Sur le bord de la riviere and Les filles de St. Nicholas are two of the first tunes I learned and I still love them.
This is a great, sweet mazurka with a weird twist — it has a few or three bars in 2/4 making me wonder if there’s a particular dance that goes with this tune. Here’s the dots from Mally’s Bal Folk tune book.
Played these tunes at church this week. I don’t think I made the gormless accordion face there. Go figure. Sounds good, though! And it’s pronounced “brawl,” with an extra bit of nasal business between the “l” and the “w.”
I’ve been thinking of the tune “Plant a Cao,” lately (sheet music down below). It was nominated for tune of the month over on Melodeon.net. It was voted down, but a fascination was still sparked. This is a scottish I first heard on the Musaique CD, by Ad Vielle Que Pourra. They play it at light speed, which suits me some of the time. My current favorite version is this one by Jean Luc Gueneau and Gilles Poutoux:
I heard the Gentiane version, featuring the great Jean Blanchard some years later. It has a gentler, more playful tone:
And here’s a solo accordion version by Jac Lavergne, from his Cadence d’Auvergne cassette tape.
As a bonus for my friend, Barb Truex, here it is on mountain dulcimer:
Here we are playing Gwendal, a tune we heard from an album by the House Band.
The tune is from the Rockall album from 1996, and featured the great Chris Parkinson, who I wrote about here.
Hey there. This is a tune I learned in 1998 (I think … it was so long ago!) from Steve Gruverman and Marie Wendt shortly after I moved to Maine. The dance is a slow, peaceful line … although I play it with a bit of drama, here.
LE BON TRUC will ring in the holiday season with a long set at Blue in Portland, ME on November 27 from 7:30-9. Gary Chapin (accordions), Steve Gruverman (clarinets, bombard), and Barb Truex (dulcimer, tenor guitar, banjo uke) specialize in music from many areas of France, much of it from the folk dance traditions. A few other fun pieces always get thrown in too. This is officially an “Irish Night” at Blue but the broader category is “Celtic” which covers much of France (and Spain) beyond the familiar Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. Le Bon Truc’s repertoire encompasses tunes from Brittany, Alsace, Auvergne and more. There is always an Irish session at Blue after the featured concert. Come join us and get your winter season rolling!
When I got my first flat keyed accordion (the Dino Baffetti in F/Bb/Eb), I asked the band if we could do some flat tunes just because. This was the first. A set of bog norm bourrées in three performed at Port City Blue — in Portland, ME — about a year ago. The tunes are 1. Bourree Droite 2. Bourree de St. Pierre 3. Bourree d’Egletons.
I’ve kept this blog since 2011, and I’ll have to admit that I don’t write as often as I would like anymore. But the posts written over the years seem to stand up pretty well. From tributes to heroes of mine (e.g., Yann-Fanch Perroches and Daniel Thonon), or an interview with Frédéric Paris or Andy Cutting. I take deep dives into specific tunes (e.g., On d’onoren Garda and Le Cotillon Vert). Over on the side bar are links to a bunch of things: interviews, a great tune book, my own CD, and a story about my trip to Alsace.
What I’m saying is that there’s a lot of cool stuff here that I had a lot of fun writing — all of it about button accordion. I do occasionally add to the pile — when I write tunes, for example — and I invite you to explore the 250 or so posts that are here.