Quiet Corner Fiddlers

Weekly Sessions (6/24/2013)

Weekly Sessions Reports are no longer being maintained because of lack of time.  But, we're still having a good time playing fiddle tunes every Tuesday, and generally average a dozen or so fiddlers and guitar each week.

Starting JAN 29, 2013

Mar 17 – At Dennis and Joyce’s. Lots of good music. Twelve of us: Don, Alan, Saul, Ken, Bernie, Dennis, Kathy, Joan, Joyce, Paul, Noreen, and Chuck. New tunes introduced were Polska Mazurka No. 35 from Bernie, and Kesan Tullessa from Saul, who wrote a nice harmony part for the waltz. Thanks to Joyce and Dennis for nice refreshments and conversation afterwards.

Mar 12 – At Fred’s. We were joined by Rosie, a youngster who played a couple solos for us.

Mar 5 – At Missy’s. Good time playing music in Pomfret. About a dozen of us. I believe the new tune was Jimmy’s Favorite Jig, introduced by Joe. Great eats from Missy's Kitchen afterwards.

Feb 26 – At Morgans’.   Eight of us:  Saul, Peg, Dennis, Ken, Alan, Joan, Missy, Mark, Noreen and Chuck.  Jane and Bernie were unable to be there.  Open jam,,,,as best I can remember the tunes were: Lintunen (Finnish), Duck River, Can Can, Ode to Joy, Grasshopper Sitting on a Sweet Potato Vine, a 1930s ballad I can’t remember, a tune from Ken I can’t remember, You’re My Love, and Old Mother Flanagan.  Lots of good eats from Noreen’s kitchen, and salty homemade sauerkraut by Chuck.

Feb 19 – At Saul’s.  Good time,,,,about a dozen of us.  Nice refreshments afterwards…..including home made sauerkraut by Saul.Feb 12 – At Fred’s….14 of us - Dennis, Bernie, Joan, Ken, Alan, June, Saul, Don, Kathy, Mark, Nanette, Joyce, Noreen & Chuck.  Everyone did really well, but must comment on nice job Dennis did on Ashokan Farwell, and on Alan's taking on Road to Lisdoonvarna.

    From Noreen- We finally took our tree down, and I rechecked the number of cardinals on the tree; again, no one got the correct number, but two were equally close, with Dennis being one for a prize. Since last year there were 6 equally close, I decided to draw a name for an additional prize, and it was Harrison (June's husband). Thank you all for taking part in our annual "cardinal hunt". I'm not sure, but I think this all started from when our son, Doug, put a glass cardinal in the bushes outside our kitchen window.. ,

Feb 5 – At Douglas Manor.  8 of us braved a lightly falling snow that quit about the time we started.  Don, Alan, Joe, Joan, Mark, Bernie, Noreen and myself.  Some of the nice solos on tunes were Road to Lisdoonvarna (Alan),  Ozidanie Waltz (Mark), Bob Thurston’s Waltz (Bernie), O Detta al Sol (Joe), River John Sunset Waltz (Joan), Doon the Brae (Don), and others I can’t recall.  Another interesting tune we did was Old Time Wedding Reel No. 1.  The new tune introduced by Bernie was The Cold Is All Over.  We closed by playing St. Anne’s Reel for Rosaire.  Next sessions at Fred’s.Jan 29 – At Knowlton Hall in Ashford.  14 of us:  Kathy  (Over the Waterfall & The Parting Glass—even though it was officially off the list, we did it by ear.  Anyone have the music we used to have for it?), Missy (Cold Frosty Morning), Saul (Old French), Ken (Angeline the Baker), Alan (Southwind), Chuck (Old Time Wedding Reel #1 & Old Time Wedding Reel #3- NEW), Don (Doon the Brae), Joan (Bob Thurston’s Waltz), Bernie (Claudette Waltz), Noreen (San Antonia Rose), Dennis (Odetta  al Sole), Jane (Spelman Valse – NEW, with Harmony), Mark  (Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine),  and Joe (Karl XII Waltz).






