October 2019 Fiddletter

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

Autumn sounds
Impressionism. Painting of violin in autumn forest

Well, it has been a good year with a lot of musical accomplishments along the way. And now we are down to our last gig with Bristol Valley Theatre coming up on October 13. cropped-BVT-sign-2019-1.jpgWord has it that the stage is in better shape for our playing than it was last year. The only issue to resolve is the sound system; we were going to use their in-house guy but his system is not large enough for FOG. And the FOG equipment won’t begin to fill that theatre with sound. So, we are looking at alternatives.  By now you should have received the set lists for the two 1-hour sets. A few of the tunes have some different arrangements but there shouldn’t be a problem. Please let us know Friday if you plan to join in at Bristol. We have to know by Friday who will be playing so we can figure out the set-up, where everyone will stand on stage. Being almost a home for Bill, he will be MC at Bristol again. Thanks Bill! Please come to the jam this Friday as we start preparing for the Theatre.

ClappingHandsMike has been doing a great job with the website. If you haven’t visited lately, Mike has posted photos and some recordings from most of our gigs, as well as photos from our community activities. We have been receiving a lot of great comments on the new website. Please see Mike’s website updates in this newsletter. Mike, we can’t thank you enough for your time and commitment to FOG.

imagesHave you been watching Ken Burns’ documentary, Country Music? It’s been a great look at the music of this genre, starting with original old-time fiddle music in the late1800’s, its origins and how music was used to help families make it through the hardships of their days. It’s very interesting that as some music becomes more commercial, there is always a new group of musicians who discover fiddle music and re-energize the playing and recognition of that music.  Great stuff.

It is time to start thinking about the election of Board members again. The slate of nominees must be in place for the November newsletter and then the vote is taken the first Friday in December, at the annual meeting. At the board meeting next Wednesday, we will find out where we will need some new folks. Jane will put the information together and get it to Mike for one of his famous e-blasts. We already know that Greg is moving on to new things next year so FOG really needs a treasurer. Greg has done so much in the last two years to simplify the bookkeeping. It is all in one computer program now compared to the four files that were used before Greg took over. Please think about things you might want from FOG and then consider serving on the Board to help make those things happen. Please consider taking a little bit of time for a worthy cause!

Again, come on out and be part of the most fun gig of the year. Many folks gather together for lunch before we head to the theatre for warming up. It is always a great event! Hope to see ya’ at the jam.

Until next time … Play Nice!


Website Updates and New Features

Contributed by Mike Deniz, Webmaster

The new FOG website has been live and running for about 4 months now on the WordPress platform and web host. As of last month, we officially cancelled our GoDaddy account, the web hosting service of the previous website. We continue to tweak and improve the new site, adding more content and features.  Here are some new features added recently:

FOG Around Town. On our home page now you will find regularly updated posts of FOG’s activities days after they happen, such as Turtle Hill, Palmyra, Mumford, etc. Search engines favor sites with a frequently-updated homepage. All the photos and videos in each post are contributed by members or their families who were in attendance. If you see yourself in a photo or video, feel free to click on the SHARE button and send it to friends and family. Sharing also helps with ranking our site on search engines.

FOG around town 1

 

Merchandise Page. We don’t have e-commerce yet (it is possible, but baby steps…) but we can still advertise our gear and music for sale. It is also a good way to get people to attend jams and festivals, being the only place to purchase them for now.

Merchandise Page

 

Set Lists Page. The latest sanctioned set lists for upcoming gigs are now available for viewing and downloading from this page, found on the Members Only submenu.

Set Lists page

I am currently investigating more features for members.  Coming soon (I hope) are:

Member Forum (aka Bulletin Board). Members can post text and upload images. Use it for posing questions, announcements (i.e. instruments for sale), FYI’s, etc.

New Newsletter Publishing Tool. For a couple months we tried distributing the Fiddletter using an e-newsletter tool, but it didn’t quite work as we hoped. I found another new tool that seems to work better. This tool will allow the FOG newsletter editor to automatically publish the Fiddletter to the body of an email and distribute it a member distribution list. Until we are ready with it, we will continue to distribute the Fiddletter as a PDF file attachment to “email blasts”.

I hope by now you noticed that the TUNES library page contains audio tracks to play each tune without needing a midi converter. The downside of this feature is that it takes this one page a longer time to load, because the audio files are large and there are hundreds of them. Please email me at denizamike@gmail.comto let me know if you like these audio tracks or if you just would prefer to download the midi and play it separately because the page is taking too long to load for you.

Lastly, we have some great admin tools that provide useful feedback on the who, when, and what of visitors to our site. Here are some interesting insights so far:

  • Number of unique visitors: 1,031
  • Number of countries represented by visitors: 25
  • Top 5 countries outside USA: Canada, China/Hong Kong, Italy, Russia, Netherlands
  • Day of week and time with most views: Fridays at 2pm
  • Day with the most activity: August 16.

Palmyra 2019
Members of FOG entertained at Palmyra Canaltown Days on September 15.
Vintage Halloween Cat Playing Violin Poster.
Vintage Halloween Cat Playing Violin Poster. Vector Illustration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 2019 FIDDLETTER

DogDaysofSummer

President’s Remarks

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?

Macedon Canal 6
Members of the Towpath Fife & Drum Corps at Macedon Library’s Erie Canal Heritage Connection.

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 theTurtle_Hill_logo_Gold_600px 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!

Jay & Molly
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason

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.

Fiddlin+title+high+res

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

 

Macedon Canal 4

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 debabell66@gmail.com if you’re interested.


 

CODA

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!

Stationmaster Waltz


 

Valse du Chef de Gare

Valse du Chef de Gare


 

JULY 2019 FIDDLETTER

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

fourth of July three starsThanks to every one of you who came out to Make Music Rochester on June 21st. We gathered in the park across the street from Bernunzio’s Uptown Music. We were a small but enthusiastic group, one of over 5100 music sites internationally this year, the largest program ever for the Make Music event. Mark June 21st on your calendar –Summer Solstice — for next year’s event.

FOGonMakeMusicDay
On June 21 FOG members celebrated the Summer Solstice and Int’l Make Music day. Mark your calendars to join the fun next year!

We have been talking about the Erie Canal Heritage Connection at Genesee Country Village Museum on July 27th for quite some time now. The purpose of the gathering is to discover and explore life in the 1800’s along the Erie Canal.  The days events will include lifestyle presentations; the Towpath Drum and Bugle Corps; wagon tours; Macedon Historical Society displays; Rochester English Country Dancers performing period dances; Historic Houses; butter making; period food and drink; old fashioned toys; an 1816 museum and … the Fiddlers of the Genesee will be playing twice! It is a real honor for FOG to be included in this event. After the less than acceptable gig at the Library on June 15th, I was almost surprised they would still have FOG participate. We need everyone available to come out and join in. This could be the most important event we have ever played for in recent memory, so we need your help.

After the problems at the Macedon Library gig on the 15th  — an out of tune fiddle, less than enthusiastic starts, and it seemed we could not agree on endings as they were all over the place — we are going to try something different. This is not a change in bylaws, just something we want to try. Anyone wanting to play a gig MUST be signed up two weeks before the scheduled entertainment date. The set list will be determined three weeks before the gig and WILL NOT be changed after the two-week date. We think changing things on the set list the Friday before the event added to a lot of the confusion at the Library; that won’t happen again. Please look at Ron’s workshop write-up in this newsletter. It ends with a list of things to do to make sure one is ready for the gig. We have to take the paying gigs seriously; the folks paying us have a choice of who they want to have come play. Obviously, we would like it to be FOG and we owe it to the folks paying us to play the best we possibly can.

IMG_1498
FOG playing at Macedon Library on June 15. All members are encouraged to sign up to play at future gigs.

We are still getting requests to come play this summer, one in July and two in September. I don’t see how FOG can do the July date but we would like to do the September events. We will send out an email blast as soon as the dates are set. Don’t forget the July 20 gig at the Friendly Home. This was a good gig last year and I am sure this year will be the same. We are using the Mumford Set List #1 for both play times at the Friendly Home. By the way, we are still trying to work up Welcome Whiskey Back Again; it has a catchy syncopation that we are stumbling around with. Come on out and help us play it!

One final thought: We had such a good response with selling FOG caps last year that this year we have embroidered denim visors available for purchase.  They turned out very nicely.

Hey Rich! Just to let you know we are thinking you. Hang in there and come join when you can. Or we might have to come join you!

Until next time, Play Nice!


FOG Tune of the Month: Blackberry Blossom (Tune Fix)

Contributed by Deb Abell

Click HERE for Sheet Music

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 debabell66@gmail.com if you’re interested.


Making a Tune Your Own

Contributed by Debbie Baldwin

At Michelle’s recent “Making a Tune Your Own” workshop, I learned steps to take that would allow me to be creative and add my unique style to a tune.

