Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 2008

(Photo by Pat O'Loughlin, Shepherdstown, WV, with one of my favorite authors.)

All Fall Down (mp3) (pdf)
Bob's Angels (mp3) (pdf)
Sand Island (mp3) (pdf)

This posting has more of a Contratopia theme than most. Partly because we've had a pretty active month of playing and touring.

Bob's Angels is a waltz titled for our friend and Tapestry
board member Bob Anholt and all of his "angels" who helped make it possible for us to play a Mostly Waltz afternoon at Tapestry back in March. The band played the tune that day but this recording is the home demo that I recorded and sent to Erik, Pat and Patrice a few days before the gig. It probably should go a little faster.

The other two tunes were recorded by Erik, Pat and myself at Patrice's house on a Saturday afternoon while she was off earning a living.

Sand Island
is possibly the first fiddle tune I ever wrote. I remember my old friend and excellent guitarist Henry Austin complimenting me on the tune back in Louisville sometime in the 80s. That bit of encouragement really meant a lot to me at the time. I see, thanks to Google, that he's currently playing with an Irish band called My Darling Asleep.

Contratopia has been playing this tune for a number of years and I almost never play guitar on it, but the guitar was in my hands that afternoon. If we ever officially record
Sand Island it will certainly be more polished than this version (especially with Patrice adding her talents) but this is a good example of how the basic tune might go.

This version of
All Fall Down is really Erik and I playing through the tune so Pat can work out an approach on the banjo. Pat would say he didn't really know the piece at this point but I think he sounds just fine. The band has just recently added this tune into a new medley and we played it a couple of times on the tour out east.

I wrote the music the day after travelling a fair distance to hear the brilliant Liz Carroll and John Doyle play at Wisconsin's Folklore Village. If only I could write a tune half as good as anything they played that night....
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