      Pending new tunes list (in order).  If you don’t have a copy of the music, contact the introducer to e-mail you a copy.

Bernie – The Cold Is All Over

Joe – Jimmy’s Favorite Jig

Ken – Oklahoma Rooster

Saul – Kesan Tulessa

      If the list above is incomplete, please let me know what to add.  Also give me a copy of the music well beforehand so that I can try to write a chord chart for Noreen.


Jan 1 - Jan 22, 2013

Jan 22 – At Amanda and Paul’s.  Good turnout for a cold frosty evening….just like the cold evenings of several years ago here in Connecticut.   Good time afterwards with tasty healthy eats from Amanda and good conversations.

13 of us: Bernie (Boys of Blue Hill), Don (Harvest Home), Kathy (Da Slockit Kight),  Missy (Road to Lisdoonvarna), Noreen (San Antonio Rose), Saul (Spootiskerry), Ken (Les Appalache), Alan (Red Haired Boy), Paul ( Loggieville Two-Step), Rhonda (Si Beahg, Si Mohr), Jane (Concertina Hornpipe), and Amanda (Donegal Mazurka).

          New tunes:  Don (Doon the Brae) and Chuck (Bob Thurston’s Waltz).

          PLEASE….We need a volunteer for treasurer.  Duties very light….about a dozen checks and deposits per year.


Jan 15 – Open Jam at Morgans’.  Afterwards pizza and apple spice bars by Noreen, cookies from Jane, donuts from Joe, and cake from Missy.

          12 of us:  Saul (Poor Wayfaring Stranger), Jane (Men of Harlech), Joan (Ticti-Ticta Polka),  Missy (When I’m 64), Ken (  ), Don (Doon the Brae), Bernie (The Frost Is All Over Jig), Joe (Jim’s Favorite Jig), June (Carolina Moon), Dennis (Bury Me Not Beneath the Willow), Noreen (Edelweiss), and Chuck (Bob Thurston’s Waltz).


Jan 8 – At Fred’s Brick House Café


Jan 1- New Year’s Day.  Sessions cancelled.

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Oct 30 through December 18, 2012

Quiet Corner Fiddler sessions, including Amanda and Paul's Christmas jam, were held weekly at various locations, even though reports were not written.  Anyone who would like to take over writing up the reports, let me know.  Or, maybe the report could be written by the location host.  Sessions were not held on December 25.

Oct 23 - Bernie & Jane's

Oct 23 – (no sessions reports Sep 4-Oct 16….sessions were held and enjoyed, but just been too busy to write them up.  Anyone with too much time on their hands that wants to write some up, do so, send it to me, and I’ll post it.)  Thirteen of us at Bernie and Jane’s Villages at Freedom Green club house in Mansfield: Bernie, Joan, Ken, Alan, Don, Saul, Jane, Mark, Missy, Peg, Dennis, Noreen, and myself.  The club house is a nice place to hold sessions and we’ll try to arrange another next spring.  Bernie had spread the word about us being there, so we had an audience of over a dozen.  New tune introduced was Louisiana Wedding Bells.  It was tough to sight read because of the extensive syncopation.  Memorized it should go very well.  Afterwards Jane had lots of good eats for us…..from fruit to pastry.

August 28 - Chuck & Noreen's

Aug 28 –  Nine of us:  Ken , Alan, Dennis, Nanette, Saul, Missy, Joan,  Noreen, Chuck.  We played Barn Burners, Billy in the Lowe Ground, Coin de Ciel, Josephine’s Waltz, Loggieville 2-Step,  Rickett’s Hornpipe, Shove that Pig’s Foot Closer to the Fire, Whiskey Before Breakfast, and You Married My Daughter But Yet You Didn’t.   Saul re-introduced Niel Gow’s Lament for His Second Wife (which Saul played outside Neil Gow’s cottage in Scotland on his recent trip there….to the delight of the current owner.)  Alan introduced a nice Jay Ungar tune,  Blue River Waltz.   We have 3 additional Jay Ungar/Molly Mason tunes in the hopper from Alan we’ll take up in turn.  We also have a French-Canadian tune from Joe.