  • Break the tune down to its most simplistic state
  • Then add double-stops from the chords (phrases in the music) to be in the same key
  • Play a variety by playing double-stops at two different octaves
  • Play the song in its simplest form then progress by adding the other ideas and may be even a change in rhythm or emphasis to specific notes using the bow

I look forward to finding my own style and experimenting.  A source that would be Teaching Book Cover smallhelpful to fiddlers would be the book Learn to Fiddle by Hope Grietzer, which is an introduction to basic fiddling techniques using material from Bluegrass, Irish, Scottish, Old-time, and French Canadian styles.  I have attended one of her workshops in the past and I plan to give more attention to her book.  There are two accompanying CD’s, so you can hear what she is explaining, which include some tunes familiar to FOG.  Also, there are numerous practice ideas in the back half of the book: scales and arpeggios in each chord, that explain the notes in the various keys to know what notes a fiddler can harmonize with.  When a chord is written on the page, the fiddler must play two notes that go with what the guitarist is playing. One cannot just select any two notes they think harmonizes.  There are also bowing/shuffle exercises that I need to learn, and dexterity exercises, drone, fourth finger, and dynamic exercises.

I have found that being involved in various musical groups has resulted in an expansion of knowledge, but to improve my playing requires time set aside to learn from a book like this because I have it at hand, can see the notes and read explanations, and hear on the CD what is being taught and refer to it again and again. I highly recommend this book, because I know it will help me.


Mandolin Workshop Summary

contributed by Ron Perry, Certified Wernick Method Teacher

This is a summary of what I covered during the Mandolin Workshop held on June 19. I also added a few “Author’s Notes”.

99009Instrument, Picks and Straps

  • Use a very heavy pick to get the most volume.
  • Your strap controls the angle at which your pick hits the strings.
  • Your forearm should be approximately parallel to the fingerboard to keep the pick parallel to the strings. Your volume is thus maximized.
  • Whether it’s over your shoulder or around your neck, the strap will have an effect on your volume, your pick angle and your comfort
  • Experiment with the length of the strap
  • Dirt and corrosion rob your strings of life!  Wipe down your fingerboard and strings with a rag moistened with WD-40 after you’re done playing, which will keep your strings clean, brightly colored and crisp sounding, free of corrosion caused by sweat.
  • Strings die. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly without you noticing. Professionals change strings frequently, sometimes daily. Consider changing your strings as often as every week, but never more than a month, depending on how many hours you’ve played.

Rhythm

  • Rhythm keeps the fiddlers in line. They need all the help they can get…they have a fiddle blasting in one ear. Good strong rhythm should be filling their other ear!  Play loudly!
  • The bass controls the entire ensemble! The bass should be considered to be the common metronome of the players! Listen to it, feel it. Don’t ignore it, and don’t vary from the timing governed by the bass!
  • A mandolin “chop”: Play the bass note loudly and audibly on the downbeat, followed by a muted chord on the backbeat.
  • Whether you play audible chords or chop the chord, use a fluid wrist.
  • When outnumbered by melody-playing fiddles, reinforce the rhythm.
  • When the rhythm instruments outnumber the fiddles, decide whether playing the melody on the mandolin enhances or detracts from the music.
  • Respect the judgment of the Music Director, for the sake of the entire club, especially when rehearsing for performance.

Song Introductions

Strange as it sounds, some players do not realize the kick-off should be played at the same time/meter as the song to be played. (Author’s note: Strange but true…I’ve witnessed this too many times with too many players in too many informal groups, clubs and jams. Messy results!) 

  • All the musicians will gauge their timing by the speed of the kick-off.
  • The Kick-Off should be a minimum of one full measure, two whole measures maximum.
  • Just like a “count-down”, a Walk-Up or Walk-Down establishes the song timing/meter
  • The Walk-up or Walk-down notes lead right into the first chord (Ex: A, B, C# notes up to the “D”-chord)

The mandolin can be used to kick-off the tune with: 99124

  • Saw (imitating a fiddle-saw)
  • Turnaround (last line of the verse or chorus)
  • Must be played very loudly!

Solos or “Breaks”

This is a musical feature based on either the “melody” or the “chorus”. Know your fingerboard so you can improvise!

(Author’s Note: A “solo” is one featured instrument/musician; a “break” can be played by more than one musician simultaneously or shared in segments).

  • The Music Director should be responsible for deciding whether a break should be included, who plays it and for how long.
  • Whether played by one musician or a whole section, the break must be rehearsed!

Embellishments

Any tune can benefit from enhancements played by individual musicians. They are particularly effective when played within a Break/Solo.

Embellishments include:

  • Improvisation
  • Double-Stops
  • Cross-Picking
  • Tremolo
  • Slides (up to or down to the melody note)
  • Run (a portion of a scale ending at a chord)
  • Scales

My boss, Dr. Pete Wernick, the banjo player of the legendary Bluegrass band Hot Rize and creator of the Wernick Method stresses:

“Always be in tune. Be on time. Be on the correct chord. Be ready. Anything less risks a ‘train-wreck’ that can result in catastrophic embarrassment and emotional devastation to all involved.” He goes on, “Be rehearsed but sound spontaneous.”

As an organization with a lengthy reputation for solid, old-time fiddle music, FOG should take his recommendations seriously. We never know who’s listening … could mean our next paying gig!


Playing with Others

Contributed by Jane Reetz

IMG_2133 2
Michelle Younger

Michelle Younger’s Playing with Othersworkshop, held June 22, got off to a rocky start as instructor and attendees gathered on the sidewalk outside a locked storefront at BayTowne Plaza, where the workshop was to be held. After a few phone calls were made, it was decided to relocate the workshop to an empty tent on the BayTowne property, where a farmers market is held each Wednesday and where a Cruise Night takes place each Thursday. Michelle offered the following key points intended to optimize performance when playing in a group.

  • Rhythm is most important – play but also listen!
  • When playing in a performance, listen to the bass.  The bass keeps everyone together.  However, if the group speeds up, you have to keep together  — so the bass will speed up too.
  • Practice slowly using a metronome, which will show your weak spots. Play along with recordings, such as midi files, to help develop rhythm and tempo.
  • When playing in a group, be open to constructive criticism and offer only constructivecriticism.
  • Be self-reflective after a performance.

IMG_2132
The Playing with Others workshop was held in a tent on the BayTowne Plaza property.

  • Use eye contact during a performance for communication with your fellow players.
  • Pay attention to cues from fellow players.
  • At jams, if it’s a new tune, listen to it first to determine the key.  Become familiar with guitar chord shapes to help you make chord changes.
  • Don’t expect to play every note.
  • Listen to a lot of a particular type of music to get it in your head.  You will learn starts, breaks, embellishments, endings, etc.

CODA

by Susan Cady-White, Editor

Me, Brian Webster and Joe Dady in 2018 at the Fiddlers Picnic held the first Saturday of each August on Conesus Lake. Joe opened the day’s performances with a program that showcased his students playing on stage with him.

As many of you know, Joe Dady passed away on May 18 following a stem cell transplant to treat leukemia that was diagnosed last fall. As the Dady Brothers, Joe and his brother John entertained the Rochester region and beyond for well over 40 years. Joe was my fiddle teacher and he was a dear friend. I was a very green beginner when I started lessons with Joe almost six years ago. Joe thought it very cool and fitting that I became the editor of the Fiddletter, and I know the best way for me to honor his memory is to keep on fiddlin’!


fireworks-clip-art-fireworks-clipart-picture

JUNE 2019 FIDDLETTER

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

Here’s hoping everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Looks like we have made it to warmer weather but I am seriously looking at waterproof instruments! There are some great sounding fiddles, mandos and guitars out there made of carbon fiber – 100% waterproof! Guess we gotta have something to complain about with the weather …

The first workshop with Ron Perry will have taken place by the time you read this. Based on his lesson plan, it was likely a great one. Eighteen have signed up for the June 8th “Making a Tune Your Own” workshop with Michelle. We are working on a date between the 8th and 22nd for Ron’s second workshop since Ron and Nancy will be out of town for a week beginning the 21st. There are 10 signed up for Ron’s “Starts and Breaks” and at least 12 for Michelle’s “Playing with Others” on the 22nd. It was unfortunate that we had to cancel the Clawhammer workshop, but there were only four confirmed attendees. It wasn’t fair to Michelle, but it would have been a big hit on the FOG coffers to host a workshop with so few attendees. There are now at least nine interested in a Clawhammer workshop, so we are trying to figure out another date for that one. If Michelle isn’t available, there are a couple other really good clawhammer specialists in town. Details should be confirmed soon.

