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Help: Cello in Traditional Music

GUEST,Guest Bassic 15 Aug 02 - 05:28 AM
smallpiper 15 Aug 02 - 05:29 AM
smallpiper 15 Aug 02 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Bassic 15 Aug 02 - 05:33 AM
smallpiper 15 Aug 02 - 05:35 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 02 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 15 Aug 02 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Basic 15 Aug 02 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 15 Aug 02 - 05:50 AM
smallpiper 15 Aug 02 - 05:54 AM
Chanteyranger 15 Aug 02 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,bassic 15 Aug 02 - 06:13 AM
fogie 15 Aug 02 - 06:35 AM
treewind 15 Aug 02 - 06:56 AM
Bassic 15 Aug 02 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Jane Bird 15 Aug 02 - 07:08 AM
Bassic 15 Aug 02 - 07:19 AM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Aug 02 - 07:34 AM
treewind 15 Aug 02 - 07:43 AM
treewind 15 Aug 02 - 07:54 AM
Folkie 15 Aug 02 - 08:13 AM
JedMarum 15 Aug 02 - 08:45 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 02 - 09:29 AM
Bassic 15 Aug 02 - 09:51 AM
Marion 15 Aug 02 - 11:07 AM
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Jeri 16 Aug 02 - 10:26 AM
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dermod in salisbury 17 Aug 02 - 12:59 PM
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Subject: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Guest Bassic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:28 AM

As a competant amateur Cellist who is relatively new to Traditional Music and trying to build up a C.D. collection of Cello in Traditional Music, I would appreciate recomendations from other Mudcatters. I currently have an empty shelf in the C.D. rack but I am about to attend Whitby Folk Week with its Music and C.D. stalls so any quick recomendations would be gratefully received. Any views and experiences on how best to use the Cello in sessions, groups etc would also be of great interest to me.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: smallpiper
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:29 AM

Hey I know folk Cellist.......


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: smallpiper
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:32 AM

Ooops hit submit in error....... I was about to say Hamish Moore uses Wendy Weatherby on one trak on his Stepping on the Bridge CD but I think you mihgt have heard that already - Mrs Hamilton.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Bassic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:33 AM

I also need support from other string players in order to escape the influence of all these Small Pipers which keep springing up all over!!!!!!!!!!! Hi John


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: smallpiper
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:35 AM

Mornin Gordy boy ..... resistance is futile!


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:36 AM

ta mate:-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:36 AM

I can't remember the name of the album (it may have been eponymous), but a group called Syncopace had the cellist Penny Callo as a member. Other members were Alistair Anderson, Ian Carr and Chuck Fleming.

And its great music.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Basic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:39 AM

Tnanks Baggy, have to go, back in a while, keep the sugestions comming.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:50 AM

Also this site:

http://www.standingstones.com/tradcllo.html

is about the history if the cello in traditional music, and it mentions some recordings. Oddly though it doesn't include traditional music in England.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: smallpiper
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 05:54 AM

The afore mentioned Wendy Weatherby has two albums out "A Breath on the Cold Glass" and " Daybreak on the Worlds Edge" both can be found on www.scottish-irish.com (sorry can't do blue clicky thing) click on Genre search and highlight Cello press return and you are there.

You can buy them on line or listen to them (I think)


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:02 AM

The cello was a folk instrument in Scotland - often played in combination with a fiddler. That tradition is being revived today with the likes Natalie Haas (who performs with fiddler Alasdair Fraser) and Abby Newton. Check www.culburnie.com (Alasdair Fraser's label) for their CDs of Scottish music. (sorry -don't yet know how to do a blue clicky).

There is a brilliant non-classical cellist in Boston, Rushad Eggleston, who is taking folk and improvisational cello playing in new directions.

This revival and expansion of folk cello playing is young, and so is this new crop of performers. It's an exciting time for this kind of music. We're seeing this development right before our eyes.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,bassic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:13 AM

Thanks, thats great, keep it comming. Chantyranger, you a cellist?


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: fogie
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:35 AM

Just get the first two Token Women CDs Katherine Lock plays devastating stuff. Also she plays with another cellist on a record called The chainsaw sisters. If you play like her you can come work with my band anytime.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: treewind
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:56 AM

Chainsaw sisters: Kathryn Locke and Tanera Dawkins (if I remember correctly)

I play cello too. Have been a full time cellist in a ceilidh band, and also use it a lot for song accompaniments with Mary Humphreys. We have discovered that 5-string banjo and cello is a brilliant combination, possibly better for Mary's banjo style which she claims to be imitating a Welsh harp.

There's a couple of demo MP3's on This page of our web site - "Lowlands of Germany" uses banjo and cello, and "Aderyn Du" is a song in Welsh with just a cello accompaniment. I have to say that I'd been out of practice for many years when those recordings were made, and I'm working hard at getting my technique up to approaching what it used to be.

