Posted by fiddlepogo on Saturday, May 4, 2013
The head of the local chapter of the CBMA (California Bluegrass Music Association) enjoys fiddle tunes, and we've jammed together. Somehow, she and Dan Levenson got ahold of each other, and set up a local concert and workshop. He had Bob Carlin with him. It's the first time in my memory that an Old Time act played in Chico!
It turned out I got to attend both the workshop and concert.
I joined in on the workshop. Dan is a super nice guy, and we got along well, EVEN though I'm a downbower, and he isn't. (NO, I didn't take over the workshop and turn it into a downbowing lecture!)
The tune we worked on was Fisher's Hornpipe. I FINALLY learned the third part.
And since the others were pretty much beginners, the way we did it made me think that stripping down all my tunes to eight-note tune skeletons might be an interesting exercise that could produce new variations.
I was hoping the event would flush out some more local people interested in Old Time, but no dice- the new faces were from out-of-town.
In between the workshop and concert, I got to chat with them both, especially Bob Carlin. Turns out we know a lot of the same people I knew from the 1970's, since many of the Angeleno Old Timeys of that era moved back east to be closer to the music. Somehow it was also really neat that "fiddledan" on the FH is now a "real" person that I've met.
The concert was enjoyable. I thought I used a lot of instruments at my solo gigs!
They used several different kinds of banjos, sometimes with both of them playing banjo.
At the end, to my surprise, they called me up, and we did two fiddle tunes together, with the bluegrass prez playing bass, and fiddledan and me trading off doing seconding or low octave parts on Seneca Square Dance and Sandy River Belle.
It was a lot of fun to do that (Thanks, Dan and Bob!)
Afterward, I had to get home quick before I turned into a pumpkin!
Unfortunately, somehow what with the fiddle workshop taking place on the patio, and all the driving back and forth between the workshop location and the concert venue, I got a HUGE dose of pollen up the nose, and the next day, I was pretty sick in the morning. But I managed to gig in the afternoon anyway, and today I'm feeling a lot better.
Obligatory Fiddlepogo bowing analysis:
While Dan isn't a strict downbower, I'd stay he downbows 3/4 of the time or more, usually starting a part downbowing, but he doesn't mind getting turned around, often for the last phrase.
Much of his playing is 2 note slurs and sawstroke, with occasional Nashvilles.
He says that his style is based on the fiddling of the Ohio River Valley, including Northern Kentucky and Ohio.
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