Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Belle from the Bridge

The Belle from the Bridge (mp3) (pdf)

Here's a jig from a few weeks ago, recorded this morning. The title comes from a brief trip last week back home to Clarksville, Indiana. We took a walk on Sunday afternoon across the former Big Four railroad bridge, recently converted to a pedestrian and bicycle path across the Ohio River between Louisville, KY and Jeffersonville.

While walking we had the pleasure of watching the Belle of Louisville paddle under us on her Sunday afternoon cruise. Following the nostalgic theme of my previous post, seeing the Belle reminded me that it was the site of my first public performance in a band, sometime in late 1964 or early 1965, as a member of the awesome Sir James and the Squires. We were allowed to play a 3 or 4 song set during a sockhop on board while the real band took a break. Pretty exciting stuff for a humble Squire!

I'm pretty sure that this was the night when I learned that the same song could be played in any key. I had learned the Kingsmen's classic version of Barret Strong's "Money" (as opposed to the Beatles' copy of the original) in the key of E. Our guitar player (the amazing Tommy Campbell), singer ("Sir James" himself, Jimmy Parks) and drummer (now Dr. Joe Jacobi) played the song, I believe, in G. I think a member of the other band kindly explained to me that we had played the song simultaneously in two different keys, without mentioning bi-tonality or Ornette Coleman. Being a minor third apart the two keys actually made a pretty cool sound but I was amazed at the concept and, ever after, I have endeavored, when playing with other musicians, to play in the same key as everyone else, whenever possible. (Ed. note: I should have mentioned above that I'm playing electric bass in this story. This allows the bi-tonality to "work" a little better than if Tom and I had both been playing full chords a minor third apart.)

Today's jig is squarely in the key of C, with nary a hint of Deer Tracks influence.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.