June 19 - August 21

Weekly sessions were held, but no reports were written.

June 12 - Fred's Brick House Cafe

Ten of us at Fred’s: Missy, Saul, Ken, Alan, Wally (new…welcome), Kathy, Joan, Sandy, Noreen, and Chuck.  We played Alabama Waltz (a Hank Williams tune Noreen sang), Amazing Grace, Angeline the Baker, Ash Grove, Ashocan Farewell, Faded Love  (for Earl), Flop Eared Mule/ Gaspe Reel/Irish Washerwoman (for Saul’s Finnish/French/Irish relatives there in force), Girl I Left Behind (nice solo by Wally), Kesh Jig, Old French, Over the Waterfall, Ragtime Annie, Redwing, Road to Lisdoonvarna (nice solo by Sandy), St Anne’s Reel, Si Beag Si Mohr (new solo by Alan), Soldiers Joy, Star of the County Down, Swinging on a Gate, Tennessee Waltz, Turkey in the Straw (by request fro audience), Wild Rose of the Mountain (in 3 part harmony), Josephin’s Dopvals, Karjalin Poikka, and Welcome Here Again (new solo by Ken). 


June 5 - St Joseph's Living Center

June 5 – Nine of us: Missy, Saul, Amanda, Paul, Ken, Mark, Dennis, Noreen and Chuck.  As I recall, we played Cold Frosty Morning, La Bastraigne, a number of sing-a-long tunes like Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Midnight on the Water, My Home Waltz, Newcastle (harmony version), St Anne’s Reel, Sunset Over Ayer (with harmony written by Missy), Welcome Here Again, and Dragging the Bow.  Afterwards we enjoyed cheese and crackers that Saul kindly brought, as well as soda pop from St. Joseph’s.

May 29 - the Morgan's

May 29 – Twelve of us:  June (back from her jazz singing tour of Japan),  Paul (arrived in his snappy vintage convertible),  Ken,  Alan,  Jane,  Saul,  Dennis,  Missy,  Joan,  Mark,  Noreen & Chuck.    I recall us playing  Musurkka Hautakankaalta, Captain Campbell, Cold Frosty Morning, Country Waltz,  Down Yonder (harmony version from Jane), the Homesteaders, and others that I may have mixed up with the jam session we had at Old Fiddlers’ Club of Rhode Island on Sunday.  Ken introduced a new tune, a bagpipe tune Welcome Here Again….a nice tune also played by OFCRI.   Afterwards we enjoyed talking and refreshments from Noreen’s kitchen.

May 22 - Missy's

Twelve of us at Missy’s last evening:  Mark, Ken, Joan, Saul, Missy, Dennis, Don, Noreen, Allen, Amanda, Paul, and Chuck.  Played Home with Girls in the Morning, Horse & Buggy O, Loggieville 2-Step, Amazing Grace, Ashokan Farewell, Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, Coin du Ciel, Cold Frosty Morning, Donegal Mazurka, Jamie Allen, Verret Tune, Joys of Quebec, Massurkka Hautakankaalta, and Swallowtail Jig.  A few good ones we have not played in a while….Loggieville, Massurkka Hautakankaalta, Verret Tune.  Jane brought a version of Newcastle with a harmony part.  It was fun to play, and worth taking up again.  Amanda re-introduced Paddy on the Railway, a good tune we used to play a few years ago.   Afterwards good company and good eats from Missy’s fabulous kitchen….including a fresh fruit pizza, umm umm.

May 8 - Fred's

With Noreen and Chuck on a trip down south, Nanette bailed us out once more with her guitar accompaniment, and all fiddler’s who showed up (Ken, Paul, Alan, Joe, Amanda, Bernie, Missy, Mark, Saul, Joan, Kathy, Sophia, Wes, and Sandy) played a solo from the tune list. Especially memorable were Sophia’s solos of Kesh Jig and then later Road to Lisdoonvana (which we all then played in a medley with Swallow Tail Jig), Sandy’s rendition of Redwing (with Woody Guthrie’s lyrics---2012 is the 100th anniversary of Woody’s birth) and Nanette’s fiddling on Red Haired Boy (with Mark subbing on guitar). But it was Nanette’s vocal solo in her downright “honky tonk woman” style that brought down the house. It was a fun time.

