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interested in concertinas

Noah Zacharin 05 Feb 08 - 08:37 PM
michaelr 05 Feb 08 - 08:41 PM
Jeri 05 Feb 08 - 08:57 PM
Ross Campbell 05 Feb 08 - 09:56 PM
Crane Driver 06 Feb 08 - 04:10 AM
Fidjit 06 Feb 08 - 04:18 AM
Alan Day 06 Feb 08 - 04:30 AM
Fidjit 06 Feb 08 - 08:17 AM
Bernard 06 Feb 08 - 12:03 PM
The Sandman 07 Feb 08 - 04:30 AM
Anglo 08 Feb 08 - 02:35 AM
Brian Peters 08 Feb 08 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Jim 08 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM
Bill D 08 Feb 08 - 11:45 AM
Rowan 08 Feb 08 - 10:09 PM
Fidjit 09 Feb 08 - 04:39 AM
Noah Zacharin 10 Feb 08 - 01:25 AM
Anglo 10 Feb 08 - 03:01 AM
Crane Driver 10 Feb 08 - 06:34 AM
Noah Zacharin 10 Feb 08 - 12:02 PM
Anglo 10 Feb 08 - 01:53 PM
Crane Driver 10 Feb 08 - 03:15 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 08 - 03:02 PM
pavane 12 Feb 08 - 03:06 AM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 12 Feb 08 - 07:23 AM
The Borchester Echo 12 Feb 08 - 07:51 AM
Fidjit 12 Feb 08 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 12 Feb 08 - 09:33 AM
Ross Campbell 12 Feb 08 - 09:43 AM
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Subject: interested in concertinas
From: Noah Zacharin
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:37 PM

when I was in england about 10 years ago I sang at a pub where the headline act was a concertina player. he did a version of dylan's 'boots of spanish leather' that was absolutely heartbreaking (in the best way!) memories of that night have inspired me to look into buying an instrument and learning to play, perhaps bringing it on stage with me. any hints on where to look and what to look for?


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: michaelr
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:41 PM

You might send a PM to Mudcatter Riggy (RiGGy) who is a fine concertina player but doesn't post very much. If you get no response, PM me and I'll direct his attention to this thread (he lives in my area).

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:57 PM

Hopefully 'curmudgeon' (Tom) or 'Anglo' will see this and respond. I'm going through my own concertina lust. Check out www.concertina.net.

First, you'll need to know what sort of concertina you want: English (chromatic), Anglo (diatonic), Duet (no flippin' clue). If it's an Anglo, you need to think about what keys you want. I've pretty much exhausted my knowledge, so I'll just sit back and read now.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:56 PM

The guy you heard was very likely Tony Rose, who in the '70s was a very popular singer on the UK folk scene, up there with Martin Carthy, Nic Jones etc. He died of cancer in June 2002 and there is an obituary thread on Mudcat, as well as a few other threads. A strong singer of traditional songs and ballads, he would occasionally draw the same emotional force from contemporary songs. His rendition of "Boots of Spanish Leather" was one of my favourites too, and I have tried it out on Anglo concertina (Tony played English). Never quite got to performing it in public yet, but this reminder might just push me on.

For info on concertinas and where to find them, try concertina.net
On Mudcat, Dick Miles (Captain Birdseye) occasionally contributes to concertina threads, and there are a few other players out there.
For a playable instrument, you are talking fairly serious money, although you can still be lucky. In the UK, modern makers such as Colin Dipper, Marcus Music and Steve Dickinson (Wheatstone) build to order and have long waiting-lists. The Music Room, Barleycorn Concertinas and Hobgoblin usually have a range of second-hand instruments available.
In the USA, there are a few makers producing what sound like very acceptable instruments.

There are three basic types, Anglo, English and Duet.
Buttons on the Anglo produce different notes on the press and the draw - the effect is a bit like a harmonica or a diatonic accordion or melodeon.
The English and most Duets have the same note in both directions. The English key layout is fairly standard, Duets are more varied - sometimes the layout would be made to a particular artist's specification.

Different people find one system intuitive, the other(s) baffling - I have no idea what determines this, you would have to try before you buy! Specimen layouts for each system can be found on concertina.net and other forums. Anglos can be more restrictive as it takes more than the usual thirty buttons to make them chromatic (ie with all or most of the semitones available) and even then it would be difficult to play away from the keys of the main two rows (usually C/G, G/D, Bb/F etc) and their related minors.

Good luck!

