Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rambling Pitchfork

Today I returned to an old favorite source of tunes - Caoimhìn Ò Raghallaigh and Mick O'Brien's album, Kitty Lie Over.  I've tuned my fiddle down to their tuning - down a major third from standard.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Five Miles from Town

I have Rayna Gellert's recording with Susan Geohring on repeat.  By the end of this project (July 2012), I will probably have done every single tune on that album.  I LOVE IT.  So this is another one, called Five Miles from Town - tuning is standard with the low G string tuned up to an A. (ADAE)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reel of Eight

A couple days ago I skyped with Métis fiddler Jennilee Martineau and she taught me this tune.  It's crooked because the first half of the A-part has 10 bars.  I had a tough time getting the bows right - it's exactly opposite from what I am used to. The important thing, I learned, was that the upbeat gets the emphasis, so anything you can do with your bow to stress the upbeat is good.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Donegal Lasses

I went to a workshop this weekend by Laura Cortese.  She gracefully recorded a couple of tunes into my handy dandy recorder for me to learn.  This jig was one of them.  I have adopted some of her Scottish flavor for it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let the Bottle Circulate

Here's a cool little Scottish slow reel I learned from Laura Cortese today at a workshop.  She learned this from the whistle player from Old Blind Dogs.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

For the Love of Music

Here's a slip jig written by the amazing Liz Carroll.  She plays this on her album Lake Effect - and in the set she plays this tune first in G and then in A.  I'm playing it here in A.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Goodbye Girls

Another Old-Time tune!  I learned this one off of Rayna Gellert's and Susan Goehring's album "Starch & Iron."  I listened to it over and over today at work.  It's such a cool, unpredictable tune.  I think Rayna learned this tune from Andy Cahan.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Say Old Man I Want Your Daughter

I'm so grateful for youtube.  More than half of the tunes I've learned so far have come from videos on youtube.  This one came from a video of Stephanie Coleman and Adam Hurt playing live somewhere in the UK.  The tune is cool, open tuning, and crooked.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Waltzing with Lilly

This is a tune written by a friend of mine, Joe Morales, who plays guitar and claw-hammer banjo.  He wrote this one for his wife.  He taught it to me today.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Orphan

Today I learned a jig from Kevin Burke's album, "Up Close."  I love Kevin Burke's emotive, sweet playing and his wonderful lilt.  This is a slow jig and pretty simple to learn.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Old Maid of Galway

Here's another tune I learned from the inimitable Liz Carroll. This one's from her recording "Lost in the Loop," and she pairs it with a reel she wrote called, "Lizzy in the Lowground."  I like how she plays this tune lower and slower than most.  It's groovy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mother's Delight

I learned another tune off of Frankie Gavin and Alec Finn's old recording.  They list this tune as Sean Franks, but that's actually a different tune (the album is notoriously mislabeled.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

John Riley the Shepherd

The source for the tune I learned today is Adam Hurt's recording "Earth Tones," which despite the new-agey title, is a gorgeous album of old time tunes he plays on a gourd banjo.  Gorgeous stuff.  This tune is on the last track.  I also listened to Stephanie Coleman's version, and play it in that key (G dorian.)  Also Stephanie's version is straight (not crooked), and Adam's version is crooked.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Maid(s) of Mount Cisco

So I'm back after a bit of a break!  (I wasn't about to learn a new tune each day during the holiday break when my time was better spent sitting and watching Star Trek Voyager on Netflix, or visiting Yellowstone National Park...)  This is a lovely reel, and I learned a unique version from MacDarra Ó Raghallaigh's playing.