May 5 - Maypole Dance (from Saul)

Well the Maypole Dance at Topmost on Saturday was a little foggy and misty, but we still had fun playing for the small group of dancers and spectators, and for ourselves. Tom French had us all yelling out a welcome to Spring and Carole Miller’s friends put on a nice lunch. Thanks to Greg on guitar, Joan on keyboard, and the fiddlers (Dagmar, Amanda, Paul, Don, Joe, Ken, Bernie, Missy and Saul) for a nice Spring morning of music

May 1 - Amanda and Paul's (from Saul)

May 1. Good turnout at Amanda and Paul’s. Fourteen on fiddle (Paul, Mark, Joe, Ken, Alan, Nancy, Missy, Kathy, Irene, Jim, Amanda, Rhonda, Bernie, and Saul) Two on guitar (Greg and Howard) and the one and only Joan on Keyboard. We played Sunset over Ayr, Tennessee Waltz, Horse and Buggy ‘O, Angeline the Baker, Gaspee Reel, Ashokan, Joli Blonde, Josephine’s Waltz, Faded Love, Ash Groove by Jim Bump on viola, Flop Eared Mule, St Anne’s Reel, Westphalia, Woodchopper’s Reel, Si Bheag Si Mhor, Redwing and more. We also worked on the Verret tune that Craig Edwards taught us at his recent workshop, and Joe showed us one version of a third part to Joies de Quebec which is often played at Dan Boucher’s Jam Francaise. We got to see Amanda and Paul’s nearly finished kitchen and shared some really good eats. Our next session will be at Fred’s on April 8, sans Chuck and Noreen who are on a trip Down South. Nanette will be helping us on guitar.

Apr 17 - Craig Edwards Workshop

Apr 17 -  Craig Edwards workshop at Rosaire’s.  Fifteen of us: Saul, Kate, Missy, Paul, Amanda, Joan, Kathy, Mark, Bernie, Joe, Ken, Alan, Dennis, Noreen and myself.  Craig talked about various aspects of playing for dances, especially the best dance bands can fit tunes to the figures the caller is using.  He taught us a lively French-Canadian tune in Am and C.  There is no name for it.  We caught on to it pretty quick.  He will send audio and music to Saul for forwarding.   Craig also talked about how to learn a new tune.  Work on a measure or phrase slowly and correctly, then stop and rest and give your brain time to process what you’re learning.  Don’t play fast and incorrectly because all you’re doing is teaching your brain how to play it wrong. Refreshments, from Amanda, Noreen, Missy, and Saul, and conversation afterwards.  Before the workshop began, it was announced that Clair had passed away the day before.

Jon Dehoyos, who booked us for Coventry Farmers' Market Jul 22 stopped by to hear and meet us, and tell us about the format he'll be presenting entertainment at the market.  He'll get us the music to their opening and closing theme tune, and we'll learn them if they work on fiddle.

Apr 10 - Fred's Brick House Pizza

Apr 10 - About a dozen of us at Fred's.  Joan's back on the fiddle from her broken wrist and did a nice solo.

Apr 3 - St Joseph's Living Center

Apr 3 – Thirteen of us at St. Joseph’s Living Center:  Bernie, Don, Ken, Saul, Mark, Joe, Greg (new guitar player- Welcome), Joan, Alan, Dagmar, Missy, Noreen, and Chuck.  We played Emma’s Waltz, Horse and Buggy O, Draggin the Bow, Amazing Grace, Karjalan Poikka, Bonaparter Crossing the Rhine, Captain Campbell, Country Waltz, Flop Eared Mule, Irish Washerwmoan, Si Beag Si Mohr, Joys of Quebec, Road to Lisdoonvarna, and Westphalia Waltz, as best I can recall.  We read 2 tunes from NE Fiddlers’ Repertoire: Forester’s Hornpipe and Gandy Dancer’s Reel.  Next sessions at Fred’s.