I'm sure there are plenty of traditional precedents for use of the cello, especially in village dance bands. I have heard of a gathering of 6 cellos in the Radway Inn at Sidmouth one year, and mine wasn't one of them. Dee de Wit and I are regular Radway cellists, except I wasn't there much of the time this year.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:04 AM

The problem:-

I can get a nice sound from the Cello which I can exploit in slow airs and the like, (current favourite is Ross Memorial Hospital, Phill Cunningham), however in my admittedly limited experience of hearing other cellists, I have yet to hear the cello used convincingly in faster music. You either have to have a monster technique in order to play at speed in the higher positions or you end up playing a rather woolly bass or busy tenor/alto part (in order to keep in a comfortable range). At the moment I am concentrating on improving the rythmic quality of my playing in faster stuff so that I can at least add something to the overall impact of a tune. Up to now I have felt very unhapy with my contribution to most sessions and often revert to my acoustic Bass Guitar where I can at least feel part of the "rhythm section" and try to weave a few counter melodies. Any thoughts, advice?


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Jane Bird
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:08 AM

Also look out for any recordings of the Tintagel & Boscastle Players, a group recorded in the first half of the 20th cent (I think). The line up of the band included a wonderfully sawing cello. I heard them on the Topic Records CD "Hidden English".

The Melstock Band have a cello, don't they? They model themselves on the sort of village band, which often had cello or serpent playing a bass line.

Yours,
Jane


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:19 AM

Thanks tree, Posts just crossed! Guess I will have to do some of that practicing stuff after all! I also had a long break, 15 years, from the cello and still struggling to recover but loving it! Have met De (I am East Yorks based) a few times and admired his playing but not sure yet that I want to follow his style, I feel certain there is something out there that will suite me but I just havnt found it yet. Thanks for the advice so far. Will follow it all up over the next few weeks.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:34 AM

As Bagpuss said earlier, it's a little odd that the Standing Stones site devotes space to (essentially) saying at some length that the cello wasn't really used in Irish traditional music, while completely ignoring the fact that it was as widespread in English tradition as it was in Scotland. Never mind; there are a number of bands using it now, and before long there will doubtless be enquiries from people wanting to know where they can get an Irish Cello!

Syncopace has already been mentioned; Alistair Anderson (concertina and northumbrian pipes) also made a rather nice (though also rather short) recording with the Lindsay String Quartet a while back: On Cheviot Hills (White Meadow Records WMR 2002CD, 1999). The English folk-rock band Mr. Fox used cello to good effect back in the early '70s; a raw, edgy sound based on the old village bands. At the "Celtic" end, the Bowhouse Quintet made a pleasant CD, Live in Ennis (Lochshore KRL CDLDL 1291, 1999), though the potential of the instrumentation wasn't exploited as effectively as it might have been, and the French band Archetype is also well worth a listen, though the style is closer to "art" than to "folk" music.

A lot of dance music collections of the late 18th and early 19th centuries include bass parts; you can get a facsimile reprint of Gow's Repository of the Dance Music of Scotland from Llanerch Press, for example. Niel Gow used to play for dances with his brother accompanying him on cello, so the book can be taken as giving a fairly good representation of the kind of cello parts traditionally used; pretty simple, as you might expect. The fiddler Pete Clark recently made a recording of the music of Gow and his contemporaries (using Gow's own instrument), Even Now: the Music of Niel Gow (Smiddymade Recordings SMD 615, 1998), which you may find interesting, though I rather think that he used too much vibrato for the performance to be considered "authentic".

There are a couple of cellists who turn up at one of our local (English) sessions quite regularly; one a highly-trained player who can play by ear, and the other a young lad who comes along with his mother; a relative beginner but with plenty of potential. At the moment he mostly has to play from notation, so I've spent some time transposing tunes into bass clef for him so he doesn't always get stuck playing bass parts. Deserves encouragement; we need more cellos in the music.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: treewind
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:43 AM

I don't think there's any way round the fact that it's harder work to play things fast on the cello. It's literally more physical effort because the strings are heavier and it takes longer to set the body of the instrument vibrating in the right way for each note. Playing higher up just makes more work for the left hand, either scooting up and down the strings or holding them down in thumb position - why bother? get a fiddle if you want to play up there all the time :-)

I'm quite happy playing a bass line on the cello in a tune session. If there is nothing else but high pitched tune instruments you can make a huge difference to the sound and people really appreciate it

It's a bit different if there is already a bass instrument or a guitar (they go pretty low) . I was in a band ("Our Northern Branch") with only three fiddles, a cello and a double bass. I found the best thing to do was play lots of off-beat short sharp chords (two notes, anyway, usually on the top two strings) which gave the music plenty of lift and didn't clash with the bass line. Occasionally the bass and I would do special effects with cello and bass playing the same thing an octave apart and that was good, but you wouldn't want to do it all the time.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: treewind
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 07:54 AM

Another cellist on the folk scene who nobody's mentioned yet: Richard Bolton who has been going round the clubs with fiddler Pete Cooper. I haven't heard them together but I'm told they're good and there is a CD.

