Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Auvergne Diffusion Downloads!


I bought this.
On December 1, something happened over at Auvergne Diffusion that, frankly, I had completely given up hope would ever happen. They made downloads of recordings from their vast, glorious catalogue available for the first time. It being my birthday on December 2, I struck with alacrity. At around five euros per recording (OMFG, the Euro is so low!) and the fact that PayPal handles the conversion, I don’t know how AuvDif could have made it easier. Goodbye, shipping and handling.

As a first offering, AuvDif offered nine recordings by Les Brayauds – a collective featuring the brothers Didier and Eric Champion – and one by Komred, a quintet led by the fabulous Etienne Loic, a master bourrée-ist who I’ve featured about before.

And this.


For someone interested in the beauties of old – obscure, archaic music forms – I am a complete non-aesthete when it comes to recorded sound. Vinyl – meh. CDs, other physical media? No, I don’t feel the need to “own the physical object.” Storage challenges don’t improve my quality of life. I want to hear this music! I am voracious, I get it! The soundtrack for this life of mine. Thank you, Auvergne Diffusion. You have improved my quality of life.




And this, too!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scottiche à Catinaux



A few days ago I came across a performance of Scottiche à Catinaux (spellings vary, but I like this one) by French one-row accordeonaire Gilles Poutoux. In itself it's unusual to hear French tunes on the one-row (though there is the obvious connection to Quebecois and Cajun one-row traditions), but the tune happened to be one of my faves, a  Bal Folk standard.



The scottiche is a medium tempo couples dance in 4/4 (I love medium tempo). This one is particularly simple and seems to come along early in the learning arc of many players. Perhaps because, it appeared on Jean Blanchard's seminal Accordeon Diatonique recording, which set the bar for everyone back in 1977. But its simplicity does not diminish the joy and possibilities for Scottiche à Catinaux. Poutoux on the one-row plays a bubbly sort of scottiche, with a lot of verve and vim. But that's his take on the tune. Here is the sheet music, the pure tune:

Scottiche à Catinaux


(NOTE: This is a correction from an earlier posted image, h/t Anahata)

Notice on the third beat of the first bar in the B section, where the melody drops. It goes to an A, An F chord is the natural choice, and that F chord makes all the difference. The F chord confirms that, in fact, there is love in the room. That's right. I said it.

There are many versions of this tune on the YouTubes. I especially love Anahata's version, pairing the tune with Scottish á Virmoux, another ear worm of a tune.




Finally, I'll offer my own version from my CD, L'Autre Diatoniste (available at Bandcamp). At this far remove (it was recorded five years ago) it sounds too fast (that's the trouble with technically easy tunes), but I still like it. I like Will Leavitt's spoon playing. And I like the second tune, L'eau de Roche. Enjoy.




Thursday, November 17, 2016

Two 2-beat Bourrées

Bog standard performance of rock solid standards of the Auvergnat set. I play these with Le Bon Truc. My approach is essentially pretending I'm playing a one row. Going for the primitive.





Sunday, November 13, 2016

Le Bon Truc Photos

Some great photos taken by daughter Brigid of our Mayo Street gig in Portland. Blue light. Who knew? Le Bon Truc is Gary Chapin, Barbara Truex, and Steve Gruverman

Our trio at work

Dulcimer, Barbara Truex

Dancer, Marie Wendt

Clarinet hands. Like jazz hands, but cooler

Strewn Accordions

"So, what are we playing next?"

We love each other.







Thursday, November 3, 2016

French Dance, Portland, Maine, November Six

On Sunday, November 6 at Mayo Street Arts, in Portland, Maine, my trio will be playing for an extended French extravaganza. Beginning at 4:00 pm, we will play for a dance workshop, led by the fabulous Marie Wendt. At 7:00 pm we'll play an hour long concert. Them at 8:15, we'll continue the dancing with a proper French Bal Folk! Join us!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Last Night's Gig! (Video)

Yesterday, Le Bon Truc played at the Cafe at the Armory in Somerville, MA. It's a great space and it was a great short set. We shared the evening with a fantastic Afro-Cuban-Brazilian drum and voice ensemble. They were mesmerizing. A friend in the audience shot some video on her phone and it came out damn good! She posted them on Facebook, so I can't embed. Here are some links:




Enjoy!



Monday, June 13, 2016

Florence Pindivic Monday!

As promised a few weeks ago while talking about the other Flo of diato land, here is a piece played by Florence Pindivic, or DiouFlo fame. The tune is "Negen Rozen," by Mark Söhngen. Next time I will celebrate the duo qua duo.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pilgrimage to the Button Box


Le Maestro, Doug
I found myself spending a day working in Connecticut, and decided on a whim to cut out early and take a swing to The Button Box, a mere two point five hours away, and a genuine melodeon mecca. While the trip to Sunderland, Mass., did have a whiff of the sacred to it, there was no penitence, penance, or redemption involved, just the sort of prosaic joys that give one hope in the world.

There was a Dino Baffetti three row, big button, five coupler Tex-Mex machine in Tex-Mex colors that sounded wonderful but ... defeated me. I think I've found the limit in size for me for an accordion. If I find myself using gravity to assist on the pulls, then it's too much!

Who really runs things? I think we know
There was a flock of one row boxes in D. Maybe they've suddenly gone out of style and thus are ending up on Doug's shelves? Unlikely, as these were things of beauty. I was interested in trying out the two Castagnari Max boxes, one used for a mere $1995, the other new for $2525 (I see the used one is gone, now.) Try as I might I could not talk myself out of coveting those. I also tried a Pointe Noir box which was an absolute joy, but is in Cajun temperament. My band mates are already pissed off at me for having to tune to the three rows of reeds on the Saltarelle.

Best of all, of course, was catching up with Doug, who I am shocked to realize I have known for eighteen years! Aside from being a Dad, there is nothing I've done for eighteen years together. But I still remember, vividly, buying my first box from Doug, the mighty Corso.

Also, there was a way cool dog, and I bought some shirts.



I bought a shirt.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

‎Stéphane Milleret Announces Instruction Videos


 ‎Stéphane Milleret on the right, with partner Norbert Pignol
Hurrah!

Over on Facebook, a few days ago, ‎wizard accordionist Stéphane Milleret announced that, beginning next September he will be launching a series of instructional videos. These will be posted in the shop on the Mustradem site. Each video will be around 15 or 20 minutes. Over a series of months, the videos will focus on a single tune, beginning with the melody and then moving on to accompaniment and rhythm. The videos will have English subtitles. I will shout from the rooftops when they go live.

Just for fun, here's an instructional video, part of a series that Milleret and Pignol posted a few years ago. Six weeks ago, I featured M&P as Monday Melodeons.



Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Flo

This is Florence Glorion a player of the chromatic button accordion, who duets often with  diato player Florence Pindivic. They host a site together, Diou Flo, which focuses primarily on Breton music. I love both of the Florences' music, and will feature Pindivic next week.