Monthly Archive for July, 2016

Nelson Monday Jam 7-25-16

Starting at 7pm, we went around the (giant, sprawling) circle, and everybody chose a tune:

Father Kelly’s Reel (Portland)
Old Grey Cat (Portland)
Ashokan Farewell (Waltz Book)
Amelia (Waltz Book)
Coleraine (NEFR)
Jefferson & Liberty (NEFR)
Froggie on the Carport (Portland)
Jamie Allen (NEFR / Portland)
Moon & Seven Stars (Portland)
Connaughtman’s Rambles (NEFR)
Farewell to Whiskey (NEFR)
Pays de Haut (NEFR)

Instruments played: cello, four or five fiddles, three flutes, acoustic guitar, concertina, electric guitar, harmonica.

Books used: New England Fiddlers Repertoire, Portland Collection, The Waltz Book

Later that night, on stage…
And if I remember, the late-night contra dance sets played were:

Kesh Jig / Dan Something (?) in A / Irishman’s Heart
The Banshee / St Anne’s Reel / Flowers of Edinburgh
Waltz: Far Away

For those dances, it was Samuel on accordion, Garrett on banjo ukulele, Max on bass, Gordon on piano, and me on harmonica.

Peterborough First Saturday Jam: Correction
At the end of the early jam, I invited folks to come play at the Peterborough First Saturday Jam on August 6 before the contra dance in the Pboro Town House. I misspoke, thinking the first Saturday of August was THIS weekend, when actually it’s NEXT weekend. Peterborough jam starts at 6:30pm. If you stick around through the first half of the dance, we’ll also play some bonus waltzes during the break – in the middle of the dance floor, with couples waltzing around us.

Nelson Jam – July 18, 2016

IMG_20160718_200220The Monday night jam was once again orchestral! By the end, we had at least three fiddles, two flutes, cello, concertina, accordion, piano, guitar and harmonica.

The tune list tonight was punctuated by challenging new tunes which most of us sight-read, concluding with Mid Winter Waltz, which had a page turn that I missed, starting over from the beginning, puzzled why I was the only one confidently playing the first bars again.

There were calls to try it a second time, but we had to clear out for the dance, so a few of us regrouped behind the hall to give Mid Winter Waltz another run through.

This time, we all got the page turn and heard for the first time the shift from G minor to G major which those in the know had been waiting for. I was not in the know before, but I was now approaching the know. For good measure, we tried a second minor/major waltz outside, Tosavalsen.

Here are some of the tunes from tonight’s pre-dance jam:

L’Oiseau Bleu
Wind That Shakes the Barley
Lady of the Lake (D)
Little Burnt Potato
Mairi’s Wedding
Jefferson and Liberty
Rakes of Clonmel
Boda Waltz
Farewell to Whiskey
Mid Winter Waltz (outside)
Tosavalsen (outside)

IMG_20160718_203307Tonight was an Apple Hill night, and the hall was filled with visiting strings students attending the chamber music camp. We had four lines at one point. There were some unintentional shoulder checks. Gotta keep your swing minimalist when the hall’s that full! Usually the hall clears out around 10:00, but a good sized crowd stayed for the last two sets and the waltz. Tonight’s end of the night band was Samuel Foucher on accordion, Garrett Cameron on banjo uke, Jack Perron on fiddle, Gordon Peery on piano, and me on harmonica. Here’s what we played:

Jig Set: Rose in the Heather / Out on the Ocean / Morrison’s

Reel Set: The Banshee / Shenandoah Falls / McLenon’s

Waltz: The Rose By the Door

Del Rossi’s Jam – July 13, 2016

2016-07-13_del_rossis_01I went to the Del Rossi’s Wednesday jam every week for the first few years I lived in New Hampshire, then got busy on Wednesday nights and haven’t been in awhile. Lately, it seems like if I go, I rush and rush and STILL only catch the last couple songs. So when lessons wrapped up early today, I made a point to get to Del Rossi’s right at start time, 6pm. I even had a beer, but don’t worry, two hours of fiddle tunes is enough to metabolize one beer and send me down the road cleareyed and fully responsive.

2016-07-13_del_rossis_02Tonight the jam featured one fiddle, two guitars, a viola, a mandolin, and a harmonica. I used my low-rent smartphone to note down which tunes were played. It felt a little OCD and I worried that it looked like I was constantly texting between songs. Apologies to tonight’s jammers if I appeared to be an incorrigible millennial. I try to be corrigible, and I’m a good generation too old to be millennial. Plus my haircut’s too symmetrical. Here are the songs:

June Apple
Staten Island Hornpipe
Cooley’s Reel
Swinging on a Gate
Scollay’s Reel
Temperance Reel
The Star Above the Garter
Kitchen Girl
Angelina Baker
Ashokan Farewell
Swallowtail Jig
Mairi’s Wedding
Bundle and Go
McLenon’s Reel
Red Haired Boy
Midnight on the Water
Fair Jennie’s Jig
Hunting the Buffalo
Lovers Waltz

Nelson Jam – Monday July 11, 2016

2016-07-11_nelson_danceIf you’re interested, we have a beginner music jam before the contra dance in Nelson, NH every Monday night from 7:00-8:00pm. All instruments are welcome, and we use three books: the New England Fiddler’s Repertoire, The Portland Collection, and The Waltz Book. If you play by ear, you can travel lighter, but the books are helpful for practice at home and for trying out new stuff at the jam.

Tonight, we looked like a mini-orchestra! Four fiddles, three flutes, concertina, cello, accordion, piano, harmonica and guitar. It’d be nice to get pictures of the various groups who gather, since it does vary a lot. The picture at the beginning of this post is not from tonight’s jam, but from the dance later in the evening. During the actual jam, I was busy playing and didn’t take any pictures! Here are most of the tunes we played:

Brisk Young Lads
Boda Waltz
Jimmy Allen
Jennie’s Gone to Linton
Come Up the Back Stairs
Ashokan Farewell
Jefferson and Liberty
Far From Home
La Grondeuse
Mairi’s Wedding

Peterborough Beginners Jam 7-2-16

2016-06-02_pboro_jamWe had a great beginners jam before the Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance this weekend! Four musicians came out, and we played tunes from the New England Fiddlers Repertoire, The Portland Collection and The Waltz Book. Instruments included guitar, harmonica, two fiddles, accordion, flute, whistle. Tunes played: Jimmy Allen, Mairi’s Wedding, L’oiseau Bleu, Spootiskerry, Southwind, Boda, Amelia, Kesh Jig, Staten Island Hornpipe, Doon the Brae, plus a few more I can’t remember. It’s a free community event, if you’d like to come play or listen. We’re there every first Saturday before the dance, in the Peterborough Town Hall, starting at 6:30. Next jam and dance are on Saturday August 6.