Anahata

There's also a bit of cello on the newly released Patterson/Jordan/Dipper CD...


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Folkie
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 08:13 AM

I've seen Dave Townsend playing with a cello player called Gill Redmond who does some wonderful things with the instrument. She tutors cello at some of the Witney "Hands on Music" events


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 08:45 AM

I just finished recording a new album that will be out in September. We uesed a wonderful cello player from Toronto named Wendy Solomon. She played on two tracks and the sound is marvelous with this folk-style album. Cello can be a great fit for folk/trad/celtic styles.

Brian McNeill uses cello regularly in his performances and on his Scottish folk albums.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 09:29 AM

I am away from home during our 50th wedding anniversary celibration which has become a two week event to accommodate family and friends' schedules, so I do not have access to my books and recordings. Abby Newton mentioned above has an album entitled "Crossing to Scotland". She also accompanies Jean Redpath on a couple of albums and has recorded with Maggies' Music in Annapolis MD. There is also a Christmas album played by 24 cellos, I think the name is the London Cello Consort. I also have an album by a man whose name I can't recall - ??Brian Philips?? Will send more when I get home if others do not pick up. By the way, any other Mudcatters with 50 golden years ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 09:51 AM

This is just what I want! Thanks everyone for taking the trouble. Anahata - that was really usefull, you are quite right about thumb position gymnastics and about conflicts with other bass instruments. I havnt yet exploited using chords much but I can see the potential, will have to learn a few! Folkie - I know Gill Redmond is in Whitby again this year so I will make a point of seeing her perform. Will check out other references from everyone as soon as I get back from Whitby with my new C.D. collection! Thanks again everyone.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Marion
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:07 AM

Nancy Blake (Norman Blake's wife) is a cellist and they've recorded a CD together. I haven't heard the CD, but I've been told that it's mostly the cello playing accompaniment to the lead guitar.

I've recently acquired a cello myself - it's been a busy summer and I haven't done much with it yet, but I have three things in mind for it:

1. Playing melodies - probably mostly slow air fiddle tunes.

2. Improvising counter-melodies.

3. Playing chordally and possibly plucking instead of strumming - sort of like a standup bass would do in a bluegrass context.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:20 AM

American old time string bands recorded in the 20s and 30s occasionally have a cellist. Cannot think of any names at the moment.

I actually know a professional cellist who plays old time music. He can bow a gorgeous bass part. He can also play melody in a pizzicato style that reminds me of a frailed/clawhammered banjo.

Cellos are not yet common at places like the Appalachian String Band Festival at Clifftop WV, but they have started to appear over the last few years.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 11:43 AM

Gordon Bok has been playing cello on his albums for more than 10 years. Although his music is not always 'trad,' it is almost always playable.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 12:12 PM

Check out the East Texas Serenaders ~~ 1927-37 string band, somewhat akin to Western Swing, cello by Henry Bogan. Sound samples at CDNOW Highly recommended listening.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:09 PM

I was going to mention Nancy blake, but Marion beat me to it. Actually, she and husband Norman have recorded a number of albums together (under his name). It seems that in more recent times Nancy has been playing more guitar, but early on she played quite a bit of cello. I would particularly recommend the recordings they did in around 1979-81 under the name "Rising Fawn String Ensemble"; outstanding stuff.

You may also want to listen to some of the work that Yo Yo Ma has done in the last few years with various people, including Edgar Meyer (bass) and Mark O'Connor (fiddle). It's not strictly traditional -- more of a hybrid of classical and folk styles -- but it's a very well-crafted hybrid, and might give you lots of good ideas. These guys are such good musicians that you'll never go wrong listening to them, regardless of what genre(s) you prefer.

The cello is one of the most beautiful of all instruments, in my opinion, and I would love to hear it played more often in non-classical settings. Best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:11 PM

Several years ago I saw DeDannan live and they had a cello. Don't know who was playing (female) and don't know if any of their recordings include cello.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:30 PM

There are three CD's out of Shaker hymns from a guitar player and cello duo that for the life of me I can't remember right now. One is called Tree of Life and one of the others is called Simple Gifts. The names will come back to me I'm sure. I'll be back.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 01:33 PM

Guitarist William Coulter and cellist Barry Phillips.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 03:19 PM

Not a recommendation - just an anecdote:

I used to play in a band which had a cello player. He only bowed the slower stuff. If a medley moved from a slow tune to a faster one, he just plucked the cello like it was an upright bass. For stand-alone faster tunes or medleys with no slow tunes he switched off to mando-cello.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Fin
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM

Try out Iain Fraser and Christine Hanson's New album it's entirely fiddle and cello I'm sure you can buy it online somewhere... rey musicscotland.com ... also Alastair Fraser is currently working with Cellist Natallie Hass but I don't know of any recordings.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:32 AM

Bassic - I'm not a cellist. Love that instrument, though. I play fiddle and sing chanteys.