Mar 27 - Chuck & Noreen's

Mar 27 -  Eleven of us at Chuck and Noreen’s:  Nancy, Bernie, Paul, Don, Ken, Dennis, Saul, Jane, Mark, Chuck and Noreen.  We played Amazing Grace, Country Waltz, Down Yonder, Greencastle Hornpipe, Ma Yofus, , Newcastle, Reel D’Artur, Road to Lisdoonvarna, Sunset Over Ayer, and Swinging on a Gate.  We worked some on the A part to Draggin’ the Bow….making progress.  New tune introduced by Bernie was Expectation Waltz in the keys of Dm and F.  Afterwards refreshments, conversation, and Noreen’s cooking.  Thanks to Jane for the big bag of chocolate candy.

Mar 20 - Rosaire's hall

Mar 20 – Stacy Phillips workshop this evening at Rosaire’s hall.  There were 25 of us:  Ken, Dennis, Don, Joe, Alan, Jill (new), Jane, Saul, Missy, Sophia, Irene (new), Jennifer (nice seeing you again), Amanda, Paul, Michael (welcome back), Mark, Kathy, Nancy, Nanette, Rhonda (good to see you again), Bernie, Mr. Gardner (welcome), Rosaire, Noreen, and myself.  Stacy taught us a classic early western swing tune, “Draggin’ the Bow”.  He taught us by ear, and by the end of the workshop most of us had picked up the basics of the tune.  Don was kind enough to record a smooth version of it at slower tempo that Stacy played for that purpose.  Stacy will transcribe it and send it to me for forwarding to everyone.  Thanks to Saul for setting up the workshop, to Missy, Mark, Saul, Kathy, Noreen, Joe, and Amanda for bringing refreshments, and to Stacy for being such a terrific teacher.

Mar 13 - Fred's Brick House Cafe

Mar 13 -  Good time at Fred’s.  Nineteen of us played for a packed house: Sandy, Hannah (new), Nancy, Dennis, Bernie, Missy, Ken, Alan, Mark, Paul, June, Sophia, Kathy, Amanda, Molly, Joyce, Nanette, Noreen & Chuck (19).  Singers for the Irish tunes- June, Sandy, Mark, Nanette, Chuck and Noreen.  We missed Joan. Rosaire and Wanda were there to watch.   Played lots of Irish tunes and did Irish sing-a-longs. 

Mar 6 - Douglas Manor

Fourteen of us at Douglas Manor:  Joan, Nancy, Mark, Ken, Bernie, Alan, Sophia, Amanda, Kathy, Saul, Jane, Steve (new, guitar), Noreen, and myself.  Also about a dozen residents and family came in to watch, listen, and have a good time.  We played almost all Irish, Scottish, and Welsh tunes: As I recall, Ash Grove, Boys of Blue Hill, Harvest Home, Joys of Quebec, Karjallan Poikka, Mari’s Wedding, Rakes of Mallow, Red Haired Boy, Rickett’s Hornpipe, Road to Lisdoonvarna, Si Beag Si Mohr, Southwind, plus Ragtime Annie, Red Wing, and Silver Bells (a double fiddle tune we haven’t done in a long time…made some good progress on it).  We also played over our our St. Patrick's sing-a-long tunes for Fred’s Brick House Café next week: Molly Malone, Sweet Rosie O'Grady, That's An Irish Melody, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, My Wild Irish Rose, Danny Boy, and MacNarra's Band.  We tried them in various keys in hopes of having June and Noreen lead the audience in singing them.