We need you to sign up to play at the Macedon Public Library on June 15th. We played there last year and the audience was great – so appreciative. Please sign up if you are going to be in town. After that we will play two sessions at the Friendly Home on July 20th. These are paying gigs, so it’s a chance to refill our bank account! Please see the other upcoming events on the list included elsewhere in the newsletter.

Want to do something really different for a Monday night? Join us on a Traditional Fiddle Music/Bluegrass Cruise of the Erie Canal on the Colonial Belle out of Fairport on June 17th. We play in Macedon on the 15th and then get together with roughly 60 other folks for a cruise the following Monday. Folks will board the Colonial Belle at 6:30 and leave the dock at 7:00 pm for a 2-hr+ cruise. The Cruisers (not break-neck speed players) will be on the upper deck while the Moonshiners (all out crazy folks) will be in the main cabin. And for those who just want to relax and not worry about playing, PLEASE come on out. Cost is $22, which includes pizza. That’s more fun and less cost than a regular 2-hour cruise! Bernunzio’s sponsors the event, so PLEASE give them a call if you are interested: 585-473-6410. They need a list so they know how much pizza to buy and so names can be checked off at boarding. They don’t want to leave someone standing at the dock!

Please see the summer set lists below. Printable PDF’s of the Set Lists can be found at the end of the newsletter. There are two lists, based on the two days at Mumford. Set List #1 is for Saturday and Set List #2 is for Sunday. There is a slight problem: in the past we have had 45-minute time slots, which was the basis for these set lists. I just found out that this year we have only 30-minute time slots, so we have to remove around 4 tunes from each list. I need to explain the color codes here: Black is obvious; Blue is for the tunes that are on both set lists; the Red at the bottom are some possible tunes to add to the list for one of our normal 1-hour gigs. A new tune has been added, FOG’s Tune of the Month for June, Welcome Whiskey Back Again. There is a new tune we snuck in on everyone. Deb is working out the details but we have included the basic tune in the newsletter. Heads up– we will use Set List #1 for Macedon Library!

Macedon Library

Mumford Set List #1 – Saturday 
Click on image below to download
Mumford Set List #2 – Sunday
Click on image below to download

If you want a chance to get to become better friends with your instrument(s), there are some super workshops coming up that might help. Want to get to know the FOG members a bit better? Join in one of the many scheduled events and gigs. Click here to see the upcoming gigs Fiddlers of the Genesee – gig list 5-25-19

2019 Event Schedule as of 24 May 2019

June 2019

  • 15th – Macedon Public Library – 2:00 pm
  • 17th – Erie Canal Cruise  – 6:30 pm

July 2019

  • 20th – Friendly Home , Brighton – TBD   2 sessions, paid gig
  • 27th – Macedon Erie Canal Celebration  – 11:45 am & 1:00 pm

August 2019

  • 17th & 18th – Mumford Fiddlers Fair – 2:15 pm Saturday & Sunday
    Jam tent 10:00 am – 4:00 pm both days
  • 31st – Little Theatre – “FIDDLIN” documentary 3:00 pm
    FOG can play after showing in the Little Café

September 2019

  • 5th – VA Hospital, Canandaigua – 5:00 pm
  • 7th – Turtle Hill Folk Festival/Golden Link
    Jam tent, no performance
  • 15th – Palmyra Canaltown Days  – time TBD

October 2019

  • 13th – Bristol Theatre, Naples – 2:00 pm

Find some time to enjoy the music, the camaraderie and above all – Play Nice!


FOG Tune of the Month:
Welcome Whiskey Back Again

Contributed by Deb Abell and Tom Bailey

When the English Parliament lifted the ban on Barley in the late 1800’s, the author of Farewell to Whiskey wrote this tune to welcome the change.

Click HERE to download pdf of sheet music


FOG Spring Picnic Fun!

Contributed by Jane Reetz

Following on the success of our Fall FOG picnics, this year we added a Spring Fling which took place on May 5th.
A lot of members attended with their families and friends. It offered a great opportunity to jam, socialize, and eat (and eat some more). There were several great breakout sessions where members got a chance to shine and show off their many musical talents.

MAY 2019 FIDDLETTER

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

Greetings FOGgers! I don’t know about you, but for me it is a welcome change to be driving to work with the sun rising. Feels like the start of a new day, although more days have been cloudy than sunny! Thanks to all who came to our “business meeting” on April 5th. Mike Deniz did a great job of presenting the new website.  The site is easy to use and includes everything the Board asked Mike to cover. Mike sent the link to all members; have you looked at it yet? Very few comments have been received but the Board does want your input before we go “live” with this website. Barring additional input from the membership, the new site will become the official FOG website around the end of May. Maybe we should have a party for taking down the old website?

If you’ve read the past couple Fiddleletters you know we have the FOG Spring Picnic coming up May 5th at the Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge, located in the northwest corner of the park. The information is in this edition of the Fiddleletter as well. I hope you can join us, as there will plenty of food, music and camaraderie beginning at 2:00.  We don’t have to be out until 8:00, if anyone is so inclined to stay until closing. Great weather is forecasted, so we can play on the patio.

Please see the latest listing of upcoming events. These have been discussed in this column before, with the exception of the June 27 event. On June 27th Bernunzio’s Uptown Music is sponsoring a 2-hour cruise on the Erie Canal aboard the Colonial Belle, sailing out of Fairport. This has been a bluegrass cruise in the past but we are adding fiddle music to the cruise this year. We will probably have the fiddles on the upper deck and the bluegrass folks in the cabin. Nothing to say we can’t intermix, since a lot of the music at bluegrass jams is fiddle music. Maybe you would like to play some bluegrass? Please pass the word to everyone you know. Usually about half the people on the cruise don’t play the music, they just like to listen and watch the wildlife (including other folks) on the banks as we go gliding by. In the past we have boarded around 5:30 for a departing time around 6:00. We will have more info in an email blast around mid-May.

Many of you have been asking about the set lists for this summer. There will actually be two: one for Saturday and one for Sunday at Mumford. During the course of playing our summer gigs we will add several tunes to either list to make up a 1 hour set list. Mumford is roughly 40 minutes playing time each day.  The set lists will be handed out this Friday at the jam session. There will be a short discussion to review the lists and get your input. After that the set lists will be emailed out to all members. Come see the different tunes on this year’s list.

Don’t forget that FOG is holding a series of workshops that will be taught by Michelle Younger. Originally it consisted of 3 workshops, each building on the previous one. They were:

        • May 18 – Clawhammer Banjo (beginner/intermediate)
        • June 8 – How to make a tune your own:  Introduction to variation and improvisation in old-time music (all levels, all instruments)
        • June 22 – Playing with other people and learning tunes on the fly (all levels, all instruments)

We have added a fourth one, a Mandolin Workshop with none other than Ron Perry. It will be held on Wednesday May 29th. The Saturday workshops will start at 2:00 pm and will cost $5 for members and $12 for non-members. There will be a big discount for attending two workshops and an even larger one for attending all three Saturday workshops. There will be no charge for the Wednesday evening Mandolin workshop, which will start at 6:30.  An email will be sent with details on the workshops, which will be held in a storefront at Bay Towne Plaza.

Hope to see you at the picnic!



FOG Tune of the Month: Lonesome Moonlight Waltz

Contributed by Deb Abell


Listen here to the Lonesome Moonlight Waltz Click here for a printable PDF of Lonesome Moonlight Waltz


Coda

Susan Cady-White, editor

At this time last year I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of May 1, the opening of online registration for FiddleStar Adult Beginner Fiddle Camp, which I had I learned of while reading Strings magazine. The camp is held at the Ridgetop, Tennessee home of Megan and Adam Chowning. With a maximum of 15 students and the ability to lodge on site in one of two bunk rooms, the camp sounded perfect for me and I was thrilled to land a spot on the roster. Camp was held in September and my husband and I decided to hit Nashville together for a few days before I went off to camp. On our first morning, we walked to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. When we arrived at the Hall, bluegrass musicians – including an amazing fiddle player – were jamming on an elevated deck. When we asked how we could get closer to them, it was explained that the players on the deck were rehearsing and we could see them and others inside, because the second and final day of the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship was taking place in the auditorium. We walked inside, past a very long line of sweaty tourists waiting to buy tickets to the museum, and into the cool – and free — auditorium to have a listen. And stayed all day, right to the champion-announcing end. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning and still can’t believe our luck in stumbling upon the event. Missouri’s Trustin Baker was the champ.

After three fun days in Nashville it was time for camp. I had registered as a lodging-on-site camper, but over the summer the notion of bunking in a room with five strangers and sharing one bathroom with up to 14 others lost its charm. I booked an Airbnb 20 minutes from camp, a scenic commute that provided a welcome respite at the end of the day when my fingers were sore and my brain was full. Eleven students registered for camp. Several of us fell into the 3-5 year playing range, but most had played less than a year, including the guy who bought a fiddle the week before so he could come to the camp with a buddy, all the way from Alaska.  That’s brave!