Sorcha - that cellist who toured with De Dannan back in '87 is Caroline Lavelle. At that time, they had just released their record titled "Ballroom," but I haven't heard it in years and don't remember if Ms Lavelle is on that, or if she joined up with the band after.

Fin - Natalie Haas is not yet on an Alasdair Fraser recording, but word is out that she will be on his forthcoming one. No release date yet.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: mouldy
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 02:42 AM

Fiddle player Ian Cutler uses Bridge electric fiddles and has one set up to play as a cello. Saw him at Broadstairs this week. Took some getting used to, hearing that sort of rich sound coming out from under a guy's chin!

I'll be up at Whitby so I may get a chance to hear you, Bassic.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Bassic
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 05:05 AM

Had a brief go on a Bridge Cello at last years Beverley Festival, wonderfull! Just in case I dont have the Cello with me Andrea, just keep an eye out in the sessions for an acoustic Bass player in a Mudcat T shirt. Always assuming Bill Sables remembers to take one for me!Thanks again everyone. Talk again when I get back from Whitby.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,cetmst
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 09:25 AM

Oops, my cookie disappeared again, refresh message from GUEST August 15, 9:28 AM - Chuck Taylor


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 10:26 AM

Happy 50th wedding aniversary, Chuck!

Mudcatter KathWestra also plays cello.

Just an opinion: the cello can be so subtle you don't even notice it until you listen to a recording several times or you see it being played during a live performance. When I do notice it, I realise it's the glue that's holding the bottom together, or maybe what ties the singer to the bottom end. I think I like bowed instruments because, with the sustained tone instead of plucked or pinged ones, it sounds more like the human voice than any other instrument. I've heard songs in which the singer sings and the cello plays the same note and holds it. The singer will stop before the cello does, but it's hard to tell because the cello sounds so much like the voice.

When I was at Old Songs in June, I played some of the most beautiful sounding violins I've ever heard. They were made by Tim Phillips and his web page is here. He makes octave violins - tuned an octave below standard. Just another idea which I think it might be easier for someone who plays fiddle but not cello, and wants to play in the lower ranges. (My favorite instrument was the 5-stringed violin which had the best sound I've ever heard - period! But when I can afford whatever 1750 UKP plus shipping is in USD, they'll be ice skating in Hell. Christmas is coming. Somebody buy me one please. You can surprise me with the color and model.)

...anyway, it's just my opinion, but I feel that the bottom/bass is often thin with the traditional mix of traditional instruments. There are many sustained-note trad instruments that cover the high and middle, but not bass. I really think the cello can fill in that missing sound beautifully.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: John Routledge
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 06:56 PM

Guest Bassic

This years Folkworks Durham Summer School included cello as a main instrument option.

Could be worth a wirl next year - around last week in July usually.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 12:59 PM

An Oxfordshire folk music group called Magpie Lane makes very effective use of a cello with more traditional folk music instruments. The group has now made about five CDs with different themes (country life, christmas, ale drinking, etc) I have no axe to grind, and never met the performers. But their output is well worth a listen. Regret I have not worked out how to add weblinks. But they have a website. Tap the name into a Yahoo search and you will get there in the end. Best wishes in your search.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 08:45 PM

Doubt you will have seen them, and will probably not see them there in England.

Legacy - Winnie Chafe and friends. Winnie plays fiddle and on this CD includes her daughter, and friends. One of them is Kim Lantz with his Viola da Gamba.

McCrimmons Revenge - They have several recordings, and one of the players is John Spearns with his Cello.

Both are excellent.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 12:39 AM

Had to make an urgent return from Whitby (aged mother had a fall)but not before I had a chance to see Gill Redmond on her Cello. Picked up some usefull tips from her playing especially her use of broken chords and rythmic bowing. Thanks for the continued suggestions. (I tipped Gill of about Mudcat, she had never heard of it!)