Feb 28 - Chuck & Noreen's

Sixteen of us are Noreen’s and my place:  Don, Peg, Dennis, Ken, Bernie, Kate (new - welcome), Jane, Saul, Nancy, Alan, June, Mark, Kathy, Joan (coming along well on keyboard), Noreen & Chuck.  We played Amazing Grace, Angeline the Baker, Ashokan Farewell, Boys of Blue Hill, Captain Campbell/Old Time Wedding Reel # 1 medley, Cold Frosty Morning, Country Waltz, Glengarry My Home, Joys of Quebec, Ma Yofus, Off to California, Over the Waterfall, Reel d’Artur, Scotland the Brave, Tobin’s Jig, You Married My Daughter, and Woodchopper’s Reel.  No new tune….we’ll save Teviot Bridge for when Amanda’s here (missed you and Paul).  Thanks to Jane who brought brought delicious chocolate croissants.   Next sessions at Douglas Manor in Windham.


Feb 21 - Rosaire's

There were 14 of us at Rosaire’s for Mardi Gras: Joan (keyboard), Amanda, Rosaire, Paul, Nancy, Dennis, Don, Alan, Bernie, Jane, Saul, June, Noreen, & Chuck.  As I recall, we played Horse and Buggy O, Amazing Grace, Angus Campbell, Captain Campbell, Da Slockit Light, Donegal Mazurka, Down Yonder (Jane’s harmony version…harmony has some tough parts, but worth working on), Joys of Quebec, King of the Faeries, Old Time Wedding Reel #1, Red Haired Boy, Rakes of Mallow, Ragvalsin Valssi, and Soldiers’ Joy.  Afterwards we read 5 tunes from the NE Fiddlers’ Repertoire: Durang’s Hornpipe, Earl of Mansfield, Far From Home, Finnegan’s Wake, and Fireman’s Reel.  We’ll do some more reading in a few weeks.  Thanks to Noreen we had a King Cake afterwards to celebrate Mardi Gras.  Alan got the plastic baby in his piece.   Sessions next Tuesday at Noreen’s and my place.  New tune to be introduced by Amanda will be Teviot Bridge Jig...it's at the bottom of the page with Telephone Tune introduced last summer. 



Feb 14 - Fred's Brick House Cafe

Joyce, Dennis, Bernie, Nanette, Ken, Alan, Paul, Saul, Molly, June, Amanda, Kathy, Mark, Noreen & Chuck.  With Joan cheering us on, 16 of us were there.   Delightful time.  Sorry that Jane and Missy were sick.  As I recall we played Horse and Buggy O, Amazing Grace, Angeline the Baker, Ash Grove, Captain Campbell, Da Slockit Light, Donegal Mazurka, Down  Yonder, Flop Eared Mule, Gaspe Reel, Harvest Home, Hundred Pipers, Irish Washerwoman, Jenny Lind Polka, Joys of Quebec, Lover’s Waltz, Montague Processional, Ragtime Annie, Road to Lisdoonvarna, St Anne’s Reel, Smash the Windows, Soldiers’ Joy, Sunset Over Ayr, Wesphalia Waltz, Karjallan Poikka, and Josephine’s Waltz.  We also did the songs on the Romantic Singalong list: After the Ball, Ain’t She Sweet, Annie’s Song, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Tennessee Waltz, Love Makes the World Go Round, Moonlight Bay (played afterwards by special request), You Are My Sunshine, and finally Your Cheating Heart led by the Do-Wop Singing Fiddlers: Mark, Nanette, and myself.  Thanks to all for the lovely African Violets presented to Sweetheart during the performance.  You’re like family to us.

Those of you not on Facebook may not recognise Matt when he returns.  Shaved off his beard......sunglasses and western hat.  Handsome dude.....enjoying some great fiddling in the southwest and leading some workshops.