Eleven campers were split into three groups, each group composed of students with a range of playing experience as well as one or two instructors. For two full days we worked within our small groups, as well as during workshops with everyone, on tunes our groups would play during a recording session Sunday morning. The recording session was the real deal: Chownings have a state of the art recording studio in their home. A recording engineer came in Sunday morning to record our performances, and then digitally tweaked the outcome to make us sound the best we could. We were all nervous prior to the recording session, which turned out to be tons of fun and left us all with a sense of achievement as we incorporated all we’d learned about bowing, intonation, rhythm, bass notes, arpeggios, chops, group dynamics and more.

The highlight of camp time was Saturday night’s jam session. About 20 musicians — the guy who had played his fiddle for two days, professional musicians who record and tour with big names, and everyone in between – gathered in the living room and jammed. Fiddles, guitars and mandolins; a magical time that went on for hours. Adult Beginner Fiddle camp was hard work and a lot of fun. I met the most warm and wonderful people. Some of us have stayed in touch and plan to attend future camps together. Campers eat well too! Adam’s parents, Miss Lela and Mr. Randy, fed us in true southern style each day, as well as being present to offer southern hospitality and support.   In addition to fiddle camps, Megan and Adam host a number of camps for guitar, mandolin, dobro and banjo. Learn more about camp offerings at Nashville Acoustic Camps.



2019 Officers

President: Tom Bailey

Vice-President: Kathy Schwar

Secretary: Jane Reetz

Treasurer: Greg Roat

Directors-at-Large: Bill Kraft, B.J. Cunningham, Elaine Chandler, Pat Fink, Ray Ettington

Membership Coordinator: Mike Deniz

Newsletter Editor: Susan Cady-White

Webmaster: Jack Metzger


FOG Contact Info

It’s EASY to Contact & Connect with FOG

Call the Fiddle Fone! (585) 234-3582

  • Hear the latest FOG announcements.
  • Leave voice mail messages.
  • Check for last-minute changes in jam locations or gig schedules

Surf the World Wide Web!

Visit the FOG website at www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

  • See schedules & locations for jams & gigs.
  • Leave e-mail messages.
  • Current FOG members (password required) can download FOG music sheets, midi files and past issues of the FOG Fiddletter.

Mailing Address:

Yes! “Snail mail” still works reliably! It’s just a little slower than the internet….

Fiddlers of the Genesee
Post Office Box 631
Fairport, NY 14450-0631


Friday Night Jams (7-9 pm)

Perinton-Fairport VFW Hall, 300 Macedon Center Rd., 14450

May 3, 17, 24, 31

Penfield American Legion, 1707 Old Penfield Rd.

May 10


2019 Gig Schedule

No gigs scheduled for May.

June 15, Macedon Public Library

June 17, Fairport Canal Cruise

Reminder: Participation at all FOG Gigs is limited to current FOG members!!

You must sign up in the “FOG Gig Book” and attend at least one jam / rehearsal to perform at a FOG gig.


About FOG

“Fiddlers of the Genesee” (FOG) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together people for the purpose of stimulating, preserving and promoting the tradition of “Old-Time Fiddling” in the Genesee River area of New York State and to play a variety of Fiddle Music with emphasis on the following:

      1. Musical participation
      1. Encouragement of musical development
      1. Non-competitive fellowship
      1. Acoustic instrumentation
      1. Education of members and the public about old-time fiddling

For more information call the “Fiddle Fone” (585) 234-3582; write to us at P.O. Box 631, Fairport, NY 14450-0631; or visit our website at:

www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

APRIL 2019 FIDDLETTER

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

REMINDER: This Friday, April 5th, there will be a business meeting at the jam session. No, this is not a lengthy regular business meeting; this will a presentation of the new website for the Fiddlers of the Genesee!  Mike Deniz has done a great job of converting the website into a more current format. The new website is easy to use and covers just about everything a member would want. The new website isn’t going live yet, as we want more folks to try it and provide feedback to the Board. The Board wants your input on the content and ease of use. I hope you can join us! Jack, thank you for all you have done to keep the present website up and running, a job well done!

It has been a great COPs gig season. Thank you to all who have made this so special. We have received many favorable comments from recreation directors about the performances, such as our music being “high energy”, really “together” and “sounding fantastic”.

More COPs events are coming up soon.  First off, we have the Fiddlers Spring Picnic, which will be held May 5th at the Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge, located in the northwest corner of the park. Please check out the flyer included in this newsletter. In June we have the opportunity to play at the Macedon Public Library again. We played there last year and that was one great audience. July 20th we have been asked to play two sessions at the Friendly Home, in two different buildings. This is also a repeat performance from last year, as the residents asked that we come back. New this year will be playing for the Macedon Erie Canal Celebration on July 27th. We need to learn to play Erie Canal for that one! In August we have the annual Mumford Fiddlers Fair.  September brings the event at the VA Hospital — Bob Hyder’s favorite — and the Palmyra Canaltown Days. Somewhere in all this, Ferris Hills wants to bring us back out for a big party, but we aren’t sure when.

The Board has voted to be one of the main sponsors of Golden Link’s Turtle Hill Folk Festival in September. With this, we will be running a jam tent during the day for folks to come out and play between activities. We are in the process of locating a tent for the jam session, similar to Mumford, but we won’t be performing on stage. I think we should send Jay and Molly an invite to come jam while they are there. Fiddlers of the Genesee will have a full ad in the program and will be listed as a sponsor in all the publicity.

We have been talking about this for a while but the Board has pulled it together: we are holding a series of workshops that will be taught by Michelle Younger, who recently returned from playing in Thailand. As of now, there are three workshops scheduled, each building on the previous one:

  1. Clawhammer Banjo (beginner/intermediate) – May 18
  2. How to make a tune your own. Introduction to variation and improvisation in old-time music (all levels, all instruments) – June 8
  3. Playing with other people and learning tunes on the fly (all levels, all instruments) – June 22

The clawhammer course will be focusing on the strong rhythm that the clawhammer banjo brought to the original music in the early 1800’s. I am hoping we can get a few fiddlers to come in for the last 30 minutes to play with the banjos. Maybe all instruments can come in and jam afterward.

The descriptions of the other two workshops are self-explanatory. We will send out an email blast with details very soon. Non-members will be invited to help defray costs. The sessions will be held at one of the storefronts in BayTowne Plaza, at the intersection of Empire Blvd and Bay Road in Webster. There is a tradeoff for this: the DiMarco Group (plaza owner) is putting up a 40’x 80’ tent for weekly entertainment, from May until October, and they want us to help find groups. I am contacting school bands and other groups that I know, to see if they would be interested in playing. DiMarco will be also holding car shows, fireworks, even cookouts – any type of activity that could entertain community residents. I would hope FOG might take this opportunity to play for an audience that normally wouldn’t have a chance to hear us. Maybe some of the smaller groups would play?

For now, please mark your calendar for April 5thto see the new website presentation!

Until next time … Play nice!


2018 Annual Meeting

Below are the minutes of the Annual Business Meeting, which was held December 7, 2018 at the Fairport-Perinton VFW. Please take the time to read through the minutes to learn what’s going on behind the scenes at Fiddlers of the Genesee. Be an informed member!

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM with 12 members present. President Tom Bailey read the FOG Mission Statement.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting: Jane Reetz reported that a copy of the draft minutes from the 12/8/17 Annual Business Meeting had been published in the November Fiddletter. The minutes were approved unanimously. (BH/GR)

Treasurer’s Report: Greg Roat presented the treasurer’s report for the eight months January 1 – November 30, 2018.  Cash assets – Ending Balance 11/30/18 – $9695.44.  The inventory has been devaluated.  Some items had been sold at a reduced cost because of condition, some unusable items were disposed of and some items are being stored by Mica Schmidt.  Tax returns are still being filed. Membership renewals are due; after March, the website password will be changed and the “members only” section will no longer be available to members who have not renewed.  The report was approved unanimously. (BH/JR)

Membership Report– Mike Deniz reported that there are currently 108 active memberships. 20 memberships did not renew for 2018. A survey from non-renewing members showed 50/50 that the reasons for non-renewals were conflicts with schedules and distance to jams and new members were unable to keep up with the tempo of the music.  The board has approved a change in the policy of “slow jams.”  Instead of a one-hour slow jam two times/month, a 30-minute slower tempo start will begin the session every week as determined by those in attendance.  This will afford members the opportunity to request tunes at a slower tempo.

