This week's tune is Betsy Anne, a waltz I wrote for my friend Betsy Lehman upon receiving her PhD from the University of Akron. I met Betsy many years ago at a contra dance in Cleveland, and we used to see each other often at dances. If memory serves me, Betsy and I also bumped into each other at the Dance Flurry Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY. That was many years ago. We often liked to share a waltz together at dances, and that inspired me compose this waltz for Betsy.
Betsy recently became engaged...congratulations, Betsy!
I have introduced this waltz to the Old-Time community at various festivals I attend around the country. I was honored that Lynn Hill requested we play it last year at the Worley-Gardner Old-Time Music Festival in Morgantown, WV, and she has introduced it to her community at the Roanoke Old-Time jams in Roanoke, VA. I hope by sharing Betsy Anne Waltz as Old-Time TOTW #87 that more people are exposed to it and play it. A tune means nothing if it is not played. Let's see if we can get this played far and wide--even in Europe. I know there are many Old-Time TOTW followers outside of the United States.
I wrote Betsy Anne Waltz in the key of D, but for this recording we are tuned down a whole step from high bass tuning on fiddle (so I am at GCGD here). I suppose it can be played in the key of C in standard tuning, but I have never tried it that way. If you want to play it in D, I'm sure you can pitch bend it...but perhaps you'll try it with D fingerings tuned low. It's really fun that way!
Joining me are friends Stephen Rapp on banjo (Kent, OH), and Sean Fen on guitar (Marion, OH).
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