The Western Sun: A Waltz Played by the FRLO

I think this might be my favorite one, so far.

This is a waltz by longtime FRLO member Barb Truex, who accompanies on dulcimer. A lot of really cool things I noticed while putting this together. A lot of one-row accordions in the mix, including a Mignon (I think, Matt?). Also, the bass and harmony parts (arranged by Anahata and Howard Mitchell, respectively) really came together, as well as the totally unexpected harp accompaniment from Janneke. Gonk played a wonderful descant harmony over the b section. Between Barb, Eric, and Eggy, we had three guitars! That felt like a lot of rhythm, to me. But when they all come in, the second time around the tune, it really works.

I began with Anahata’s accordion and cello, Janneke’s harp, and Barb’s dulcimer because this is a tune with a very delicate side, and I thought twenty seconds, or so, of accordion chamber music would be a nice beginning before the orchestra kicked in. Thanks to Barb for shooting the sun videos. I chose not to do anything, this time, with the videos of players because, even though I’m over COVID, I still get very tired, very quickly, and this was taking way too long to get out.

Thank you EVERYONE! The band really shines.

The Free Reed Liberation Orchestra (Jan 2023 edition) is Barb Truex Anahata Matthew Bampton Ben Hemmendinger (Gonk) Howard Mitchell Janneke Slagter Gren Penn Andrew Edgington Eric Johnson Margaret Cox Gary Chapin

La Marin Congo: The Free Reed Liberation Orchestra

This is a tune Gary learned twenty years ago (at least) from clarinet buddy Steve Gruverman. I’m not sure of the provenance of the Congo, as a dance in France, but it was popular in the 1920s with the Bal Musette, I believe. FRLO (Halloween 2022 edition) is Gary Chapin, Anahata, Martin Dumas, Matthew Bampton, Janneke Slagter, Gren Penn, Margaret Cox, and Barbara Truex.

A Noir Accordion Murder Mystery

Detective Weltmeister came onto the scene, a ratty one bedroom apartment with a dead mendicant and a silent, broken accordion.

I stood at the door. A first year uniformed flatfoot. I’d knocked on the old guy’s door to offer him some date nut bread from my wife. Looked in. Saw the mayhem, and called the precinct and detective.

The accordion was in a distended, immodest state, bellows stretched. The detective, with grace, picked up the shambles, set it aside, and covered it with a small towel. It let out one last wheeze. An F sharp, I think. Like a death rattle.

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