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Gentle Annie
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 02:08 PM

This may not be what you're after, but years ago, I asked the granddaddy of Ozark folklorists, Vance Randolph, if he ever encountered a dulcimer in the Ozark Mountains during his hey-day of collecting in the 20s & 30s. His answer was a definite no, but that the stringbands of that era often included a cello, along with guitars, banjos and fiddles. That was astonishing news to me, but it establishes a tradition of cello use in American stringband music which you might want to explore. Whether these old Ozarkers bowed it as a solo instrument or plucked it like a bass fiddle I didn't find out. Wish now that I'd asked.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 04:49 AM

Gentle Annie - your post reminded me of the cover to the New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 3. It shows an old Farm Security Administration photograph of an old-timey stringband. Four men on the front step of a house - one on banjo, one in coveralls playing a fiddle, one standing playing what looks to be a National guitar, and a man in a dark suit and tie bowing a cello! It looks incongruous at first glance, but the more I hear the cello in traditional music, the more natural that picture looks.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 08:09 AM

Hey, this is so interesting! Sounds from what everyone has been saying that cellos were quite a common feature of traditional music in the "english speaking" world appart from Ireland. What about Canada/Nova Scotia? I have two close friends who are pipers (scottish small pipes by Hamish Moore) I wonder if that combination has been explored much. The Hamish Moore Recording Stepping on the Bridge (refered to at the begining of the thread) which I believe was recorded there certainly shows the potential.

I hope to be returning to Whitby tonight.(Mother in Hospital but stable!)Plan to spend a little time on the Bridge Music stand exploring the possibilities of electronic pipes played with Electric Cello with the addition of a few well chosen effects pedals. Should turn a few heads!!!!!

Once again, thanks for all the suggestions, keep em comming.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Paul Ostrovich
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 08:57 AM

Once I was passing thru Ireland and in Belfast I heard a group called Cran or Crann. A trio. One them played both pipes and cello (no, not simultaneously). The celloist was named, I think, Neil Martin. The sound of this group was amazing. For me and my partner, an important memory of Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 09:15 AM

In fact Natalie Haas IS on an Alasdair Fraser album, his magnificent Legacy Of The Scottish Fiddle (Volume 1).

Also listen out for Barry Dransfield's solo CDs, Be Your Own Man, and Wings Of The Sphinx, which feature some very imaginative cello playing. His new album (not completed yet) will have least one stunning song with cello accompaniment (playing counter-melodies rather than chords) and very likely some instrumental tracks too. Great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Peg
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 01:23 AM

I agree that Magpie Lane and Crann are both well worth a listen! A Mudcatter sent me Magpie Lane's Christmas album on tape, and I have Crann's Lover's Ghost CD. Excellent stuff.

I sing harmony vocals with the band Green Crown and we have an excellent cello player. She plays slow, pensive stylings and also rock and roll or jazz style accompaniment to our eclectic mix of trance/gypsy/folk/psychedelic music...


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 01:35 AM

While Gordon Bok does a great deal of recently composed music, he also plays traditional music. Not only on the cello but also on the cellamba, which I think he may have inventer: a cello body with the fingerboard of a viola da gamba. Not that I pretend to know the difference, except that I know the gamba fingerboard is fretted. Janet Peterson of the Washington State-based group Motherlode also plays cello. She's occasionally been known to turn it sideways and use one of those huge Gibson display picks... Speaking of Washington State, if you want to hear a very untraditional use of the cello, listen to Seth Blair from Seattle.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 05:16 AM

Years ago I saw Lyle Lovett on TV, singing If I Had A Boat. It was just him playing guitar & singing, plus a guy doing a lovely cello line - sustained bowing - which blended beautifully with Lyle's picking. Any idea who he was? It sure worked!


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 09:59 AM

Thanks once again for everyones suggestions. Will follow up as many as I can. Met up with a young cellist in Whitby (mid teens) and am passing the info on to her also.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: smallpiper
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 06:22 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bassic
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 12:25 AM

Just thought I would sling this back into the melting pot now that holidays/vacations are just about over. Any more ideas?


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 09:13 AM

One fella attending an oldtime music houseparty last year had brought an assortment of large instruments ranging from cello to various sizes of bass fiddles, and he had refitted some of them in various interesting ways too. But the sweetest one was the viola da gamba, the cello's ancestor. He also was swapping bows around,using bass bows on the v.d.g, and so forth. The oldtime music police were present but he was lauded, not chastised. You just could not deny the contribution his playing was making, trad for the genre or not.

A little cello under a Carolan melody is also a very good thing.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 02:18 PM

Oh, yeah, Bonnie, I forgot about her guest appearance on Legacy, Vol. I. Since then, they've formed a musical partnership that promises to feature her cello much more prominently in recordings to come. They've been pouring through some near-forgotten collections and re-discovering alot of great tunes. it's an exciting time for folk cello. Another to listen to is Rushad Eggleston on the CD "Fiddlers Four." He's known around Boston as "cello dude."