Feb 7 - Saul's

Fourteen of us:  Joe, Missy, Jane, Alan, Joan, Kathy, Amanda, Paul, Ken, Saul, Mark, Don, Noreen & Chuck.  We played (as I recall) Horse and Buggy O, Boys of Blue Hill, Country Waltz, Donegal Mazurka, Jamie Allen, My Dungannon Sweetheart, Off to California,  Pinto Bean Two-Step, Road to Lisdoonvarna, St. Anne’s Reel, The Homesteaders,  Old Time Wedding Reel #1, and White Cockade.  The new tunes, introduced  by Jane from the NE Fiddlers’ Repertoire book, was O’Donnell Abhu……nice tune.  After we went around the circle we sight-read tunes from NE Fiddlers’ Repertoire: Come Up the Back Stairs, Connaught Man’s Rambles, Constitution Hornpipe, Corn Rigs, Deerfoot, and Democratic Rage Hornpipe.  Two of these were in F and one was in B flat, but we did nicely.  Next time we read from the book will be Feb 21 or 28.  We’ll start with Durang’s Hornpipe on page 15 and cover the next 6 to 8, skipping those in our repertoire (except Fisher’s Hornpipe in F), ending by Gandy Dancer’s Reel or sooner.   Afterwards good eats and conversation.  Thanks to Sandra and Saul for hosting.  Next sessions at Fred’s.   We should try some of the tunes on our Romantic Sing-a-long sheet, so look over them.

Jan 31 - Dennis and Joyce's

Jan 31- Fourteen of us:  Don, Alan, Ken, Dennis, Bernie, Nancy, Mark, Amanda, Paul, Jane, Joyce, Saul, Noreen & Chuck.  We played March du Mont St. Louis, Captain Campbell, Donegal Mazurka, Kesh Jig, Kinlock of Kinlock, Joys of Quebec, Amazing Grace, Midnight on the water, Off to California, Old French, Reel St. Antaine, Swallowtail Jig, Southwind (nice hammered dulcimer solo by Joyce), Sunset Over Ayr, Willifjord, and Josephin’s Waltz.  Many nice solos during the evening.  New tune was Old Time Wedding Reel, re-introduced from several years ago by Chuck.  Afterwards we enjoyed good company and refreshments...or as Frank Moon used to say....Good eats.

Next sessions at Saul's. 

     Playing fiddle involves many different skills….bowing, fingering, intonation, a sense of rhythm and timing, memorization, reading music, brain/arm & brain/finger coordination, to name a few.  One of the most important basic skills to be a good fiddler is playing at a constant basic tempo (perhaps varying within that tempo to create interest or style).  Many times an otherwise excellent solo is marred by an irregular tempo, or an uncontrolled continuously increasing tempo that eventually become unsustainable.  Playing at a constant tempo is a basic skill well worth cultivating.  As Bunny says, “Fast is last”.  So how does one learn to play at a constant tempo.  Some suggestions:

1.   Concentrate on it.  I find that if I think about constant tempo as I play, I can keep a steadier tempo.

2.   Listen to those playing around you.  It’s amazing how one person not listening to everyone else can drag the others into playing faster and faster and faster.

3.   Practice with a metronome.

4.   Play along with a recording, or go on-line and get recordings of guitar or other accompanists playing many of the tunes we play.  If there is a tune for which you would like a guitar accompaniment, and you can't find one elsewhere, let me know and I'll try to post an audio here on our website.

January 24, 2012 - St. Joseph's Living Center

          Thirteen of us: Nancy, Ken, Alan, Mark, Paul, Amanda, Saul, Bernie, Joe, Dennis, Don, Noreen & Chuck.  Plus about a dozen folks came to listen to us.   Played Alabama Waltz, Angekine the Baker, Ash Grove, Ashokan Farewell, Boys of Bluehill, Greencastle Hornpipe, Mouth of the Tobique, Off to California, Old French, Red Wing, Reel St. Antoine, Road to Lisdoonvarna, Mesakukkia, Smash the Windows, Tennessee Waltz, and Karjalan Poikka.  New tune, introduced by Saul, was Marche du Mont St Louis.....neat tune, worth working on.  Afterwards enjoyed refreshments provided by St. Joseph's, Saul, and Noreen.

        As most of us know, Clair is a resident at St. Joseph's, so many of us stopped by to visit him last evening.  No longer playing fiddle, and now in his 90s, he has been in and out of the hospital and St. Joseph's a number of times in the last several months.  He would appreciate a visit, card, or phone call.  The number at St. Joseph's is (860) 456-1107.  Address is 14 Club Rd, Windham, CT06256.

