This one is suitable for dancing! The June 2021 edition of the Free Reed Liberation Orchestra plays two bog norm scottishes. The group this time is mostly stalwarts with one new member – hello, David Barnet!
The group is:
Anahata, Matthew Bampton, David Barnert, Gary Chapin, Margaret Cox, Andrew Edgington, Steve Gruverman, Eric Johnson, Howard Mitchell, Gren Penn, Julian Scholefield, Janneke Slagter
This is part of the Bal Folk Tune Book Project. Scottishes #5 and #6, “Scottish à Catinaux” and “D’où Viens-tu P’tit Bonhomme.” The first tune I play as I always have and realized today that I’ve been doubling all the parts forever. Well, that’s a habit that’ll stick. The second tune I don’t play at dance speed, just a little slower, more cinematic or — as I’ve been accused — Wagnerian. I am NOT AT ALL pleased by my accordion face in this one. Not exactly a gormless wonder, but hardly gormful.
A few days ago I came across a performance of Scottiche à Catinaux (spellings vary, but I like this one) by French one-row accordeonaire Gilles Poutoux. In itself it’s unusual to hear French tunes on the one-row (though there is the obvious connection to Quebecois and Cajun one-row traditions), but the tune happened to be one of my faves, a Bal Folk standard.
The scottiche is a medium tempo couples dance in 4/4 (I love medium tempo). This one is particularly simple and seems to come along early in the learning arc of many players. Perhaps because, it appeared on Jean Blanchard’s seminal Accordeon Diatonique recording, which set the bar for everyone back in 1977. But its simplicity does not diminish the joy and possibilities for Scottiche à Catinaux. Poutoux on the one-row plays a bubbly sort of scottiche, with a lot of verve and vim. But that’s his take on the tune. Here is the sheet music, the pure tune:
Scottiche à Catinaux
(NOTE: This is a correction from an earlier posted image, h/t Anahata)
Notice on the third beat of the first bar in the B section, where the melody drops. It goes to an A. An F chord is the natural choice, and that F chord makes all the difference. The F chord confirms that, in fact, there is love in the room. That’s right. I said it.
There are many versions of this tune on the YouTubes. I especially love Anahata’s version, pairing the tune with Scottish á Virmoux, another ear worm of a tune.
Finally, I’ll offer my own version from my CD, L’Autre Diatoniste (available at Bandcamp). At this far remove (it was recorded five years ago) it sounds too fast (that’s the trouble with technically easy tunes), but I still like it. I like Will Leavitt’s spoon playing. And I like the second tune, L’eau de Roche. Enjoy.