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Wendy Weatherby
Date: 13 May 07 - 05:23 PM

Just stumbled across this thread - thanks for the mention - will also plug another 2 albums since 2002 - ' Two Loves' and ' Sunset Song ' cheeky, eh?
One thing that I find makes playing fast tunes a bit easier is to change the keys from the fiddle ones, so that we don't end up in the stratosphere or away down in the pits, and they sit better on the instrument. This wouldn't be much good in a session, but if the cello's taking the lead, or you play with a regular band, then I think it's perfectly valid and very sensible !!
Cheers for now!


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Alan Day
Date: 14 May 07 - 03:30 AM

The Band Rosbif in their last album "Bouree a Six" included a Cello player.The record consists of mainly French Traditional music from Central France and a few English tunes.It is all instrumental.There are still a few records available from Roots Records Coventry (England)There are plans to re release both Rosbif Albums on CD in the future.
Al


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 14 May 07 - 04:20 AM

Dee deWit plays mandolin, double bass, violin and cello. Has played in various bands, inc one with Pete Coe and Johnny Adams.
Ticklers Jam used to feature a cello.
Alan Lamb, Late Night Band, plays a viola d'amore which is sort of cello-ish.
I'm sure someone in Webbs Wonders (Alan Ward??) used to play one as well.
Love the sound!


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 14 May 07 - 07:29 AM

Rachel McShane from Yorkshire plays cello in Crosscurrent and Bellowhead.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 16 May 07 - 04:46 AM

Chuck Israels played cello on Judy Collins in Concert.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: The Villan
Date: 16 May 07 - 05:20 AM

Bassic
The first concert I had at Faldingworth Live was Graham Moore & Gill Redmond. It was a brilliant evening and Gill was outstanding. Had to be seen to be beleived.

Go to this link and you can hear songs by Graham, with Gill Redmond on Cello.
http://bymoore.co.uk/cd2.html

What you hear on there is what you see live from Gill.

Here is a review of that evening on my website - have a read of it - it wasn't me writing it.

http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk/graham_moore_&_gill_redmond.htm

Cheers
Les Worrall


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 May 07 - 05:48 AM

Chris Hill was the lovely cello player on the 70's LP the "Beggar Boy of the North". that I was involved with setting up. It was all north-western English tunes, and Chris had a great touch on the slow tunes like "The Northern Lass". Alas, I have so far failed to locate Chris recently, last heard of in Gloucestershire a few years back. If anyone runs into him, tell him to get in touch. The royalties are piling up, and should run to a half, if not a pint, by now.
(Now re-issued, and available from Harbourtown Records, or all good record shops. "Beggar Boy of the North", Greg Stephens and Crookfinger Jack, HARCD051)


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: treewind
Date: 16 May 07 - 08:54 AM

Greg: a well deserved plug! (CD recommended, really)

And while self-promotion is in the air...
Les: don't forget you've got another cello coming to Faldingworth Live in a month's time!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: The Villan
Date: 16 May 07 - 09:29 AM

I know Anahata - Friday June 15th 2007 :-) Maybe Bassic should come along. Have a look at the Diary http://www.faldingworthlive.co.uk/Diary.htm

We also have a very good Cello player who is part of Wild Wolds Women who are a resident band at Faldingworth Live.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Rockhen
Date: 16 May 07 - 07:53 PM

Mello Cello will be pleased to hear that she was mentioned, Villan!


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: treewind
Date: 17 May 07 - 03:50 AM

Right. How many cellos can we get into Faldingworth on June 15th?. Dee de Wit should be coming along to the gig too. With WWW's cello and Bassic that's potentially four...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Magrat
Date: 17 May 07 - 08:36 AM

Don't forget Miranda Sykes who plays with Show of Hands (www.longdog etc) is their website. She's fantastic adn I saw them a few weeks ago at the Albert Hall, London.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 17 May 07 - 09:56 AM

As has been noted the cello has been used in stringbands in the Appalachians and Ozarks.   There are quite a few photos of Appalachian bands with the cello.   I do not recall any specific recordings offhand but there were a lot of bands that were not recorded. The cello may have been cheaper than the upright bass and would certainly be easier to move around in the old days.

Bethany and Rufus performed here in Mountain View, Arkansas with her father, Peter Yarrow, a year ago and amazed the audience with Bethany's voice and Rufus' skill on the cello. The three of them presented one of the best concerts ever held on the Folk Center stage. Though expectations were high for Peter Yarrow he exceeded all expectations as a person and performer and Bethany and Rufus added immmensely to the concert.

Bethany and Rufus


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: fretless
Date: 17 May 07 - 10:45 AM

I think the Chicken Chokers, an OT string band from Ithaca NY, used to include a cello player in their unusually frantic style of Appalachian music. They cut a few records for Rounder back in the 1980s (?), have recently reunited (but apparently without the cello to judge from their Website
), and are supposed to be coming out with a CD later this spring.

