Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thinking about tunes...

Hiya, gang! What a great session last night! Sorry for any confusion - I forgot that the Blogger posts take a day to go out, so please nobody show up at Old Songs tonight looking for tunes! :-)

We had a great old chat about bands to listen to when you're first starting out playing the music (this is a post for another day), and we also talked about a tune that was on our list from last month: The Old Bush. I have a CD of uilleann piper Willie Clancy's music, and on the first CD in the set, there's a lovely rendition of The Old Bush. In contrast, I have a lovely CD by my friend Pat O'Connor, The Humours of Derrybeha, that features a gorgeous track of Sporting Moll and The Old Bush. Pat's version is the closest to what I hear played around this area these days. I encourage you to buy the CDs, but if you want to hear the contrast between the two versions, you can listen here:

Willie Clancy  - The Old Bush is listed as the third track, and if you roll your cursor just to the left of the number, a little play arrow icon will show up. Click it and you can hear a sample.   

Pat O'Connor  - This version is a bit smoother and less piper-y (for obvious reasons). It's very obviously the same tune, but the pacing and the phrasing is a little different.

I want to give a shout out to Colleen O'Sullivan's Comhaltas Slow Session! Clayton mentioned that you guys had played Eddie Kelly's #2 on Sunday. Joe and Amy remembered it and played it along with Eddie Kelly's #1 for us. Then Clayton dug out the sheet music for #2 and we played that a bunch of times. What a great tune! We're going to work on Eddie Kelly's #1 for next month.

After a bit of a delay (the photocopier was being cranky), we finally got around to playing Tonra's jig (dmix)/Anthony Frawley's (gmaj)/Kerfunten (dmaj); Shoe the Donkey (thank you Gary Mehlum for straightening me out on how to play the b part!), and Fermoy Lasses/Sporting Paddy. We had some nice discussion about tunes and a few variations, and made plans for next month.

Regarding The Kerfunten, I understand from notes on that the tune was composed by flute player Hammy Hamilton, who apparently wrote the tune in G, not D. Anyway, I originally learned it in D, and it just fit the set well in that key, so....we're just gonna do it that way for now. You can access both versions on the Tunes page. It just seemed right to mention the composer and the proper key, out of respect for the man and his wonderful music.

On the list for April 17*
Jigs: Eddie Kelly's #1 and #2
Polkas: As I Went Out on the Ice and Forde's Polka
Reels: Crooked Road to Dublin and Man of the House
Gary Mehlum will be giving us a Scandinavian Schottische, and I'll be digging up an Irish one to share.

*I'll post these tunes as soon as I have them.

Thanks again for a lovely evening! Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day weekend...



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Slow Session Tonight!

Hi, gang! I hope you had a fantastic St. Patrick's Day, and that you're ready to play some tunes yourself, if you didn't get to anywhere else...

Tonight is Slow Session! Hope to see you at Old Songs at 7:30 PM.

I know it's short notice, but we're going to learn/work on three jigs tonight:
Brendan Tonra's - Dmaj
Anthony Frawley's - Gmaj
Kerfunten Jig  (by Hammy Hamilton) - Dmaj - although I accidentally sent out the Gmaj version. We can try both.

And one hornpipe - Off to California - Gmaj

We'll also go over the reels we had from last month: Fermoy Lasses and Sporting Paddy, as well as some other older tunes.

See you later!