Freitag, 26. August 2016

keeping track of tunes

I'm trying to be better organised. So I am drafting multiple blog posts at the same time to prevent myself from writing about sheep's tongues instead of tunes or tunes instead of "yon lonesome dove" or getting distracted in a million ways. Which I love. Still makes for multiple blog posts. One or two tangents at a time is about enough...

Yon lonesome dove probably got eaten last night - she made me sad while she was lonesome in spring and made me smile every day after she found a friend to join her stealing the hen's corn. No bits of dove there, though. Just feathers. Might still be allright....

No easy transition here from her to tunes.... and to my favourite tune just now. Would be easier if it was "pigeon on the gate".... but it isn't. It's one of the tunes that I liked and asked for the name and wrote it down on a piece of paper. And forgot about. I have loads of those bits of paper with tune names on. And I never learn those tunes. Not before I find three or more bits of paper with the same tune name. But finding them and remembering the evening is always nice!
Found some recently. It was easy to remember where I took them down: They were written on a map of Denver (scary, scary place! I'll never forget that bus ride to the session! With that bearded, big, big woman screaming in her phone that she doesn't care if he is with the Hell's Angels! She is going to do ..... something... to him anyway!)
Anyhow... tangent .... turned out that the weird tune names on that map are not tune names but names of sheep farms in Colorado that keep shetland sheep!

But one tune on a scrap of paper....had a nice enough name to make me look it up. Valley of the moon. That's somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area and a novel by Jack London and the sheet music was .... weird. Simple little thing with some sort of syncopation that didn't make sense to me. But I had an idea who I heard it play and he sent me a recording. And it is... it is the sweet little thing the name suggests.
I'd love to share the original recording (which is by Goitse in a set called Dowds No.10) but I couldn't find anything legal to share.
Sweet, sweet thing! But you'll have to do with my recording. Which isn't that sweet but: It's a first. First time I learned a tune after finding ONE note reminding me to learn it. First time I played it and first time to play it with the fiddler I got it from. And it may be the first time that someone publicly declares that  a tune needs a banjo for added sweetness... but it does... (we all secretly think this way -  I'm just the first to admit)...  like a steamboat crossing some mad swell or a tinker pony and trap going clap, clap, clap up a steep road. Or... well... actually: Sewing machine with a bark....

No! I'm no good at this. Feel like deleting all of this and just posting this lovely tune, badly played:


  1. All tunes need a banjo in them.....

  2. true...if it doesn't need a banjo (or wouldn't survive a banjo) it's not a tune - just a melody. ;)
    But a comment like that asks for a reply that is slightly insulting and immensely funny.... watch this space - I might come up with something witty within a year or two...

    I just realised there are instrument specific tactics.... banjo players ask for it, box players just take the blows and concertina players live in blissfull ignorance