In any case, their cello player held the instrument on a shoulder strap like a guitar. And if it's not the Chicken Chokers then it was some other band that played at the Eagle Tavern in New York in the late 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 01:55 PM

Pablo(Pau)Casals is probably the greatest figure in cello playing history, and used to perform the Catalonian folk tune "Song of the Birds".


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 03:14 PM

While on this subject, just to say (in the faint hope it'll reach the right person) - I'm looking for a cellist (and/or fiddler) in the Bristol/Bath UK area, to work with on the trad songs I sing (unaccompanied at the mo)...anyone out there?

Thanks
Sue


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:17 PM

There's a wonderful husband/wife duo from Buffalo, NY called Kindred - Dave and Felicia Meyers. He is a classically trained cellist who plays reels and jigs with the best; Felicia is a fine guitarist and singer who reminds me of Linda Ronstadt.

Dave is also a superb guitarist and vocalist, and their harmonies are tight!

They are going to be my guests in my Christmas concerts at the Ice House in Bethlehem, PA on December 19th and 20th.

Drop by if you want to hear some might fine cello-pickin', and a-grinnin'.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 07:31 PM

They used to have cellos in West Gallery church bands two hundred years back. There's one made out of iron in Saffron Walden museum. Here is a picture of it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 07:36 PM

The best I've ever heard is Kate Riaz. Google her.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:15 PM

I suspect few who have seen him with Natalie McMaster would argue that by far the best folk cellist is Nathaniel (Nate) Smith.

At a concert in Quebec after he had played brilliant music - she said "And Nate is just fourteen".

And you could hear the French audience saying "fourteen - did she just say fourteen? Not possible, not fourteen, she must have it wrong....etc etc...."

Sensing this Natalie McMaster said "Yes, fourteen...."

See here....

He was the principal cellist in the Mississippi All-State Orchestra for 2006 and currently plays cello in the Belhaven College String Quartet and is the assistant principal cellist for the Belhaven Chamber Orchestra. He enjoys playing many musical styles and adapting them to the cello. He studies with a local jazz guitarist, adapting many tunes from the jazz repertoire to cello. He is the cellist, bassist, and composer in his local band, 18 String Theory, and is a sought after soloist in the Jackson area, frequently performing and recording with local jazz, classical and traditional musicians.

Forget to mention - when this was written he was thriteen years of age.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:24 PM

Something completely different. The Turkish cellist Ugur Isik, here doing Ottoman classical pieces with the kemence player Derya Turkan:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fxWD63AP044
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KW7vW_ld558

The related links will take you to folk tunes as well ("Haydar Haydar" and "Kizilirmak"), but I particularly like these.

Demonstration (by one of the great figures in Ottoman music, scratchy 78 sound) of just how microtonal you can get on a cello:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd74ZGJi3wQ

Or try this documentary about a kind of Turkish folk cello (or maybe tenor violin):

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=flCUGYW4zVM

The tragically melancholy tune at about 5 minutes in is "Burasi Mustur", a lament for a village in Anatolia whose young men were almost all killed fighting in Yemen in WW1. The iklig seems specially designed to express hopeless despair.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:53 PM

And another Ugur Isik track which is *really* different, leading a Sufi devotional chant:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3pOt_QeOF7E

Traditional for sure but *not* exactly folk. It ends up as something like Muslim gospel singing accompanying a situationist slideshow.

Even further off the wall, this interview with the avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wiEJdOlgcDE

Listen for the bit about the police raid. There can't be many folk gigs that end up that way.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: trevek
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:04 PM

I used to play with a Glasgow-based band, Spider in the Mandolin, and the set-up was a guitarist, bodhran, fiddle and cello.

It pretty much happened by chance. The fiddler and cellist were brother an sister but he (cellist) played classical. We didn't know there was any traditional precedent when we started and we didn't care. It made an interesting sound.

We were delighted to find there was a history in the tradition.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:08 PM

Scott Skinner and his brother played at house dances on fiddle & cello respectively, which seems not to have been an uncommon practice. More interesting info here:

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/biography.shtml

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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:34 PM

Another fiddle-&-cello combination was Thomas Hardy and his father & uncle, who likewise played for the local folks in TH's youth. Near the end of his life Hardy obtained a cello, which you can still see propped in the corner of his study (originally at Max Gate, now reconstructed in the Dorset County Museum). Photo here (scroll down):

http://neal.oxborrow.net/Thomas_Hardy/MaxGate.htm

And I think this is interesting:

A rare 18th century 'cello recently rediscovered in an ancient Warwickshire church is to undergo conservation by Chris Egerton, a stringed-instrument conservator currently studying for a Masters Degree with the Royal College of Art / Victoria and Albert Museum Conservation Programme.

The 'cello, made in London in 1720, became part of the 'West Gallery' music tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries when it was purchased by St John Baptist Church in the village of Berkswell sometime in the 18th century.

