The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #21722   Message #3347911
Posted By: CupOfTea
07-May-12 - 03:36 PM
Thread Name: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
Subject: RE: Help: I bought a charango! Now what...?
Once you have yer charango wired up and ready to go, I have the rhythm section to go with it: a very nice set of llama toenails.

I have no idea what this do-dad is called in any Andean sense, but I've seen a number of South American groups use them. Llamas don't have hooves, they have toes with BIG toenails that must be clipped,and a group of these clippings get sewn to a cloth armband and are used to clatter against each other. It's the most peculiar and most ethnic-specific musical item I own.

As I type this I have Freyda Epstein's Midnight at Cabal Hall album, and I can picture her out at Fox Valley goofing around, holding the set of llama toenails (left behind by the Andean group) up like a bunch of grapes over Juel Ulven's open mouth.

So if your critterbacked instrument needs critter noise company...

Joanne in Cleveland

PS I love the reference to Ed Miller's blending of Scottish and TexMex. I've adored his music for years from a distance. Never heard him perform, know him firsthand only in late night sings long ago when Folk Alliance had some trad people participating.