Fiddle and …
|Music of the frontiers
A slogan adopted years ago after many Oregon Trail concerts and other explorations: okay, but is it complete? My fiddle is a love affair.
Summer was nice. Fiddled about half of all Sunny Saturday Mornings at the Independence Saturday Market, where I was good for about 2, 2 1/2 hours without a break, trying to play as wide a variety of songs and tunes as I can.
. Still hoping to figure out how to continue the Square Dance series, maybe out at Salt Creek, but nothing firm yet.
. Enjoyed doing half a program at Brown House, Stayton, June 23, on violin history then fiddle. First Mark Babson sampled baroque/classical/romantic violin pieces; then my old-time fiddle: (an overview of 10+ different threads that have woven to make old-time fiddle, starting with the oldest tune, Soldier’s Joy, showing how it can be played many ways but is still the same; describe the Scots/Scots-Irish migrations to Appalachia, and the Mixolydian mode of the bagpipe chanter; the influence of African-American fiddlers; their synthesis in a tune learned in the New River Valley; for contrast, a regular New England/Eastern Canada tune; a French Canadian tune; in response to a question, stories about the Metis fiddlers; the influx of rags; swing; Scandinavian; a Norteno tune; a tune played in an open tuning; and, for where do all these things come from, why I made up “The Swallows”, and played that. A one-hour romp through Old-Time Fiddle as I see it.) A hit.
. The Metis question inspired me to work, for a while, on Red River Jig. Tricky! Not really a jig, I think; it feels like a regular 4/4 measure plus a half-measure, repeated many times quickly.
. The St. Paul Rodeo July 3 also was fun. I got to open for, and play rest breaks for, the Bronco Billy Band. Alternated old country-western songs with every tune I could think of that mentioned large animals, finishing with a favorite about a rodeo rider, Sweet Wyoming Home, yo-de-lay-ee oo..
. And “The Steam Punk Jane Austen Ball” near Halloween was a kick — dozens of extraordinary costumes wending through the hospitality tables in the formal Grand March on the upper floor of the Mission Mill Building, straight into squares and reels.. I love doing this stuff!
Still hope to break even on the memoir:
Canora: Notes from an Old-Time Fiddler,
Perfect-bound pb, 8.5″ , 254 pages
(… it’s gotten some nice comments from readers…)
Available direct from Truman, 7210 Helmick Road, Monmouth, OR 97361;
(Send check or cash, or email and I’ll ship with invoice.) (It’s 2/3 paid for now, a year in)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“Oregon’s leading student of music of the Oregon Trail era…” (and I like several kinds of music).
Hundreds of concerts, fiddle or fiddle and vocal; solo or with True West Band / friends; hundreds of dances called.
Independence Saturday market on the first warm day of Spring last year. Played non-stop, 2 1/2 hours. Tried not to get in a rut: at the end of each tune or song, go straight to the next, but change key, and genre, and alternate between tunes and songs with lyrics. Later, I wrote down the tune list, 60+ of ’em… tunelist here
There are a few old video song links near the bottom of this page.
|CALENDAR— Lots of old calendars here. –
Jan 9 – Homecoming Dance (squares!), Crosshill High School; music by Jon & Shannon Zilko
Dec. 12 Wed – the annual dance for the Guadelupe, St Patrick‘s Church, Independence, 7 – (& great food after). . About the Dancers for Guadelupe Celebrations [[Description & 2-3 photos] Brief sample here.
|Solo fiddling and calling, an 1800’s Reel at Newell House, – Suzi on the left – you should have seen that gray skirt when the lady twirled in the center of “Bird in the Cage”||
Appalachian fiddle tunes: There is a very nice Appalachian fiddle tunes jam in Keizer on the second Sunday of each month. Inquire here, or of Roger Applegate. Here’s a few recent tunelists. Same group sometimes at our house on the Third Sunday, not summer, erratically. About half of the core group of 15 or so musicians show up at any particular jam. Inquire.
General fiddle jam: in Corvallis, 1st Thursdays of each month; at Old World Deli, 7 pm; hosted by OOTFA … A good varied jam.
Appalachian fiddle tunes: in Corvallis, 3rd Thursdays of each month; at Old World Deli, 7 pm; hosted by John Luna (when he’s not in town, it is not)
Second Wednesday every month, a few friends practice/perform for a small but regular audience at the Monmouth Senior Center, 6:30 – 8pm; musicians and listeners welcome!
General jam: Guthrie Park, 3 miles south of Dallas at 4320 Kings Valley Hwy, has been running every Friday night, 6:30-10 pm, for 28 years (I never missed a Friday in the first ten years or so). [[Note — I stopped last year for a while after a musician dropped guns on the stage… I go sometimes again]]. A large jam – 10 to 20 musicians each week, a large and faithful audience of folks listening or dancing. Strict rotation around the circle of musicians. Music includes country-western, older pop, folk, fiddle tunes and waltzes. If weather is nice, fiddlers may move out to the porch.]]
– – – – –
|Ancient History department:||
|An Appalachian Christmas – “Presenting three of the valley’s most respected folk musicians Truman Price, Jane Keefer, Tim Crosby.” details|
A few nice verses of June Apple filmed by Ray Leach at Centralia Campout August 2005, trio with Adam Price and Tom Peloso (of Modest Mouse):
These are with Adam on banjo, at Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle, Memorial Day Weekend 2007:
Most of these videos, and a few others, are on YouTube, some with nice comments – poke here, or just enter the words “old time fiddle” and see what comes up!—
– – – – –
– – – – –
Lessons: I’ve taught, beginning violin to advanced fiddle, for many years. Several former students have become impressive players and bandleaders. Also have enjoyed doing a workshop “fiddle for violinists” , seven times for NW Folklife in Seattle and also for the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers annual convention in Rickreall; always with good feedback.
|From the desk window in Early Spring . . . . . .||Same thing in June, with organic Jerseys . . . . . .||Hey, Stop Scaring My Cows!|