The instrument is labelled:

'John Barrett at the Harp and Crown'
Pickadilly, London, 1720'

Local musicians used it along with other instruments to accompany church 'quires' and also secular festivities such as weddings, dances and other social functions for over 100 years.  In his 1872 novel 'Under the Greenwood Tree - The Mellstock Quire' Thomas Hardy evocatively describes this important musical tradition in his bittersweet tale of the musical lives and loves of such a village band.


http://www.nadfas.org.uk/default.asp?section=209&page=3877


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Anna
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 06:50 AM

Also, a cello used for accompaniment for singing by Laura Hewison in some more traditional songs and some of her own which are are bit more pop!
www.myspace.com/laurahewison


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: trayton
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:31 AM

I don't think this has been posted yet.

The Boscastle Breakdown - THE BOSCASTLE & TINTAGEL PLAYERS concertinas, cello & stepping

This can be found on the Topic CD Hidden English and the same track is on Volume 9 of The Voice Of The People "RIG-A-JIG-JIG: DANCE MUSIC OF THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND" and before that on the Topic LP Boscastle Breakdown

Well worth a listen to.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:40 AM

Neat. Thanks for the heads-up, Trayton -


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 08:41 AM

Wooops - and Guest Jane Bird. But sometimes you miss things the first time around...


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 11:56 AM

Thanks Anna - interesting sound...


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 11:59 AM

Unnamed cellist playing with David Greenberg (he's played with Alison McGillivray and Abby Newton before):

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y_ZWWlGxRM


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 11:33 PM

I just ran through this thread to see if Abby Newton's name had been mentioned (it was - way up above - also on several other threads - and on the last post before this one, thanks, Jack!). I found her CD "Crossing to Scotland" a few years ago in Edinburgh and loved it. She has a website here:-
Abby Newton - Scottish and folk cello
Many collaborations over the years - I'd forgotten about the Putnam County String Band (1973!) whose LP is still somewhere in my record stacks. Reminds me that around that time, when I used to haunt London's Portobello Road antique markets looking for concertinas, I came across an old-time string band playing in the street who featured cello alongside fiddle, banjo and guitar - a great sound - anybody know who they were?

Ross


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: TenorTwo
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 02:02 PM

And can I jsut recommend the Ipswich based band "Kiss the Mistress" - http://www.myspace.com/kissthemistressuk

T2


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 02:35 PM

I don't know why the cello would not be a wonderful accompaniment to folk music, especially the ballad form. Don Shirley, a wonderful jazz and classical pianist and composer, first made his reputation with an early jazz version of the classic folk tune, "Water Boy." The cello was an integral part of the sound of that piece. The darker and deeper quality of the instrument was a perfect "voice" for it. A double bass would have been too heavy-handed. My son, who has a rock-oriented band, has used the cello on both amplified and acoustic songs to good effect. I think perceived limitations on its use are mainly due to a lack of imagination. I wonder what Pablo Casals might have said - or Yo Yo Ma might say?


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 07:08 PM

Hi Bassic
I,m a cello player. I also make them and enhance them via art and physics.
I do many songs from the 30's and 40's.

The cello can do any line ; bass tenor alto and soprano so its up to you how to orchestrate. Look up a 'church bass' and you will get more insights to cello lines.

In the 70's ELO and Boston used cello but today almost all music from the Dixie Chicks to James Taylor has cello.
Google Apocolypto/cello quartet.

Since the cello is tuned just like a mandolin I have found that gaining expertise in pizzicato technique adds lots of flavor.

Right now I am playing a Nicola Amati cello which is golden mellow.
The repaired damage of the last several centuries (perhaps in the Napoleanic Wars) required 20% of the Spruce to be replaced but we all get injured by time.

You can ask me specific questions via PM.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 17 Dec 08 - 05:55 AM

No one's mentioned Chopper from the Oyster Band yet. From their website:

Scottish mum, English dad, Irish ancestral connections. Grew up in Surrey, Hampshire, Lancashire... Early influences: blues, English folk-rock, American psychedelia and country rock, Velvets, Iggy Pop, then we were suddenly playing punk without knowing it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:59 PM

Another one: the Scottish cellist Ron Shaw. He has a CD out - "Whirligig" (2004), serial number RONCELLO001, barcode 880992133425, all his own compositions, some with Rod Paterson on vocals and guitar. I went to a workshop of his once. Rather like Ugur Isik in his approach - take-no-prisoners macho aggression. Great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: GUEST,Andy James
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:52 PM

The Weems String Band featured a cello and it's a very powerful sound. If you haven't heard their two-count-'em-two recorded songs ("Greenback Dollar" and "Davy") you should find them now.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cello in Traditional Music
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 08:10 AM

fellow residents at Leyton Folk club .
Ticklers Jam used to have a cello in their group,Rob Neal was the player .


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