 Annual Election for 2019:  Jane read the Slate of Candidates that had been presented in an email blast to the membership as follows:  President-Tom Bailey, VP-Kathy Schwar, Treasurer-Greg Roat, and Secretary-Jane Reetz.  Directors-At-Large 2019/20: #1-Ray Eddington – serving remaining one year of term; #2-Elaine Chandler – serving remaining one year of term.  #3 – Pat Fink – returning for another two-year term; #4 – B.J. Cunningham – new two-year term; #5 – Bill Kraft – new two-year term. There being no other nominations from the floor, a motion was made to accept the slate. (BH/GR)  The 2018 FOG secretary, Jane Reetz, cast one vote on behalf of the membership and the slate was elected.

 Music Committee Report:  Deb Abell distributed copies of the repertoire so that members could give their input on which six tunes they would like to see retired from the list.  Core Tunes and recently introduced tunes cannot be voted off.  The music committee will make the final decision on removing tunes and updating the list.  Anyone can forward a suggestion for a new tune or “tune fixes” to the Music Committee. “Tune fixes” may include intros and harmonies.  It was suggested to slow down the introduction of new tunes to four new tunes/year.  Also, send suggestions to the Music Committee for additional tunes to add to the “Core List.”  Work still needs to be done on the “Erie Canal” song.

Old Business: None

New Business

  • Membership Coordinator– A replacement for Mike needs to be found.  It might be helpful to divide this position into a “membership committee” consisting of three parts:
    1. A Follow-Up Person – Get in touch with members who have stopped coming to jams – possibly due to illness (themselves or family members). B.J. Cunningham volunteered to head this up.
    2. E-blast Contact Person – Take on the task of sending out e-blasts to the membership as requested by the President.
    3. Member Information Database – Take charge of maintaining the database containing all the membership information
  • New Webpage/Newsletter/Facebook

Webpage (Mike Deniz) – Our current webpage is outdated. An updated webpage would have the capability to contain links to other areas including recordings, videos and photos. This would take it in a new direction. Mike is currently working with the basic application of “WordPress” which is free.  The BOD approved an upgraded version, which would greatly enhance the capabilities available.  Plans are to run the old and new webpages simultaneously to eliminate any problems before deleting the old webpage.  Fiddletter (Susan Cady-White) – Susan has taken over as editor of the Fiddletter. This is also being done in “WordPress” and will tie in with the new website.

Facebook(Deb Abell) – Send any information you would like to see included on the FOG Facebook page to Deb.  This can also be linked to the new webpage.  More social media might eventually result in more paying gigs for FOG!

  • Advertise need for more Fiddlers– We need to get the word out that we need more fiddlers.  Social media will be used to spread the message.  A suggestion was also made to run an ad in the Pennysaver to come play music with us.
  • Tunes at jams– The board would like to see more time spent on the core tunes as well as the news tunes that have been recently introduced by the music committee.  This will give all of us (old and new members) the opportunity to go over tunes that are not played that often.
  • COP gigs– Tom is currently taking requests for COPs. There will be one in January, two in February and March and one in April.  Last year we had to cancel because of a lack of fiddlers – we need to bring more fiddlers into the club.
  • More new CD’s– An order for an additional 100 CDs has recently been placed.  The board made a decision to spend $200 on fixing the variations in the level of the sound on the CD.  This was due to the original recordings being done in four different locations.  A profit will still be made on each CD.  The shipment should arrive before Christmas. Plans are to advertise FOG in the following ways: placing copies of the CDs in local libraries; selling them on the “local musicians” rack at Bernunzio’s Music; and sending copies to local radio stations for program usage.
  • Spring “picnic”– Tom asked if members were interested in having a spring picnic similar to the one held in November. It would take place before or after the Easter break.  The members were in agreement.  Tom will look into renting a facility.

Adjournment: There being no further business, the meeting was officially adjourned at 8:10PM. (BH/GR)

Respectfully submitted, Jane Reetz, Secretary, 12/13/18


Quarterly Meeting and FOG Website Overview 

A quarterly business meeting will be held on Friday, April 5th. The meeting will begin at 7 pm, or as soon as we have a quorum.  Members are encouraged to attend and to bring up any issues that they may have.  After addressing all of the agenda items, Mike Deniz will present an overview of the new FOG website that he has recently completed. Come and learn about the new website and all the features that it includes.  A regular fiddle music jam session will begin immediately following the presentation.


FOG Tune of the Month: St. Anne’s Reel, with Harmony

Contributed by Deb Abell

St Anne's Reel

Click here for a Printable PDF of St. Anne’s Reel.


Picnic


Coda

Susan Cady-White, editor

Wow,  so much information in this month’s Fiddletter! As with all organizations, there’s lots of behind the scenes activity, on an ongoing basis, that keep the group going strong. If you haven’t read the minutes of the Annual Meeting held in December, please scroll back up and have a look, you will learn something. And come to the jam this Friday night to see the launch of the new website!

I haven’t been in this Editor’s Chair long at all, but each month member contributions come in that make this job — and this publication — interesting and fun. This is YOUR newsletter! If you attend an event, come across an interesting article, have a great fiddle experience, have a not-so-great fiddle experience, have newsletter suggestions — please share! Please email me at scadywhite@gmail.com.

Happy Spring to all! Despite the snowfall that blanketed much of the area this morning, spring is officially here and it’s time to get out and enjoy the sun and warmer weather.

March 2019 Fiddletter

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

A shout out to you winter lovers, I hope you are ecstatic with our February weather. I Leprechaun-Fiddlinghave come to the conclusion that the older you get, the more winters become a hassle. But I do hear from the cold weather fans that this will go down as a good year. Actually, it is good; the colder it is the more one can stay inside and play music!IMG_1681

The board has spent the last month or so reviewing the new webpage. We must be getting close to something really great as the number of emails where Mike has done some more tweaking is slowing down. Actually, it is good — VERY good — Mike has created a document that is easy to use and covers just about everything a member would want. Come see for yourself — the April 5th jam will start with a presentation by Mike of the new FOG webpage. It won’t go live yet, as we want more folks to try it and comment back to the Board. We want to get input on the ease of use and its completeness. Please put April 5thon your calendar.

We had two really good COPs gigs, Solstice and 80 Parrish St. apartments. The audiences

Creamery
Customers of the Creamery in Canandaigua got an unexpected treat when FOG members who stopped for ice cream played for them.

really enjoyed the performance and I received a call from the folks at 80 Parrish wanting to know if we would come back and entertain at a paying gig this summer! As I mentioned last month, we would welcome more members coming out and being part of reaching out to appreciative audiences. Members are busy this time of year and sometimes we don’t have as many musicians available to entertain as we would like for achieving a balanced

Creamery Sign
Cheshire Farms Creamery, 10 Parrish St., Canandaigua.

sound.  It would really be great if you can come out and join us. A complete upcoming gig schedule was distributed several weeks ago so you can what we have coming up. We hear about closet musicians, how about closet MC’s? We are always looking for folks interested in leading our presentations.

 

Rumors abound! Well, maybe not rumors since our delegate to the Fiddlers Fair, Bob Hyder, has given us a preliminary report that the main tent this year will be used for fiddle lessons through the weekend, with some of the best fiddlers in the upstate leading the activities. This will add a whole new dimension to the weekend! The Genesee Valley Country Museum will be having another planning meeting soon and more details will be forthcoming.

Every September Golden Link Folk Singing Society hosts a great musical event, the Turtle THFFlogoGoldHill Folk Festival. FOG has had the opportunity to support the event in various ways over the years and the board is looking at how we might be able to do it again this year. The big news is Jay Ungar and Molly Mason will be the headliners on Saturday and will be holding workshops during the event.  Obviously FOG would like to support Golden Link with this major endeavor. Stay tuned for more information.

There you have it for this month, quite a few activities happening. Please consider coming out and being part of the fun and excitement!

Hope to see you at a jam session real soon …

Until next time … Play nice!


 

FOG Tune of the Month 

Glenburnie Rant

Contributed by Deb Abell

music notes

 

Scan 2


Listen here to the Glenburnie Rant. Click here for a Printable PDF.

 

What is Old-time Music Anyway?  

Contributed by Kathy Schwar

“Old-time” usually refers to music that evolved in isolated regions of the Southern Appalachians and other places in the southern U.S., based partly on tunes from the British Isles and on the rhythm of the banjo, which was developed from a West African instrument.  Old-time music predates bluegrass.  It’s the original early-recorded “country music” of the 1920s and 1930s, played by ordinary working people in communities, before travel was easy and before recordings could be heard on the radio. Old-time was the name given to this rural music by one of the first record companies to discover it and produce recordings.

The music may be fast or slow, played by a single banjo or fiddle, or the two together, or as a whole string band once guitars entered the scene somewhere after the turn of the century. There might be lyrics, although these might be “floating verses”, common to many tunes.  There’s a great deal of syncopation, and tunes might have extra beats or bars, or missing beats or bars.  Some wonderful tunes have little melody and lots of rhythm.  There are up-tempo square-dance tunes in major keys, and slow haunting ones
in modes somewhere between major and minor. There’s a lot of variation between individual players as well as differing regional styles, and no one “right way” to play any tune.

