Contributed by Tom Bailey
Welcome to summer!
Wow, what a busy month it’s been, but very good for FOG. The Friendly Home gig was very successful, especially in the good will we provided to the residents. So many came up to spend time with us, to talk about the music, their memories and to share their joy in listening to FOG play good ol’ fiddle music. Isn’t that why we share our talents with others?
Last Saturday FOG was asked to be part of the Macedon Library’s Erie Canal Heritage Connection at Lock 30. We talked before about all the activities – Genesee Country Village Museum presentations, the Towpath Fife and Drum Corps, Wagon Tours, Macedon Historical Society, Rochester English Country Dancers, and more. And the Fiddlers of the Genesee were in the center of all the activities. Yes, it was hot, but we were not as uncomfortable as the folks dressed in period clothes. The heat didn’t really bother us under the big tent — not to mention that Greg brought a box fan — or at least it didn’t show as the members played two great sets. Granted the number of musicians out-numbered the folks in the chairs in front of us sometimes, as it was too hot for folks to sit in the sun. What we didn’t know is there was a whole crowd in the pavilion behind us really getting into the music. After packing up, Julie and I walked over to Lock 30 and got to see three packet boats going through the lock. We also had a great talk with the lock keeper and learned how the lock works and that each gate weighs over 22 tons and is more than 100 years old. Stacey, the event organizer, said FOG was the hit of the event and very important to its success. As soon as FOG finished, all the vendors packed up and left, as the attendees had left. We have already been asked to play next year, probably in September, and we will be the first group asked to make sure we can be there. Talk about good will – thanks to everyone who came out.
Next up is the Genesee Country Village Museum’s Fiddlers Fair on August 17th& 18th. If you don’t want to be on stage, please help out in one of the other areas. As you know, we have a jam tent going all weekend. But to keep it going, FOG needs some folks to be in the tent playing. We have an information table in the barn to give Fair goers ideas of all the activities going on that weekend. We need some folks to be at the table and sell our hats, visors and CD’s. And we need everyone who can to come out and represent FOG on stage Saturday or Sunday or BOTH! There will be signup sheets at the jam sessions starting this Friday. We have three jams to get ready; come on out and join us!
How many of you are aware of the Turtle Hill Festival sponsored by Golden Link is the first weekend of September? Did you know FOG is one of the major co-sponsors? We will have a full-page ad in the program, the FOG banner on the stage and, for the first time at the festival, a jam tent. FOG members can get in at the discounted Golden Link member ticket rate. Why should you come out? Ever hear of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason? They will be playing a concert on Friday night, giving a fiddle workshop on Saturday and a mando workshop on Sunday. It’s not often that you will have a chance to attend a Jay Ungar workshop and possibly play with Jay and Molly at the jam tent! We will need some folks to help with the jam tent, so come join the festivities!
Every now and then something happens that makes you wonder, like when Julie and I were running errands a couple weeks ago and decided to help support a Goodwill store by doing some shopping. I always browse the CD’s, sometimes finding a bluegrass or fiddle tape but this time I came across a CD that said Fort Hill String Band on the end. I pulled it out and, lo and behold, the CD had Irene, Mary and Chuck Dumont, Ralph Minervino and several of the early members of FOG shown as the musicians in this fantastic group. This has been one great CD, with many of the fiddle tunes we play every Friday night. We have been playing this CD ever since I found it. Thank you, Fort Hill String Band, for a wonderful presentation of this music.
Don’t forget to mark the 31stof August on your calendar. The documentary Fiddlin’ will be showing at The Little Theatre, thanks to the efforts of your Board. Showing will be at 3:00 with a chance for folks to play in the Café afterwards.
Until next time, Play Nice!
Macedon Erie Canal Heritage Performance
Contributed by Mike Deniz
On Saturday July 27, the Macedon Public library sponsored the Erie Canal Heritage Connections celebration at Lock 30 at Macedon Canal Park, a free event with music and fun activities related to life along the canal in the 1800s. Nothing helps set the mood for life in the 19thcentury quite like old-time fiddle music, so FOG was asked to provide musical entertainment by playing two different 45-minute sets in the late morning and early afternoon of that hot, sunny day.
In addition to playing audience favorites like Soldier’s Joy, Swallowtail Jig, Buffalo Gals, and Old Joe Clark, FOG debuted Erie Canal and the E-R-I-E, two new tunes in keeping with day’s theme. Emcee Bill Kenyon punctuated his usual entertaining commentary with interesting facts related to living and working on the Canal.
The highlight of the day was a surprise collab during the last set with drummers in full regalia from the Towpath Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps. They came over to play with FOG on Jefferson & Liberty, Garryowen, Liberty, and Under the Double Eagle– tunes in common between our respective repertoires. It was a fun time and we look forward to future performances hosted by Macedon Public Library.
FOG Tune of the Month
There is no Tune of the Month for August.
FOG Music Update
As voted on at the general meeting in December, there will be no more new tunes for 2019, as it was felt that four new tunes per year are plenty. But if there is a significant fix of a current tune needed, please let Deb know. Deb will be stepping down from providing music for FOG at the end of 2020. She is happy to help train a successor between now and then, so please contact Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
by Susan Cady-White, Editor
There has been a lot of activity recently for FOG members and a lot more coming in the very near future! That one thing I love about summer, all the opportunity to get outside, see and do. Which can make finding practice time a bit of a challenge, but somehow I manage to fiddle and strum a little bit most days. Fiddling outdoors is one of my favorite things to do once the weather warms. On the more humid days, the bow hair and my own hair swell in unison; I am one with my fiddle. I welcome any and all tips on preventing the left hand from sticking to the fiddle.
There’s no Tune of the Month this month, but Valse du Chef de Gare (The Stationmaster Waltz) is a charming tune I heard recently and this seems like a good month to share it. I can’t quite play it yet, as my music reading skills are definitely at the “See Spot, see Spot Run,” level, but I’ll get it eventually. Enjoy the tune and the rest of this beautiful summer!