Session I Class – Fall 2013

Week 7

Good to have Jim back in class this week. So in his honor, Lark in the Morning is the tune of the week. This recording of Cillian Vallely was wonderful to come across as he’s one of the best out there on pipes. As always, this version is not the same as the printed version, which won’t be exactly the same as how we play it in class. But it’s definitely one to have in your repertoire. As I think I mentioned in class, at the C’ville session the other night, I think every person was playing on it, so it is a popular tune both in Charlottesville and elsewhere. Enjoy and see you next week for our last class (oh no). Bring your favorite tune and we’ll try to plug a few extras in our usual sets!

Week 6

It was great to have Mimi join us for a few tunes this week. A wonderful reminder of the enduring nature of the BRIMS community and the larger community of Irish music. What a cool thing to be able to travel to a town, look up on the internet to see if they have a session, join in, and instantly be connected to a new community of people through a common joy in trad music. In fact, at our monthly session at C’ville Coffee, we had a visitor who did just that! Love it!

So this week, our tune was Devaney’s Goat. This is a nice straight forward rendition of it (with an appropriate backdrop). Here’s another version by a trio of fabulous musicians (2nd tune in set, but enjoy the entire set). As I mentioned in class, I originally learned it from David Surrette as part of a set with Mountain Road (also in D). I looked up David’s site and found that he had posted tab notation for all the tunes from his CD, so here’s a link to a pdf of the version I originally learned.

Week 5

We’re trying a bit of Cape Breton this week with Brenda Stubbert’s written by Jerry Holland. Fortunately, we do have a recording of him playing the tune (with steel drum accompaniment!) which you can listen to here: Brenda Stubbert’s Reel (Am). The first phrase in the B part is the distinctive part of the tune. Here’s a bit clearer (and slower) version on solo fiddle. Also, you might enjoy hearing a set played by Brenda Stubbert herself. She really tears it up and you just can’t beat that Cape Breton piano accompaniment in my opinion! The first tune is Foxhunter’s which you probably have heard before. A bit different feel in Cape Breton style.

Will try to record and post the waltz tonight. Thanks everyone for another great class!

Well, apparently my password for the BRIMS site is out of date, so I can’t upload my recording. In the meantime, here’s Faraway Waltz on flute for Sandy and Sherry. (and thanks to Guy, who mentioned that the previous recording was in Em rather than the Bm that we’ll play)

Week 3 + 4

Sounding pretty darn good and folks seem to be up for learning more tunes, so I’ll oblige. However, I will always designate 1 tune the primary tune for the week in case you would prefer to focus on one tune. So this week’s tune is Rolling Wave(s) a beautiful jig in D (also known as Humours of Trim). John B. also found this incredibly cool version of it as well. Some folks from C’ville learned this in Doolin during our last trip to Ireland, so it is a good one to keep going!

If you’re feeling frisky, give Maire Rua a whirl. A pretty easy slip jig to pick up in the key of G. This version played on mando just for Jim. As I mentioned during class, John Doyle used the melody on his version of Wheels of the World. Lyrics shared below (may not be exactly the same). Good opportunity for a quick history lesson 🙂

The Wheels of the World

Come all of you true sons of Erin; attend to these few nimble lines:
I’ll sing you a song about spinning. It was a good trade in our time.
Now some they spun worsted and yarn, and others they spun flaxen and tow.
By experience, my friends, you may learn how the wheels of the world how they go.

William Pitt he was a good spinner, and so was Lord Castlereagh.
They spun out the Union from Ireland. To England they shipped it away.
Poor Pitt spun out his existence, then took a long trip on a boat.
Lord Castlereagh saved him the distance, by cutting the rim of his throat.

Napoleon he was a great spinner, for freedom did always advance.
Through deserts and high lofty mountains, he marched with the brave sons of France.
Wellington he went a-spinning. His wheels they were at Waterloo;
But if Grouchy had never been bribed, the French would have split him in two.

John Mitchel a true son of Erin, declared that a spinner he’d be.
He set all wheels in motion, his dear native land to set free.
But John Bull that crafty old tyrant, at spinning he was fully bent,
And straight to Van Diemen’s Land the son of old Erin was sent.

The factory owners are spinning. Their wheels are a turning away,
And now they are expecting their hands for to work thirteen hours a day.
They don’t care a damn for the poor and they hate all their sighs and their moans.
They don’t care a pin if you work till you cut all the flesh from your bones.

And the rich they are all famous spinners, and that we’re are very sure
They are always contriving a scheme to drive down the rights of the poor.
So if you’re compelled to go spinning, be sure that your spindles are steel.
Let “Liberty” then be your motto, and glory will turn your big wheel.

Week 2

Great job this week, everyone. Great to have two more melody players – thanks for joining us Sandy and Julie. So, our main tune to work on for the week is Geese in the Bog. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try out Merry Blacksmith (D reel) – here are two versions by Planxty (starts around 0:40) and Solas (from a workshop).

Next week, Sherry offered to bring in a printed version of Eel in the Sink (singular, Stu) and I will be out of town (sadly), but Erin will do a fabulous job leading you all in my absence. Thanks to both Sherry and Erin!

The following week, I’m thinking we might tackle Rolling Wave (another D major jig). Have a listen to it in the meantime if you don’t already know it (Note that they modulate to G for the performance but almost always played in D). Paired with The Legacy here – really nice set with Flute and Harp. Anyway, Rolling Wave is one of my favorite tunes… started learning it in Doolin two years ago, but never really got it down. So I’m pulling it out again for all of us to master together. Guitars, B part (to me) calls for a nice descending run down from D.

Week 1

So, we’re working on two tunes for next week – a single reel – Rolling in the Ryegrass (Key of D) and a jig – Pipe on the Hob #1 (Key of D mix). Here are two recordings of the tunes and you all have the music from class.

Watch Rolling in the Ryegrass (great for guitars to play along with)

Listen to Pipe on the Hob with Merrily Kissed the Quaker – really nice arrangement. John B. also reminded me that I had a version from Alex that she taught on fiddle a few years ago here.

Also, Sherry introduced us to Eel in the Sink, so here is a version of that tune as well!