It’s quite different from bluegrass, which was developed from old-time music and other influences, even though a number of tunes of the same name are played in both genres.  Bluegrass was created to be enjoyed by an audience, and each instrument in turn stands out by playing an improvised solo break.  Old Time was never performance music; it’s participatory music to sit and play, or dance to.

The Difference Between Bluegrass and Old-time

Banjo

An OT banjo is open-backed, with an old towel (probably never washed) stuffed in the back to dampen overtones.  A BG banjo has a resonator to make it louder.

An OT banjo weighs 5 pounds, towel included. A BG banjo weighs 40 pounds.

An OT banjo player can lose three right-hand fingers and two left-hand fingers in an industrial accident without affecting his performance.

A BG banjo needs 24 frets. An OT banjo needs no more than 5, and some don’t need any.

A BG banjo player puts jewelry on his fingertips to play. An OT banjo player puts super glue on his fingernails to strengthen them. Never shake hands with an OT banjo player while he’s fussing with his nails.

A BG banjo is tuned gDGBD. An OT banjo can be in a hundred different tunings.

Fiddle
A BG fiddle is tuned GDAE. An OT fiddle can be in a hundred different tunings.

Old-time musiciansOT fiddlers seldom use more than two fingers of their left hand, and uses tunings that maximize the number of open strings played. BG fiddlers study 7th position fingering patterns with Isaac Stern, and take pride in never playing an open string.

An OT fiddle player only uses a quarter of his bow. The rest is just wasted.
.
The BG fiddler paid $10,000 for his fiddle at the Violin Shop in Nashville. The OT fiddler got his for $15 at a yard sale.

Guitar
An OT guitarist knows the major chords in G and C, and owns a capo for A and D. A BG guitarist can play in E-flat without a capo.

The fanciest chord an OT guitarist needs is an A to insert between the G and the D7 chord. A BG guitarist needs to know C#aug+7-4.

OT guitarists stash extra picks under a rubber band around the top of the peghead. BG guitarists would never cover any part of the peghead that might obscure the gilded label of their $3,000 guitar.

Mandolin
It’s possible to have an OT band without a mandolin.
OT mandolin players use “A”model instruments (pear shaped) by obscure makers. BG mandolin players use “F” model Gibsons that cost $100 per decibel.

Bass
A BG band always has a bass. An old OT band doesn’t have a bass, but new time OT bands seem to need one for reasons that are unclear.

A BG bass starts playing with the band on the first note. An OT bass, if present, starts sometime after the rest of the band has run through the tune once depending on his blood alcohol content.

A BG bass is polished and shiny. An OT bass is often used as yard furniture.

Other Instruments
A BG band might have a Dobro. An OT band might have anything that makes noise including: hammered or lap dulcimer, jaw harp, didgeridoo, harmonica, conga, washtub bass, miscellaneous rattles & shakers, or one-gallon jug (empty).

The Music
OT songs are about whiskey and chickens. BG songs are about God, mother and the girl who did me wrong. If the girlfriend isn’t murdered by the third verse, it ain’t Bluegrass.

OT bands have nonsense names like Hoss Hair Pullers, Fruit Jar Drinkers and Skillet Lickers. BG bands have serious gender-specific names like Bluegrass Boys, Foggy Mountain Boys, and Clinch Mountain Boys

A BG band has 1 to 3 singers who are singing about an octave above their natural vocal range. Some OT bands have no singers at all.

A BG band has a vocal orchestrator who arranges duet, trio and quartet harmonies. In an OT band, anyone who feels like it can sing or make comments during the performance.

All BG tunes & songs last 3 minutes. OT tunes & songs sometimes last all night.

All the instruments in an OT band play together all the time.
BG bands feature solos on each instrument.

BG bands have carefully mapped-out choreography due to the need to provide solo breaks. If OT band members move around, they tend to run into each other. Because of this problem, OT bands often sit down when performing, while a BG band always stands. Because they’re sitting, OT bands have the stamina to play for a square or contra dance.

The audience claps after each BG solo break. If anyone claps for an OT band it confuses them, even after the tune is over.

Personalities & Stage Presence

BG band members wear uniforms, such as blue polyester suits and gray Stetson hats. OT bands wear jeans, sandals, work shirts and caps from seed companies.

Chicks in BG bands have big hair and Kevlar undergarments. Chicks in OT bands jiggle nicely under their dungarees.

A BG band tells terrible jokes while tuning. An OT band tells terrible jokes without bothering to tune.

BG band members never smile. OT band members will smile if you give them a drink. You can get fired from a BG band for being obviously drunk on stage.

BG musicians eat barbecue ribs. OT musicians eat tofu.

BG musicians have high frequency hearing loss from standing near the banjo player. OT musicians have high frequency hear loss from standing near the fiddler.

BG musicians stay on the bus or at the nearest Motel 6. OT musicians camp in the parking lot.

Reprinted with permission from Old-time Lewes Visit the web site for their tunes list and helpful resources.



Coda

by Susan Cady-White, editor

I’m editing and typing in Florida today, enjoying my last day of warmth and sunshine IMG_0166before heading home to New York. Living the shorts-and-tee-shirt life for the past ten days has been great, but I’m ready to be home. Home is home and, well, let’s face it, I miss my dog.

I enjoyed the informative and entertaining article about old-time music, submitted by Kathy Schwar. Old-time has always been one of those things that I couldn’t accurately describe, but I knew it when I saw it or, in this case, heard it.

Back home in the frozen north, I recently installed D’Addario octave strings on one of my fiddles. I have two fiddles, one wooden and one carbon fiber, the latter being a gift from my husband for one of those significant birthdays than ends in zero. Octave strings areshopping GDAE strings, one octave lower than standard violin/ fiddle strings. I put them on the carbon fiber fiddle because I was concerned about placing the strain of four heavier-gauge strings on my wooden fiddle. I didn’t have much time to play the octaves prior to traveling, and initially my ear was a bit confused, but I’m looking forward to playing them more when I return.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

 


2019 Officers

BOD President: Tom Bailey
Vice-President: Kathy Schwar
Secretary: Jane Reetz
Treasurer: Greg Roat
Directors-at-Large: Bill Kraft, B.J. Cunningham, Elaine Chandler, Pat Fink, Ray EttingtonMembership Coordinator: Mike DenizNewsletter Editor: Susan Cady-White
Webmaster: Jack Metzger

FOG Contact Info

It’s EASY to Contact & Connect with FOG

Call the Fiddle Fone! (585) 234-3582

  • Hear the latest FOG announcements.
  • Leave voice mail messages.
  • Check for last-minute changes in jam locations or gig schedules

Surf the World Wide Web!

Visit the FOG website at www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

  • See schedules & locations for jams & gigs.
  • Leave e-mail messages.
  • Current FOG members (password required) can download FOG music sheets, midi files and past issues of the FOG Fiddletter.

Mailing Address:

Yes! “Snail mail” still works reliably! It’s just a little slower than the internet….

Fiddlers of the Genesee
Post Office Box 631
Fairport, NY 14450-0631


Friday Night Jams (7-9 pm)

Perinton-Fairport VFW Hall, 300 Macedon Center Rd., 14450

March 1, 15, 22, 29

Penfield American Legion

March 8


FOG jam clipart - canstockphoto136796392019 Gig Schedule

  • March 9: 2-3 PM, Woodcrest Commons, Henrietta
  • March 23: 2-3 PM, Ferris Hills, Canandaigua

Reminder: Participation at all FOG Gigs is limited to current FOG members!!

You must sign up in the “FOG Gig Book” and attend at least one jam / rehearsal to perform at a FOG gig.


fiddlelgoAbout FOG

“Fiddlers of the Genesee” (FOG) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together people for the purpose of stimulating, preserving and promoting the tradition of “Old-Time Fiddling” in the Genesee River area of New York State and to play a variety of Fiddle Music with emphasis on the following:

      1. Musical participation
      1. Encouragement of musical development
      1. Non-competitive fellowship
      1. Acoustic instrumentation
      1. Education of members and the public about old-time fiddling

For more information call the “Fiddle Fone” (585) 234-3582; write to us at P.O. Box 631, Fairport, NY 14450-0631; or visit our website at:

www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

February 2019 Fiddletter

 

President’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

pixabay-3136544-1 degree with -20 degree wind chill … welcome to winter in Rochester! But it will be 40 in 5 days. What do they say – just wait for tomorrow and the weather will change?

The board would like to reach out to all the new members who have come out to the jam sessions in January – welcome! It’s great to have you join us. I would also really like to thank the members who haven’t been able to play with us for a while and are now able to come out and add to the jam sessions

We have a great start on preparing for our first COPs gig coming up February 9that Solstice (formerly Maplewood) on Ayrault Rd. Mike distributed the 2019 COPs List a couple weeks ago using tunes we all know pretty well.