Ross


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Crane Driver
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 04:10 AM

Yes, the best place to start is concertina.net, join the forum and meet people from all over who play one or more of the different systems of concertina and can offer you advice. For more detailed background on the instrument(s), try the concertina library for more information than you could possibly need . . . ;-}

I agree, the player you heard was most probably the late Tony Rose, whose version of 'Boots of Spanish Leather' is, I believe, on his 'Bare Bones' album. Look it up if you can. Tony played the English system.

Welcome to the wonderful world of concertinas.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Fidjit
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 04:18 AM

Mornington Crescent just started on there too.

Chas


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Alan Day
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 04:30 AM

Another suggestion would be to go to a Concertina Festival where you will get a chance to hear and have a go at the various instruments.Another suggestion would be to contact Button Box in the USA and they will give you all the forthcoming festivals and if you pay them a visit will let you have a go on all the instruments.Or follow the suggestions already mentioned by Andrew.
A Duet Concertina Jeri, has the same note in and out (as the English)but instead of the notes being on alternate sides,the Low notes are on the left and the high notes on the right.This enables you to play the tune on the right side of the instrument and accompany yourself on the left.
As it is the same note in and out, the instrument lends itself to classical music and song accompaniment.A wonderful instrument if played well.
Good luck
Al


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Fidjit
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 08:17 AM

There's one coming up here at the end of March. Although it says Melodeons and More. The morer is, concertinas. Brian Peters will be there. And several stalls too

Chas


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 12:03 PM

Brian Peters I've heard of (well, he's a mate), but who is this Several Stalls, and what does he/she play??!!

Okay, I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 04:30 AM

to complicate matters further.
there are four different arrangements of buttons for the duet concertina,Maccann,Crane,Jeffries,Hayden.You must have heard TonyRose[English Concertina player].


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Anglo
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 02:35 AM

OK, Noah. I see my name has been called so I check in. As many people have said, Tony Rose did do a stunning version of Spanish Boots, on the English concertina. I've heard him do it live in an English folk club (on one of my infrequent visits "home") and of course I have the recording. Tony was brilliant.

I play English concertina to some extent, but these days I play the anglo more. But if Tony's arrangement is what turns you on, that's what you need.

It's time for you to check back in and tell us where you are.

For example, if you're in my part of the US, around New England, there is a concertina workshop coming up in a couple of months in Amherst, Mass. If you're in Australia, I'm sure there will be other suggestions.

This is a very widespread community, and a very helpful one, but to help you we need to know where you're coming from.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Brian Peters
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:49 AM

What's your usual repertoire, Noah? Might affect choice of concertina system. I endorse the advice further above: go to www.concertina.net and search their archive for threads entitled "what kind of concertina do I need?", and suchlike.

Brian (looking forward to jamming with Several Stalls at EATMT)


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:17 AM

Hello Noah,
      I'm a fan of your music since you were recommended by Cate Friesen and have a copy of your first CD that gets regular play in my car's player.
      I play an English concertina. One advantage is that it is chromatic and can be played in any key with similar fingering. Chords are positioned in triangles of buttons and are very easy to find. My concertina, a typical English system, has the same range as a fiddle and is therefore great for playing fiddle tunes or duets with a fiddle.
      One disadvantage is that there aren't a lot of cheap English concertinas. Probably the cheapest are the Italian instruments with accordion reeds.
      I've tried Anglos, but have never been able to figure them out, even though I play button accordions and harmonicas.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:45 AM

Here is one more page to bookmark ...done by a guy in Virginia, USA. Lots of information.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:09 PM

Anglo wrote: "For example, if you're in my part of the US, around New England, there is a concertina workshop coming up in a couple of months in Amherst, Mass. If you're in Australia, I'm sure there will be other suggestions. "

In Oz, the National Folk Festival is a place to start; lots of concertinas of most sorts as people who play them. It's in Canberra over Easter.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Fidjit
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 04:39 AM

Big Confusion 1.

Now we all know where we all are or will be, but where is he? He was in England ten years ago.

Big Confusion 2

Several Stall's sessions will only take place behind the Bike Shed and not in it.

