Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paddy Fahy's

Did I mention I'm a full-time grad student?  Today was a heavy day with lots of meetings and papers and yadda yadda.  That's why it's almost 9:30 pm and I'm finally posting this.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Corsican Waltz

Sometimes things get a little weird around here. Today I learned a Corsican waltz from a Venezuelan violinist. So. That's odd, right? But I listened to lots of versions of this waltz. And I have to say, Eddy Marcano is a god of the violin and his was the best.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leather Britches

Old-time/Bluegrass!  Sometimes I wish I could put my life on hold for 6 months and just practice and learn Old-time tunes.  I love these styles of fiddling!  I've done Irish fiddling all my life so I play bluegrass fiddle with an Irish accent.  :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Owny's Best

Someone remarked to me the other day that I don't often post Scottish tunes. Woops!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Durang's Hornpipe

I learned this one from friend and fellow fiddling fiend Andy Reiner.  Andy is a Berklee grad and currently plays in Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers and the Earth String Band.  The latter is currently making their way through Southeast Asia on tour.  He also has a project called Tune Swappers, which helps fiddlers from all over learn new tunes.  So today I headed on over to and learned this one.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jig For Jimmy

I learned a tune today penned by Galway fiddler Liz Kane, who I met a few years ago when she and her sister Yvonne were teaching a workshop in Takoma Park, Maryland.  They taught me a jig in C major written by Galway legend Paddy Fahy.  When I heard this tune, it reminded me so much of that jig.  It has similar arpeggios and phrases, not to mention it's in the same key and time signature.  Liz Kane wrote this tune for her grandfather.  I plan on putting it in a set with the Paddy Fahy jig in C.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Le Violon Accordé Comme Une Viole

I was going to sit down and learn a really simple tune today... like a polka or something quick.  But then I stumbled upon this video of Carole Bestvater & Liz Massi with Lucas Thebault playing this rockin' French-Canadian reel and my afternoon was stolen.  It's a cool, crooked Quebecois tune in open-tuning.  It's been recorded by the French-Canadian band Barde (but I can't find the recording anywhere.)  Other than that, I don't know much about it.  It's sure fun to play.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pols Etter Kristen Hof

I did another Norwegian one today.  And I think after 48 hours of listening to Norwegian fiddler John Ole Morken I'm starting to understand the style a little... but it's still SO foreign and strange sounding to my ears.  ESPECIALLY the kind of tune called pols in Norwegian (polska in Swedish).  So I went ahead and learned one today, hoping that my brain would comprehend it better in forcing myself to figure one out.  The one I learned is on the same John Ole Morken CD as the last Norwegian tune I did.  You can order the CD over at amazon.  (Follow this link.)  It's called Pols Etter Kristen Hof, which either means Pols by Kristen Hof, or Pols for Kristen Hof.  Not sure.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vals Etter Ingebrigt Djupdal

Yeah I have no CLUE how to say the name of this tune. Norwegian speakers? I'm sorry. Anyway, I learned this off a new-ish (2008) album I just found by John Ole Morken. It's beautiful mostly solo fiddle playing tunes from around Hessdalen, Haltdalen, and Islands. I think. The name of the album is "Slåtter Fra Hessdalen, Haltdalen Og Ålen" and it's on Amazon. It got nominated for a grammy and it's definitely worth the $9.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stairwell Time

Jeremy Kittel is a fabulous fiddler/violist/composer/etc.  He currently plays viola with the Turtle Island String Quartet.  This is a tune he wrote.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jimmy Doyle's

Yesterday I learned a pretty technical, notey tune.  Today I needed a bit of a mental break so I learned a tune off of Deadly Buzz, an album I've listened to so much since I downloaded it that I practically have the whole thing memorized.  This album is of course Mick O'Brien and Caoimhìn Ò Raghallaigh, whose first album, Kitty Lie Over, I've already obsessively memorized.  This one is a polka from their new album, which you can order here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Humours of Galway / The Golden Eagle

A friend on issued me a challenge this morning to learn this hornpipe. So I did.  It's on a De Danann album in a track called "Humours of Galway," but the name of the tune is actually The Golden Eagle.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sail Away Ladies

Yesterday I did a new tune but didn't have access to the internet.  I drove a couple hours away to play a couple of gigs over the weekend with my sister Liz.  We had a blast!  I learned (or rather, solidified a tune I kind of knew already) Sail Away Ladies.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beare Island

So this reel is the name of an actually place.  Bere Island is located in the Bantry Bay off the coast of County Cork in Ireland.  It's apparently known for its archaeological sites and whale/dolphin watching.  It wasn't named after the bear population, though, but after Queen Beara of Munster.  I highly recommend a visit!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Northern

This is probably a traditional tune but its original name could be something else.  I learned it off a Liz Carroll and John Doyle album, "In Play."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Denis Murphy's Fling

Yesterday I had a gig a couple hours away so I couldn't squeeze in a new tune. But not to worry, I picked out an extra special tune today from my favorite NEW album: Caoimhin O Raghallaigh and Mick O'Brien's Deady Buzz, which you can order here:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Drunken Gauger

I learned this from a CD of traditional tunes County Clare that arrived in the mail this week, "The South West Wind," by Peter O'Loughlin and Ronan Browne.  The liner notes say, "This is an unusual tune that is associated with Paddy Barron, the dancing master who first travelled around Clare over sixty years ago.  The O'Loughlin household in Kilmaley always extended a welcome to him."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Matt Hayes' Jig / Paddy Fahy's Jig

New jigs new jigs hooray hooray hooray.  Today I learned one from my favorite new duo Folk Ragoût, which is comprised of my friends Leslie Harrison on flute and Fred Pouille on guitar.  They have a very cool sound and do all kinds of surprising things.  Order their album here!