IMG-1259
FOG members sharing their music!

Sounds great but we would sure welcome more members to come out and be part of reaching out to seniors, entertaining them with music many of them grew up with in years past. It would really be great if you can come out and join us. Two weeks after Solstice we have another gig on the 23rd.  An event list was developed for dates and locations we know of at this time. More will be added soon. Thinking of gigs – are you interested in being the MC for any of the events? We are always looking for folks interested in leading our presentations.

It seems like forever that we have been talking about updating the FOG webpage and now, after Mike working for months on the new format, it is close to becoming a reality. The webpage is built on a new platform, one that connects directly to the newsletter. The webpage will have similar sections as the existing one but it will also have sections to click on to see event photos, to listen to recordings of gigs, maybe videos of workshops, almost anything members want. A couple clicks and the webpage articles will be on the FOG Facebook page. Didn’t know we have a Facebook page? We do! Just follow this link: Fiddlers of the Genesee But we don’t have anyone to keep it updated. Are you interested in helping with the Facebook page? The new webpage is easily updated because of the new program. Mike – thanks for setting up the newsletter and all your hard work on the Webpage. I also want to thank Susan Cady-White who is stepping in to take over the Fiddletter so Mike can focus on the Webpage. What great members we have!

There are a lot of possible activities that your Board is considering now, which are hopefully coming up in the near future if we can pull them together. But the bigger question is what would you like for FOG to put together? I am sure you have ideas that the Board hasn’t thought about, such as things to do at jam sessions? A special event that you would like? Please let one of your Board members know your thoughts.

As you are out playing at various gatherings you might think about inviting the folks either side of you to the FOG jams. Kathy Schwar reached out to several folks at a recent bluegrass jam and got a lot of interest. Kathy even had business cards on hand to pass out. Part of our Mission Statement is to share our music with others. What a great way to “pass it on”. Thanks Kathy!

Hope to see ya at a jam session real soon.

Until next time … Play nice!

 


FOG Tune of the Month: The Erie Canal

Contributed by Deb Abell

music notes

 

This is a simplified version of The Erie Canal and should replace the version that was released in June 2017. This link takes you to a PDF of the music. The Erie Canal, Revised 2019

The Erie Canal Song, as it is commonly known, was written in 1905, by Thomas S. Allen, under the title Low Bridge, Everybody Down. The song has also been known over the years as: Fifteen Years on the Erie CanalMule Named Sal and Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal. Around 1905, mule powered barge traffic had converted to steam power and diesel power was about to take over.  The Erie Canal Song was written to commemorate the history of nearly 100 years of life along the Erie Canal.

The Erie Canal Song is the most recognized of all the Erie Canal folksongs. Its interestinglowbridgeeverybodydown to note that the cover depicts a boy riding a mule leaned down to fit under a bridge, but in actuality the song is about the people in the boats. Travelers would typically ride on the roof of boats when the conditions allowed, but the low bridges along the route would require that they either duck down or get off the roof to fit under bridges.

Thomas S. Allen (1876-1919) was an early Tin Pan Alley composer with many popular songs not related to the canal life. His first major hit was Any Rags in 1903, only two years before that of the Erie Canal Song.

Graphic and content: www.eriecanalsong.com

 


 

New FOG Website Under Development

Contributed by Mike Deniz

The current www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org site, with Jack Metzger’s attentive support, has faithfully served us for almost 20 years now.  That is nothing short of miraculous given there have been no upgrades available to the software code itself to keep up with the lightning pace of upgrades and advancements to browser, operating system, and other web-based technologies over the years.

testsite1
A test page from the new FOG web site, being developed in WordPress.

WP logoThis past fall the BOD approved the development of a new FOG website. The goals of this endeavor are 1) get ahead of the day when our site may suddenly not be supportable under current technologies; 2) avail ourselves of new features and functionality that are not supported by our current web platform; and 3) give our online presence a fresh new look. The site will be built and hosted using WordPress, a 3rd-party open source content management system. WordPress is the tool that is used to publish 30% of all websites now, and affords many advantages compatible with our organization’s mission:

  • The site can be developed and supported without having to write code. It is highly configurable. Future members can continue to upgrade and evolve the site without having to start from scratch.
  • The website supports all manner of multimedia platforms. In just minutes we can post the latest file formats of photos, videos, audio, documents, maps, and more to our site.
  • Our website will easily integrate with social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
  • We can even add e-Commerce if we decide to go that route someday (i.e. selling CD’s, downloading music, accepting payments for gigs, membership, etc.).
  • There are hundreds of free “canned” programs (called plugins) for nifty features that can be bolted on to the site with just a couple clicks.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools. We can “juice” the website to increase the likelihood that we come up in Google searches for terms like “fiddling” or “old time music”.
  • The programs are regularly updated and debugged.
  • The website automatically scales for optimal viewing on computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Great real-time technical support.
  • The annual cost to FOG for a WordPress website and hosting is roughly equal to our
    current cost for just hosting via GoDaddy.
testsite2
The new FOG web site will be easier to navigate and will allow for increased functionality and integration with current technology.

I have volunteered to develop the new FOG website. My guiding criteria, with blessing from the BOD, are that the site at a minimum:

  1. Be intuitive. Avoid reliance on icons or graphics to navigate. Menus should be prominent and if possible should not scroll off the screen as you scroll down a webpage.
  2. Be simple and clean; no busy color schemes or page layouts.
  3. Utilize as much of the width of your computer screen as possible to reduce scrolling.
  4. Preserve the content from our current website.
  5. Require member login credentials to access tunes and other proprietary content.
  6. Display the FOG logo and appropriate visuals on every page to set the tone for who we are and what we offer.
  7. Support two purposes: 1) provide content and info relevant to members; 2) attract new members or those interested in having us perform.
  8. Be able to print posts to hardcopy or to file (i.e. Fiddletter).

Once the new website is complete, the plan is to run it in parallel with the existing site for a period of time to ensure it meets all our needs. I can continue to modify/tweak it with member input. My goal is to have the test site ready for action before the end of this winter. Stay tuned! (or logged in).


 

A Concert with Jenny Lind

Submitted by Bruce “Rosko” Holmquist

On the evening of May 20, 2011, I was delighted and privileged to attend a concert performance by Jenny Lind (Jennifer Gliere), her accompanist on the pianoforte Otto Goldschmidt (Michael Unger), Enrico Belletti (Owen Broder) on the clarinet, and the famous promoter P. T. Barnum (Gerry Szymanski), held at the Lutheran Church of the

Jenny Lind
Image courtesy Forever Swedish

Incarnate Word on East Avenue. Md’lle Lind’s beautiful voice and costumes were very much enjoyed and appreciated by the audience as she performed works by Handel, her good friend Mendelssohn, Rossini, Mozart, Bellini, Verdi, ending the concert with her famous Swedish Melody. This last set was not mostly folk songs but rather contemporary compositions translated and sung in English. Between Md’lle Lind’s performances, Mr. Goldschmitt and Sig. Belletti performed. Mr. Goldschmitt performed, among other pieces, the Jenny Lind Polka for Piano Forte, with at least four variations of this well-known polka. Anton Wallerstein composed this in 1846, before Md’lle Lind’s first American tour, and originally titled it Jenny Lind’s Lieblings-Polka. During his remarks before the second part of the concert, Mr. Barnum sang The Jenny Lind Mania by W. H. C. West. The program notes that, “there has been no classical musician with such universal appeal as that of Jenny Lind.” In popular music only Frank Sinatra or the Beatles could compare. Innumerable objects with Jenny’s image adorning them created quite a market. This
comic song decries the commercialization and marketing of the “Swedish Nightingale”. The chorus goes: “Oh! Manias we’ve had many, and some have raised the wind; but the most absurd of any has been that of Jenny Lind.” One verse goes “My wife has a Jenny Lind bonnet, and a Jenny Lind carte-de visite with Jenny’s portrait on it. My handkerchief looks neat. My wife’s a slave to fashion, against it never sinned; Our baby and the kitten, are called after Jenny Lind.” A portion of the proceeds from Md’lle Lind’s 1851 Rochester concerts, in addition to a private contribution by her, went to the only Lutheran congregation in Rochester, Zion Lutheran Church, for a church bell. The bell was cast in 1870 for Zion and installed in the Incarnate Word church steeple in 1968 where it still rings.

 


 

The Bottom Lines

by Susan Cady-White, editor

In my second month of newsletter editing, I’m happy to report I’m picking up speed with the formatting software, feeling a bit less like a fish out of water, less like a somewhat older person in a pool of millennials. But my joy will be fleeting as the new web site and integrated newsletter will likely present a whole new opportunity for learning. And for unlearning. And why is unlearning always the hardest part? I easily forget things all the time; unlearning is a skill I haven’t quite mastered.

