I am not a big holiday tune kind of guy, but I’ve been asked twice by people I respect to post something along those lines. I have been playing like mad since acquiring the Mory, but haven’t been gigging, or recording. It’s the woodshed for me. Perhaps, as the sun is reborn, so shall my accordeonaire-ing.
The first waltz is an original by Le Bon Truc member Barbara Truex. She has a talent for writing extraordinary melodies, and this is only the latest. I imagine my harmonies aren’t exactly right to the composition, since Barb wrote it on a mountain dulcimer, which, because of its drones has all sorts of incidental (if not accidental) harmonies.
This is a fast waltz (that’s what they said it was when I played it in Alsace) that I wrote a good many years ago. I don’t actually write many tunes, but this one had legs. Although one of my goals is to show off the sound of the Mory, I seemed to slightly overdrive the mic for this recording. Maybe time to buy new equipement.
Jack Humphries, a buddy over at mel.net recorded this lovely video of himself playing five mazurkas by guitarist Maarten Decombel. Here’s what Jack has to say, “My favourites by the great Maarten Decombel, a guitarist who writes tunes so good to play on the accordeon: Tuileries, 1/11, Vappu, Ostendaise, Geliefden, Tuileries.”
From our gig at Jay’s Last Church on the Left, in Portland, Maine.
|Look! We smile! We’re happy!|
Trio Le Bon Truc has been have a very good year, I have to say. Well … I don’t have to, I want to! There’s been this sense among us three that our four year communion continues to deepen and satisfy. In preparation for a gig in Portland, ME at The Last Church on the Left, we’ve been putting some thought into the “next stage” of our repertoire. We know a lot of tunes, holy cow! Meanwhile, I got the Ab Tiny Box, and that’s been fun for us.
Bourrées Tricotada, Va-ten Va-ten, Grandes Poteries
As I have said in the past, I do take a phenomenological approach to music and think we all should. To that end, I am posting three of our rehearsal recordings. They are NOT polished performances, and, in fact, the Bourrées and Polkas may have been our first time playing those sets ever. In all cases, they start out rougher than they end, but they end in some very sweet spots. They interesting as “rehearsal artifacts,” but they are also … sweet. This is probably not all that swift as marketing, but … if nothing else, you can hear the good time we are having.
Polkas Quartier and de Baugy
Charlie/La Sansonette (Scottishes)
It took all of on ONE DAY for UPS to bring this beauty to me from England. A Christmas gift from my father,
An “organetto” is “a popular Italian folk instrument allied to the accordion.” This organetto looks and acts an awful lot like a small one-row (with two extra buttons) box that is a joy to play. In this case the box is in A flat — an unusual key for boxes. A chromatically oriented friend asked, “How many tunes do you play that are in A flat?” I responded, “On this box, they’re all in A flat.” We live in a diato world.
Here are three videos I shot this morning, while waiting for the duck and lamb to cook for Christmas dinner. The first has me yammering for a few seconds and then playing a polka and a bourrée. The next two are two other bourrées. Enjoy and good holidays!
|I bought this.|
On December 1, something happened over at Auvergne Diffusion that, frankly, I had completely given up hope would ever happen. They made downloads of recordings from their vast, glorious catalogue available for the first time. It being my birthday on December 2, I struck with alacrity. At around five euros per recording (OMFG, the Euro is so low!) and the fact that PayPal handles the conversion, I don’t know how AuvDif could have made it easier. Goodbye, shipping and handling.
As a first offering, AuvDif offered nine recordings by Les Brayauds – a collective featuring the brothers Didier and Eric Champion – and one by Komred, a quintet led by the fabulous Etienne Loic, a master bourrée-ist who I’ve featured about before.
|And this, too!|
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.
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.
Some great photos taken by daughter Brigid of our Mayo Street gig in Portland. Blue light. Who knew? Le Bon Truc is Gary Chapin, Barbara Truex, and Steve Gruverman
|Our trio at work|
|Dulcimer, Barbara Truex|
|Dancer, Marie Wendt|
|Clarinet hands. Like jazz hands, but cooler|
|“So, what are we playing next?”|
|We love each other.|