|A beautiful box
Today I took delivery of my new box, a Hohner Erica A/D, sent from England by its previous owner, a denizen of the inestimable melodeon.net.
I’ve had my eye out for an A/D box for a while. I found myself playing in situations where my disdain for “the peoples’ key” was becoming more than a charming eccentricity. I had boxes that played in C, G, F, Bb, and Eb. I needed an A and a D. (Anything beyond three sharps or three flats seems a vulgar affectation.)
So, did I want posh box (oh, a Tommy!)? A less expensive posh box (a Lilly)? Or a tiny box (Giordy)? Or a Baffetti organato? I didn’t know. Then this box showed up for sale on mel.net.
I was intrigued. I always had a thing for that old fashion Hohner sound, and had actually started on a mighty Corso. The Erica is a classic bog norm box. Jean Blanchard played one back in the day. Then, accordion fettler, bold Lester Bailey, pointed out that he had worked on the Erica and that it was an excellent model of the species. Also, that the seller was very trustworthy. That was enough for me.
After adjusting all the straps to suit my massive frame, I made some videos. Be kind, still getting used the action and all that.
My colleague Lester Bailey has been posting a sheaf of tunes over on his Tune-a-Day blog. A few days ago he posted this old French tune (perhaps best known for its Blowzabella rendition, but originally collected in the 16th century). Check out the tune and the rest of the blog.
Some months ago, Lester Bailey posted the below video as a submission for the June 2011 Melodeon.net tune-of-the-month, the tune “Lemmy Brazil’s No. 2.” I’ve come back to it again and again, ever since. Played on a plethora of Hohner accordions, Lester’s vid gives a great sense of the range of sounds the might Hohner brand has — all of them happy making.
And as a bonus, also from Lester, a pin up of Lementina Brazil herself!
Over on Melodeon.net denizen Lester Bailey has announced that he’s hung his shingle as an accordion repairer and tuner. Certainly, if you’re near Wendover Bucks (UK) and you find you’ve got a melodeon in a state of disrepair I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Tune-a-Rama. If not, I would still urge you to the site to read the stories of Lester’s melodeons. Very charming, it’s like a phenomenology of melodeon acquisition. Elsewhere on the site, Lester has recordings and videos of himself and his various melodeons playing Morris dance tunes.