Thanks to Bruce Holmquist for the article on Jenny Lind. I took a detour from paragraph-shaping to go online and learn more about Jenny Lind the woman; up until now, I was most familiar with Jenny Lind the baby crib. Maybe a little more digging will explain that connection.

Thanks to Patricia Herberger for her lovely, welcoming email and for suggesting the complete address of the VFW be added to the newsletter. In the GPS era, it’s most helpful.  Complete street names and numbers lead you door to door.

Joe and Me
Joe Dady invited me to play with him last August at the annual Fiddlers Picnic on Conesus Lake.

Many of you know John and Joe Dady. And many more of you have enjoyed their music as The Dady Brothers, who have entertained this region and beyond for well over 40 years. Joe is a dear friend of mine, was my fiddle teacher for a few years, and has continued to be my all-things-music mentor. Late in 2018, Joe was diagnosed with chronic leukemia. He’s been undergoing treatment and the next step is stem cell therapy. Many thanks for keeping Joe in your thoughts and prayers, I know he would appreciate that.

 

 

 

 

 


2019 Officers

BODPresident: Tom Bailey
Vice-President: Kathy Schwar
Secretary: Jane Reetz
Treasurer: Greg Roat
Directors-at-Large: Bill Kraft, B.J. Cunningham, Elaine Chandler, Pat Fink, Ray EttingtonMembership Coordinator: Mike DenizNewsletter Editor: Susan Cady-White
Webmaster: Jack Metzger

FOG Contact Info

It’s EASY to Contact & Connect with FOG

Call the Fiddle Fone! (585) 234-3582

  • Hear the latest FOG announcements.
  • Leave voice mail messages.
  • Check for last-minute changes in jam locations or gig schedules

Surf the World Wide Web!

Visit the FOG website at www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

  • See schedules & locations for jams & gigs.
  • Leave e-mail messages.
  • Current FOG members (password required) can download FOG music sheets, midi files and past issues of the FOG Fiddletter.

Mailing Address:

Yes! “Snail mail” still works reliably! It’s just a little slower than the internet….

Fiddlers of the Genesee
Post Office Box 631
Fairport, NY 14450-0631


Friday Night Jams (7-9 pm)

Perinton-Fairport VFW Hall, 300 Macedon Center Rd., 14450

February 1, 8, 15, 22

Penfield American Legion

None


FOG jam clipart - canstockphoto136796392019 Gig Schedule

  • February 9: 2-3, Solstice, 55 Ayrault Rd., Fairport
  • February 23: 2-3, 80 Parish St., Canandaigua
  • March 9: 2-3, Woodcrest Commons, Henrietta
  • March 23: 2-3, Ferris Hills, Canandaigua

Reminder: Participation at all FOG Gigs is limited to current FOG members!!

You must sign up in the “FOG Gig Book” and attend at least one jam / rehearsal to perform at a FOG gig.


fiddlelgoAbout FOG

“Fiddlers of the Genesee” (FOG) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing together people for the purpose of stimulating, preserving and promoting the tradition of “Old-Time Fiddling” in the Genesee River area of New York State and to play a variety of Fiddle Music with emphasis on the following:

      1. Musical participation
      1. Encouragement of musical development
      1. Non-competitive fellowship
      1. Acoustic instrumentation
      1. Education of members and the public about old-time fiddling

For more information call the “Fiddle Fone” (585) 234-3582; write to us at P.O. Box 631, Fairport, NY 14450-0631; or visit our website at:

www.fiddlersofthegenesee.org

May 2018 Fiddletter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPresident’s Remarks

Contributed by Tom Bailey

Finally, maybe spring has arrived? Grass is turning green, tree pollen is starting to turn everything yellow and maybe we can stop worrying about humidifying our instruments? If you ask Ray, it means it is time to get a FOG hat to keep the sun out of your eyes…

By the time you get this, we will have finished up our COPs gigs for this year. The final gigs were great with the highlight being Ferris Hills. For those who weren’t there, we did something very special – we introduced the residents to Rich’s Mountain Dulcimer playing backed up by the full group. It was really great and everyone really liked it. Mike put the full recording on YouTube for all members to enjoy. As always, Parrish St. was greatly received as we played to a full house.  John Zabinski joined the group for his first performance and he did a great job. It’s always a special day when we have first timers play with us. With John we had ten fiddles, nineteen members in all.

With the recording from Bristol Valley, then Woodcrest, Ferris Hills, and Parrish Street (click on text to hear), we have a strong base of material to choose from for the “Live” CD. The Music Committee will come up with 15 to 16 tunes for the CD. We will have the CD’s before Mumford, BUT, we need some ideas for the cover. I know there are some folks out there who are creative so please get those creative juices flowing and give us some ideas by May 14th – then we can get the CD into production.

Do you remember the survey that was done last year to find out the members’ favorite tunes? We used the results for the Bristol Valley set lists last year and will be using it again for this year’s Summer Set Lists. We will have more medleys, as we did for the COPs gigs, since they were very well received. We will also be incorporating some of the older tunes that we haven’t used for a while. We hope to distribute the set lists the first week of May.

The plans for the “Fiddle Music Day” at I-Square are coming together well. Looks like there will be four groups playing that day, including FOG. We will be announcing them soon when the last one is finalized.  PLEASE put the date – June 30th – on your computer, phone or if you are like me, your calendar. We sure need your participation if at all possible! We will be using one of our set lists so we should be well practiced by then.

What do you think about the new “Fiddletter” format? Several folks have commented and we really appreciate your input. We will be moving to the net level of software which will add more possibilities to the format. What Mike really needs is some write-ups from all of you about things you have one, events attended, etc. Just share some of the experiences you have been thru – can even have been something from last year.

The Board wants to put together a list of music teachers as a reference for all members. Know someone who teaches fiddle or mandolin or guitar or bass, or, heaven forbid – the banjo? Please let Ray, Jane or myself know. We would like to start putting them in the May edition of the Fiddletter.

That should about do it for this month – don’t forget – Play Nice

FOG Tune Lyrics (New Series!): Soldier’s Joy

Contributed by Ray Ettington & Mike Deniz

music notes

If you’ve played in a FOG gig before, you’ve observed the designated MC occasionally introducing a tune by citing its little known lyrics, as a means of adding a little “color commentary” to our performances. We thought it might be of interest to members to feature some of those lyrics in upcoming editions of the Fiddletter.  This month, in honor of Memorial Day, we feature Soldier’s Joy.

Soldier’s Joy” is a fiddle tune, classified as a reel or country dance. It is popular in the Soldiers JoyAmerican fiddle canon, in which it is touted as “an American classic” but traces its origin to Scottish fiddling traditions, and Irish fiddle traditions. It has been played in Scotland for over 200 years, and Robert Burns used it for the first song of his cantata ‘The Jolly Beggars’. According to documentation at the United States Library of Congress, it is “one of the oldest and most widely distributed tunes” and is rated in the top ten most-played old time fiddle tunes. According to the Illinois Humanities Center, the tune dates as early as the 1760s. In spite of its upbeat tempo and catchy melody, the term “soldier’s joy” has a much darker meaning than is portrayed by the tune. This term eventually came to refer to the combination of whiskey, beer, and morphine used by Civil War soldiers.

Gimme some of that Soldier’s Joy, you know what I mean’
I don’t want to hurt no more my leg is turnin’ green

Twenty-five cents for whiskey, twenty-five cents for beer
Twenty-five cents for morphine, get me out of here

Chorus:
I’m my momma’s pride and joy (3×)
Sing you a song called the soldier’s joy(1)

(1) Wikipedia contributors. “Soldier’s Joy (fiddle tune).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 Feb. 2018. Web. 27 Apr. 2018.

DVD Review: Learn to Play Old Time Fiddle by Brad LeftwichBradLeftwich_Old-timeFiddle_-DVDWERSO21-300

Contributed by Tom Bailey

There’s a great instruction video for old time fiddling produced by Homespun Video over in Woodstock, NY. Brad is recognized as one of the foremost old-time fiddlers in the US. He grew up listening to old time fiddling played by his grand-father and great-uncle. His most influential mentor was legendary fiddler Tommy Jarrel from the Mt Airy region of NC. In the DVD he starts with focusing on traditional down bow fiddling the basis for Appalachian fiddling. He goes into short bow and long saw strokes, various shuffles, beginning and ending licks and how to use these in traditional old-time fiddling to produce the flowing, rhythmic sound as played for generations
He presents the techniques in several fiddle tunes including ” Sugar Hill”, “Old Jimmy Sutton”, “Black-Eyed-Susie”, and “Jeff Sturgeon”. Great for up through intermediate fiddlers.
Click here to review product details and/or order.

Read more