Sunday, August 13, 2017

Black Stream Crossing


Black Stream Crossing (mp3) (pdf)

This week's tune (2017, week 32) is a nice jig in F, presented as a duo for two mandolins.

I went through a couple of titles before settling on this one. I'm once again mining the rich vein of places names in Piscataquis County, Maine (which I have just learned is the same size as the state of Connecticut, with a population of around 17,000) for this tune and I think there will be more to come.

The photo above is not of Black Stream but it resembles what I imagine when I think of the spot where Board Eddy Rd. crosses the actual stream. We have often visited the Dover-Foxcroft area in the month of August (although not this year) and this shot was taken overlooking a different creek during August 2009. I hope we will be able to return to this beautiful area soon.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Enchanted Forest


Enchanted Forest (mp3) (pdf)

The photo above was taken in August 2009 and it might be a picture of part of the woods that housed the original "Enchanted Forest" near Sangerville, Maine. It was a true dream world for children and their families created by Ardell Flanders and the Flanders family, full of wonderful wooden characters from the world of fairy tales.

In the 1980s and 90s we tried to visit the Forest whenever we were out east and it was always a highlight of our trip. There seems to be little information online about this place that delighted thousands of people during its heyday and some of what you do find is mistaken. I could only find one photo but I'm not using it here because I want to respect the privacy of the child in that photo, plus it only shows a tiny piece of the actual site.

In any event I thought of the Forest while I was casting about for a title for this week's tune. I hope you enjoy the tune itself. We certainly enjoyed the Forest while it lasted.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Queen City Passenger

(photo by Ellen Macdonald)

Queen City Passenger (mp3) (pdf)

This week's tune is not entirely new. In fact the first draft was written back in 2013, probably sometime after passing through Cincinnati on our ill-fated ride aboard the Amtrak Cardinal. I found the tune this week while looking for something else and decided to take it up again.

The annual Nordic Fest has once again passed and I was privileged to be part of some fine music-making with my duo partner Erik Sessions and my Foot-Notes bandmates Jon & Beth Rotto and Bill Musser. Erik and I had a great audience of serious listeners and Foot-Notes played two dances for tremendous crowds.

A most special treat was the totally surprise appearance on Friday night of Foot-Notes' original mandolinist Jim Skurdall, along with his wonderful wife Anne-Guri Fritsvold. Everyone was caught completely off guard. We knew that Jim and Anne-Guri were vacationing in California (they live near Oslo, Norway) but they apparently decided on the spur of the moment to fly from Palm Springs to Decorah to attend Nordic Fest. We were more than happy to see them and we especially enjoyed having Jim join us to sing "The Highlandville Waltz" at the end of both the Friday and Saturday nights dances. The photo above was taken last night during the final dance by our friend Ellen Macdonald. You can find another picture or two over at the Foot-Notes fans FB site.

Last Wednesday I played another solo mandolin gig at Java John's and I will post the setlist below:

Java John’s solo mandolin, July 26, 2017
Set 1
1. Goodin: Board Eddy / O’Neill’s Favorite (trad.) / Flowers of Edinburgh (James Oswald, 1710-1769)
2. Oswald: Airs for the Seasons / The Sweet William
3. Goodin: Deer Track, July 8, 2013 / Bear on the Beach / Jaunty Ted / Books and Ladders
4. Telemann: Adagio II and Allegro from Sonata for Oboe in Gm (in D minor): TWV 41:g10 (G.P. Telemann, 1681-1767)
5. Goodin: May Day Green / Playford: Ormond House / Parson’s Farewell
6. Stephenson: Return From Helsinki / Marin: Hundlaten
7. Goodin: No Questions Asked
8. Purcell, Clarke, Handel, J.S. Bach: Menuets in Dm
9 Goodin: Locust Grove
10. Bach: Minuets I & II (J.S. Bach, 1685-1750)
11. Goodin: Old Annapolis / Pine Bluffs / Sessions: Annapolis Friends / Goodin: The Old White House
                                                           Set 2
1. Trad: Old French / Morpeth Rant / Oswald: East Neuk O Fife
2. Goodin: Deer Track, July 2, 2013 / July 23, 2004 / Return to Dream Acres
3. Oswald: Airs for the Seasons / The Heliotrope
4. Goodin: Old 403
5. Sauli: Partita II for Mandolin (Filippo Sauli, early 18th century)
6. Goodin: Red Hawk / Trad: Klemmet Ola
7 Valentine: Adagio Amorosa & Allegro from Sonata no. 2 for Mandolin  (Robert Valentine 1671-1747)
8. Goodin: March in January / May: Fred Picknell’s March
9. Playford: Daphne / Drive the Cold Winter Away
10. Goodin: Postcards From the Crater: Dug Road
11. Goodin: Whistling Britches / French Sneakers / Just Four Guys

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Birthday Girls


Birthday Girls (mp3) (pdf)

Another waltz in C major. I recorded this a little on the slow side. I would play it a faster if I recorded it again. The photo shows the first draft and you can compare that to the final pdf to see how the tune changed over the course of the week.

This coming week will be fun. On Wednesday the 26th I will play solo mandolin at Java John's. Decorah's Nordic Fest begins on Thursday evening and the thousands of RAGBRAI bicyclists will pass through town on Friday morning.

Friday night I will join Foot-Notes to play for a street dance in front of the Winneshiek County courthouse from 9:00-10:30. The next night we will play for another dance at Canopy 1 on Water Street from 7:30-10:00. Immediately before that (from 5:00-7:00) Erik Sessions and I will play two hours of fiddle/mandolin/guitar music, including a fair number of Scandinavian tunes, also at Canopy no. 1.

Nordic Fest is always full of fun and interesting music. This year I am especially looking forward to two performances by The Newlands Co-op (Vidar Skrede and Sara Pajunen). They will perform at 1:00 p.m. both Friday and Saturday in the amazing acoustics of Vesterheim's Bethania Church. I hope to catch both shows.

I expect to be a little tired next Sunday but I still plan on posting a new tune. We'll see.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Board Eddy



Board Eddy (mp3) (pdf)

This week's tune, a slow reel or maybe a hornpipe, is titled for a place in rural Maine that probably only a few thousand people have ever encountered. Board Eddy Rd. runs between the Dexter Rd. (Maine highway 7) and Bear Hill Rd. about halfway between Dexter and Dover-Foxcroft. I've walked along a good stretch of it a few times and it can be very beautiful if the temperature is right and there aren't too many bugs.

I searched at length for a picture of the road. I'm sure I have one somewhere but it remains well hidden. The photo above was taken from a scenic overlook along I-95 not far from the border with New Brunswick.

Last week I updated my alphabetical list of the tunes from this blog. Now it is current, with the exception of today's tune.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Ten Easy Duos - No. 3


Ten Easy Duos - No. 3 (mp3) (pdf)

Another duo piece, fun to play. I was too warm, or lazy, to turn off the window fan while I recorded this one so you might hear some fan noise in the background. Also a neighbor decided to start mowing as I was trying to get a usable take and you might hear a little of that, especially near the end.

We are enjoying some warm weather here in Northeast Iowa. The photo above come from July of 2014, taken in the field near our house.


Sunday, July 02, 2017

If Only Now


If Only Now (mp3) (pdf)

A pretty waltz to mark week 26 of 2017. No one is more surprised than me that I have managed to post a new tune for 26 straight weeks.

The photo was taken in July 2012 during the annual Conference and Campout at the Heritage Farm of the Seed Savers Exchange just outside of town.
 
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