to check out some other tunes, too!
We’re playing Boil Em Cabbage Down today with some teachers students and friends as part of a free concert today @ Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln in the Concert Hall. Those of you in Chicago, come on down! To our friends across the sea, we love you!
Here are some more recordings and video from yesterday’s adventures!
We were at the Cumberland Arms last night. We started some Old Time tunes with our fiddler/rapper dancer friend Thomas. Another man named Tom joined us on the mandolin and after playing Over the Waterfall, asked us if we knew the Volo Bogtrotters! I said, “They’re our mentors!”
Next we played some Soldier’s Joy:
Here are some more recordings from the Bob Dylan jam with Tom, he was really nice to us
We went upstairs to the Rapper Dance rehearsal led by Tom Besford, and were even given a lesson ourselves by Chris and Don. Don has been part of the King’s Men for 33 years! I was able to chat with Tom Cronin who I had met on my last trip. Here’s a sample of their rehearsal.
Don gave us a ride to the station after rehearsal, he was full of great stories…
We’re off to a rehearsal of students from Broomley First School!
Wow! We saw and played so much music yesterday! We began our day with a train ride from Stocksfield to Newcastle.
We sat in the lobby of the Sage Gateshead and played some tunes and made some new friends. After lunch we headed downstairs to some classrooms.
The Sage Gateshead is host to classes for a folk degree program for Newcastle University Students. We saw a recital of 2nd year folk degree music students. Each band had it’s own flavor and style, it was really neat to see them play traditional folk tunes, mixed with contemporary music, mixed with original compositions.
We headed over to the the Free Trade Inn afterwards where the students could let out a deep breathe. They are so nice to us and really welcoming showing us around! Some folks started playing Gypsy Jazz tunes, neat! I had a little exchange with our new friend Natalie who is a vocal major. I played her an Old Time tune and sang her a song from Mexico and she sang me a beautiful Odetta tune, her voice was so deep and soulful, what a treat!
JMac discovered everyone new a bunch of Old Time tunes and gathered a list of tunes everyone knows here so that we can bring back a few!
We headed over to the Sage Gateshead for the evening Adult classes. From 7-8pm have beginning classes for fiddle, guitar, whistle, and accordian. Later in the evening they also have choir and Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Ensembles. I saw that Ruth Ball was teaching fiddle. She’s a musician I met several years ago. I was fun to have the opportunity to see her teach! I followed her over to the Beginning Ensemble, and we played from French dance tunes! A group of folks grabbed my hands to dance to the tune first, they had to be sure I new the dance, I loved it!
Here’s a recording of the French Set:
I went to the choir group and sang a song in Zulu called Wajikele. I sat next to woman from Poland and we had great fun! Next we sang Wild Mountain Thyme, pretty awesome!
After class, our friend Matt led us to some fish and chips and then we headed to Bob Trollop’s for a super jam of fiddles, electric bass, whistle, guitar, cello, clogging, dancing and energy! It was so exciting to sit and play tunes from England, Ireland, Scotland, the U.S. and Mexico. The group was very welcoming to us really up for swapping some tunes!
More fun adventures to come, the Hexham Gathering begins tonight!
We arrived safely in England yesterday and we’re having a great adventure. We’re staying with Chris Pentney who is a Folkworks Programme Manager at The Sage Gatehead. Chris came to visit us at the Old Town School of Folk Music last year, she’s taking very good care of us and three of us sang and jammed into the night!
We landed in London yesterday and then took the tube to King’ Cross and then a beautiful train ride to Newcastle. This is the same train I rode several years ago with Bau Graves, Robert Tenges, Barbara Silverman, Boogie McClarin, Joe Filisko and Steve Levitt. That’s how we all got to know each other, traveling with music is such a great way to make friends!
We saw a great concert last night by an Irish group called Four Men and a Dog
They were so fun! They showed great musicianship, showmanship and generosity! I giggled a lot, the music was really fun. We got to meet them after the show and shake their hands and share some stories.
We saw them in Hall two at The Sage Gateshead last night which is a 10-sided hall where chairs can be moved around to change the feeling of the space.
More adventures, today!
This is the ensemble class taught by Olli Varis. These students are also in their second year. They were making new arrangements of traditional tunes. It was great to listen to them! I shared song from Michoacan called “Jucheti Consuelito”, and Bau taught us “Lay Down Little Doggies.”
When we were in Helsinki, we visited the Sibelius Academy’s Folk Music Department.
This is a recording of one of the ensemble classes playing Flatbush Waltz and a song named Sirba from Romania.. These students are in their second year at the school, and their teacher is Eero Grundstrom, a former student of the Folk Music Department. There were two clarinet players in the class, one of whom has a Klezmer band.
Here is a recording of some of the Rapper Dancers playing North Umbrian pipes.
This is a tune that Ruth Ball taught me in a practice room at The Sage Gateshead. It’s called Dustanburgh Rant. A rant is a type of dance.
Barbie’s class was really fun. Steve, Bau and I got to accompany them…