I’ll be teaching old and new tunes from New England’s polyglot dance and music repertoire at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes June 30-July 6 at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA. I’m looking forward to playing with old friends and making new ones.
Guitarist Max Cohen, my musical partner since 2005, is teaching and performing with me. He specializes in DADGAD tuning and is teaching rhythm players the same tunes that I’m teaching fiddlers. Check him out on Tom Anderson’s classic Shetland air Da Slockit Light on YouTube. You can hear us together at the Fiddle Summit in Shepherdstown WV on Louis Beaudoin’s Dad’s Reel and Daniel Boucher’s Circular Reel.
While all my classroom teaching will be by ear, I’m posting these three fiddle sources with both audio/video and sheet music:
- From Louis Beaudoin – he called it Blackberry Quadrille. La Famille Soucy called it Polka Carnaval.
- Slow version (solo fiddle)
- 2009 recording with Donna Hébert, Pascal Gemme, Max Cohen
- Louis Beaudoin 1977 VT Public Radio recording
- Sheet music for fiddle with chords
2. This is called It Runs In The Family. It’s a jig I wrote for the Beaton Family – Kinnon, Betty, Andrea, and Allison. Andrea is my fiddle sister and Betty and Kinnon have become good friends now I’m in Cape Breton a lot.
- Slow – fast version (solo fiddle)
- Sheet music for fiddle, viola, and cello, with chords
3. Max and I love the slow tunes – waltzes, airs, laments – and I’d teach them all if I could – but I chose this one Max and I wrote for my father after he died. I wrote the first half, Max wrote the second half. The full story of the Raven’s Wing, with two YouTube videos, one with Max in West Virginia in 2010 and another in an impromptu jam with Bruce Molsky and friends in Montreal in 2014. We will pull harmonies and counter-melodies out of this tune for performance. Note that Max’s chords leave out many of the thirds, opening the tune up to evoke the Grand Canyon, which inspired the composition.