Chas


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Noah Zacharin
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 01:25 AM

thank you all so much for your suggestions and guidance. I've spoken to Doug at buttonbox and think I'm just about to make the leap.
I live in Toronto, Canada. I play guitar, fairly involved arrangements of tunes, with a style of accompaniment that is individually tailored to the song I am playing. play many styles (folk, blues, jazz, country, bluegrass) and as a consequence I'm looking for an instrument that is versatile--sounds like the duet for me. any thoughts? I also go to sessions on an irregular basis, bring my Irish-made Lowden, to learn tunes and rhythm playing. looking forward to surprising the gang that expects a blues tune at the end of the night with a sweet air by carolan.

and Guest, Jim--nice to hear from you. glad you've heard some of my music. I do miss hearing folk music on the former CJRT (now Jazz-FM) where Cate was a DJ, but I'm glad to have been a guest on her show (probably when I released the disc you have...long ago) before they left the diversity of classical, jazz, and folk behind to become a JAZZ only station. go figure...


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Anglo
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 03:01 AM

Glad you've checked back in, Noah. If you've spoken to Doug, you probably know he is a fellow Torontonian (?), and is as straight as they come. And the Button Box is where I get all my work done. (I'll be teaching anglo at their next workshop day in April).

I would have thought English rather than duet for you if you're adding texture in a mix, but for solo accompaniment a number of people do very well with duets. (And as you know, people do very well with English too, eg Tony Rose, Louis Killen, or Steve Turner to name but three). On duet, Iris Bishop plays with Martin Wyndham Read, and Tim Laycock with the New Scorpion Band. All of these in England. I don't know many people who have recorded with duet in the Americas, Bob Webb, maritime singer and folklorist is one, but mostly what I've heard of his are old ragtime pieces arranged for duet. And very fancy they are. I borrowed a Crane duet for a while a number of years ago, but didn't get the hang of it at all.

In California, Riggy Rackin played anglo for a long time, but converted to English. I sort of went the other way.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Crane Driver
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 06:34 AM

Well, I started with a Crane Duet (no surprise there) and took to it right away.

At one time or another, I've tried English, Anglo and McCann Duet as well, but for me the Crane is best. I do songs in what I like to think of as a traditional British style, and a few tune sets as well.

Try our website Crane Drivin' Music - go to 'Recordings', select either CD and push the big blue button for a jukebox with some sample tracks.

Of course there's a LOT more you can do with a duet.

Welcome to the club.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Noah Zacharin
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 12:02 PM

zach back again--
Anglo, what I'm looking to do is actually become a good enough player to bring the instrument on stage for a few tunes in a show, maybe do some writing and recording with it as a change from the guitar and other stringed instruments that is really my thing. I like the idea of versatility, so I think the duet is the one I should go for. and you're guess was correct--I did discuss the glories of the old sod (toronto!) with doug, as we talked concertinas. any thoughts about what might be easier with duet than with the other types of instrument?


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Anglo
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 01:53 PM

The duet can be very flexible, and there's no reason you can't do good things with it. It wasn't for me, that's all.

And Andrew (Crane Driver), my apologies for not including you in my (admittedly incomplete) list of people who do very well on duet. We all missed you both at the Getaway last year.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Crane Driver
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 03:15 PM

That's OK John - we missed you all too.

Hopefully next time.

Andrew & Carole


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 03:02 PM

Other players of the English concertina who have used it for accompaniment very successfully include.DamienBarber,
Roy Clinging,Peggy Seeger,Sandra Kerr,Dick Miles,LeaNicholson.http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: pavane
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 03:06 AM

In the list of Duet players, don't forget our own Ralphie, who was once induced to play his on BBC Radio 2, nationwide (UK of course).


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:23 AM

Ah, Lea Nicholson on the English concertina! That takes me back a bit.

I once witnessed Lea and Richard Thompson play the Dam Busters March (the whole thing!) - I suppose it would be very difficult to play on an Anglo, or am I just being a pianist? As for playing it on guitar - of course this is impossible. So there's a proof of the existence of God.

I must say if I ever did take up the concertina I would probably have to go for a Duet as I don't think my keyboard-addled brain could get round the different notes on push/pull aspect. But maybe it's different when one's fingers are on the buttons.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 07:51 AM

Lea Nicholson playing Dambusters here as well as the whole of J S Bach's Brandenburg 4 with all parts played by him (other than the harpsichord continuo) on treble and bass English concertinas.


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Fidjit
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:18 AM

Whatever happened to Lea Nicholson ??
I have a great LP of his music and song.

Chas


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:33 AM

Diane, that is brilliant, ta! I remember him turning up at Merlins with the bass concertina now..

I KNEW Lea had put an album out in the 70's but imagined it had gone the way of all flesh. And now to buy it....


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Subject: RE: interested in concertinas
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:43 AM

Try home site of Lea Nicholson's Concertina Record

Ross


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