January 17, 2012 - Rosaire's

       Thirteen of us: June, Rosaire, Amanda, Don, Ken, Alan, Jane, Saul, Mark, Bernie, Nancy, Noreen, and Chuck.  Tunes played Angeline Baker, King of Fairies, Arthurs Tune. Rosaire's Waltz, Metsakukkia, Horse and Buggy O, Ash Grove, Billy in the Low Ground (long time since we did this one....first introduced about 5 years ago), Boys of Blue Hill,  Off to California, Red Haired Boy, Red Wing, St. Anne's Reel, Temperance Reel, and Westphalia Waltz (with Jane's new harmony arranged by Yarek Teresshchenko).  Saul led us for part of the sessions.  The new tune, Step to the Music Johnny, was introduced by Amanda.  Nice tune....it's one that David and Paula do with the Old Fiddlers' Club of Rhode Island.  Thanks to Rosaire and Wanda for use of the hall.  Thanks to Amanda and Noreen for the refreshments.
        Clair is back in the hospital.  Joan is recovering from surgery on her broken wrist....will be out of action for about 6 weeks.
        Sessions next week will be at St. Joseph Living Center on Club Road in Willimantic.

January 10 , 2012 - Freds Brickhouse Cafe

Good time at Fred's....

19 of us...Dennis, Bernie (new), Matt (guitar) Missy, Nancy, Ken, Alan, Joe, Don, Paul, June, Amanda, Kathy, Jane, Molly, Avery, Don, Noreen, Chuck.  Some of the tunes we played were Metsakukkia, Horse and Buggy O (for Joan), Honky Tonk Angels (Noreen singing, joined by June), High Clouds Waltz, Angeline the Baker, Ashokan Farewell, Captain Campbell, Cold Frosty Morning, Flop Eared Mule, Golden Slippers, Growling Old Man and Woman (Molly and Avery duet), Irish Washerwoman (Molly at warp speed), Joys of Quebec, My Home Waltz,  Ragtime Annie, Red Wing (nice job by Avery), Road to Lisdoonvarna/Swallowtail Jig medley, St. Anne's Reel, Soldier's Joy, Stone's Rag, Sunset Over Ayer, Westphalia Waltz (nice duet by Jane and Bernie using new harmony from Jane's violin teacher), Josephine's Dopvalse, and Karjalan Poikka.  Joan was there to watch us with her friends.
P.S from Noreen:  Thanks to all of you who took part in Doug's Cardinal Game on the Christmas tree at our house. No one got the "right number", but Alan was one of those who was closest- congratulations, Alan. ~Noreen

January 3, 2012 - Chuck & Noreen's

Thirteen of us: Don, Peg, Ken, Alan, Bernie (new...welcome), Jane, Saul, Missy, Mark, Paul, Amanda, Noreen, and myself..  Played Metsakukkia, Horse and Buggy O (for Joan who couldn't be here tonight), High Clouds, Angeline the Baker, Ash Grove, Ashokan Farewell, Captain Campbell, Cold Frosty Morning, Country Waltz, Montague Processional, My Dungannon Sweetheart (for Clair who is in hospital), Ragtime Annie, Redwing, Joys of Quebec,  Southwind Waltz, Star of the County Down.  New tune brought by Amanda was Black Mountain Rag.  Also from Amanda we passed out Step to the Music Johnny. 

Since Captain Campbell strathspey seems to be growing more popular, we should make an effort to use the correct strathspey rhythm, which is 16th, dotted 8th, dotted 8th, 16th, dotted 8th, 16th, 16th, dotted 8th.  The use by some of all dotted 8ths followed by a 16th sticks out like a sore thumb.  This is one of the very few cases in which we should all be playing the same rhythm

Afterwards, nice refreshments from Noreen's kitchen and a fruit plate that Jane brought.  Everyone had an opportunity to make 2 more guesses as to the number of cardinal ornaments on the Christmas tree.  Winner to be announced soon.