Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Jig for Sue


A Jig for Sue (mp3) (pdf)

If you have been to a contra dance in Decorah in the last few years you have almost certainly found yourself helped along by the expert time-keeping of our resident bodhran player, Sue Otte. Sue loves to play jigs and I needed a title for today's tune so here it is. It's a fun tune to play, hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Friendly Spirits


Friendly Spirits (mp3) (pdf)

As mentioned last week, this week's tune was written on Halloween evening while the little ones were navigating our rickety front porch steps and gathering their rewards.

Bullwinkle: "Eenie-meanie, chili-beanie, the spirits are about to speak."

Rocky: "Are they friendly spirits?"

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Elkhart Freight


Elkhart Freight (mp3) (pdf)

Last Tuesday was Halloween and, by chance, I ended up writing a couple of tunes during the trick or treat part of the evening. I had one, called "Friendly Spirits" finished and recorded by Thursday. But then on Friday I returned to a tune I wrote earlier in the year and that's what we have here today.

Back in March I rode the Capitol Limited into Union Station D.C. to play some dances with Contratopia. The train stops at Elkhart on the way east around 9:30 at night and on March 16 we ended up sitting on a siding while a freight train rattled by. I started this tune during that pullover. (The photo above was taken somewhere in Pennsylvania the next morning.)

I enjoyed making the recording of this one. I even used a dropped D tuning on the guitar, something I almost never do. (I have enough trouble with standard tuning.) The tune could certainly go faster but I like the way it kind of rolls along at this tempo.

If you are a friend of Contratopia and you own our Riff City CD your ear may tell you there is some similarity between the beginning of Elkhart and my tune "No Contest" which is the 2nd tune in the Two Bits medley. After some back and forth with my internal editor I decided that's OK.

Hope you enjoy it.

[Update: I finally noticed, and corrected, the mistakes in the pdf sheet music on Tuesday evening. Sorry for the inconvenience.]
 
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