Tag: fiddle


Show of Hands – Steve Knightley and Phil Beer…

I have a very old mandolin record by Phil Beer that I have bought many years ago, but I did not hear anything about Phil Beer since I bought this record.

Now a just found a note about Show of Hands who are touring through the north of Germany, and found out, that Show of Hands is composed of Phil Beer and Steve Knightley. So I was very curious to find out how Show of Hands sounds – and I was not disappointed.

From the Show of Hands homepage:

Steve Knightley and Phil Beer are widely acknowledged as the finest acoustic roots duo in England. Knightley, who writes most of their inspired material and Beer, a dazzling multi instrumentalist, have built up a huge following which has seen them sell out the Royal Albert Hall three times, headline major festivals from Glastonbury to WOMAD and playing all over the world, from Europe to America, Australia and India. Voted Best Live Act by the public at the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the jury is still out on just what kind of music they play. A genre defying mix of rock, roots, blues, country and trad, and often influenced by the music of other countries, it is played out on an array of instruments from slide guitar to fiddle, mandolin to South American cuatro.

Here are three videos with Show of Hands:

Show of Hands “Roots”

Show of Hands – Santiago

Haunting song – written by Steve Knightley – tells the tale of exploitation in South America. Thanks to SOH for permission. Check www.showofhands.co.uk for more.

Show of Hands – Country Life

More information about Show of Hands

Website Show of Hands: http://www.showofhands.co.uk

Videos with Show of Hands: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22show+of+hands%22&aq=f

Videos with Phil Beer: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=videos&search_query=%22phil+beer%22&search_sort=video_avg_rating&suggested_categories=10&uni=3

Show of Hands at Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2018
aa mandolin guitar

Madison Violet – Folk Duo from Toronto

The latest podcast from Radio Canada Live is a recording frm a concert given by the Canadia singer/songwriter duo Madison Violet in the Hugh’s Room in Toronto.

Madison Violet has just released their Album No Fool. And they were named ‘Vocal Group of the Year’ at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. They also just won the Grand Prize in the folk category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest!

Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac play guitars, fiddle and mandolin to accompany their singing.

The folowing text is taken from their website:

Both hailing from Scottish small towns in Canada, Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac have chosen another musical path; one that channels their parent’s vintage record collection that comprised of the likes of Neil Young and Dolly Parton. Madison Violet came to be nearly 9 years ago after a chance meeting at an appropriately titled restaurant ‘The Green Room’. Since that fateful meeting, the pair have come into a sound of their own, which has been described as both city-folk and tumbleweed pop.

The first video is a compilation beginning with childhood photos and tels the story of this duo up to the latest album recording session.

Madison Violet EPK No Fool for Trying

Here are two videos of a concert in Switzerland, in the first you can hear the song Small of my Heart, which is accompanied by guitar and mandolin, and in which the audience is animated to sing along with the duo:

Small Of My Heart by Madison Violet @ musig im ochsen, Muri – Switzerland

The second song Baby in the black is played with fiddle and guitar:

Baby In The Black & White by Madison Violet @ musig im ochsen, muri – switzerland

Madison Violet at Gilmour Street Music Hall – Skylight

Lisa MacIsaac, Brenley MacEachern and bassist Adrian Lawryshyn share their harmonies and a laugh with the audience, with this song from their album “No Fool for Trying”. Performed at the Gilmour Street Music Hall in August 2009.

Addtional information

Homepage Madison Violet: http://www.madisonviolet.com/

aa mandolin guitar

Roots of American Fiddle Music – A Great Archive…

I am just listening to examples from a site dedicated to American Oldtime Music:

ROOTS OF AMERICAN FIDDLE MUSIC – Old Time Music Recordings, Photos, And Information


On this homepage you can read:

Early recorded country music of the 1920’s and 1930’s, particulary of the southeastern states, is what is commonly referred to as “old time music”. The stringband tradition composed often of banjos, fiddles, and guitars flourished for a brief time as the recording industry cashed in on the many country musicians eager to strut their stuff in the recording studio. The industry went on to make millions as the vast majority of these recording artists received very little return for their efforts.

At the moment 120 free mp3 of oldtime tunes are available for free download. This is a great opportunity to learn oldtime music from the original recordings!

There are even some videos with rare shootings of oldtime music. Those can be found in the youtube chanel of  OldTimeMusic.

Here are two very interesting examples:

Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith plays TURKEY IN THE STRAW -1948

Here is another Jimmy Wakely B western with the great Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith doing his thing. This time its the classic fiddle tune Turkey in the Straw and a great version it is. This video is from 1948.

Orange Blossom Special by Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith

Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith was a key figure in the transition from the 1920’s string band style to the more daring and improvisational techniques employed by all bluegrass fiddlers to this day.

This video I believe to be the first airing of this clip of Artur Smith playing and singing the now famous Orange Blossom Special. This clip is from the original 1945 Lonesome Trail cowboy B western starring Jimmy Wakely.

Several more clips of Arthur Smith from original movies made between 1945-1948 will follow.

Another youtube channel has several recording from the 1920s with Charlie Bowman:

Charlie Bowman and His Brothers

Charlie and the boys perform Money in both Pockets, Boys my moneys all gone in the comedic Moonshiner and His Money. Columbia Records 1st mountain music/country music genre recording.


youtube channel of OldTimeMusic: http://www.youtube.com/user/OldTimeMusic

youtube channel of cabinbowman: http://www.youtube.com/user/cabinbowman



Ashokan Farewell – Jay Ungar – Beautiful Melody –…

Yesterday I accidentally found a video with the tune Ashokan Farewell. I had previously heard this melody, but I have never really dealt with it. But now I want to show this melody to our fiddle player, and  I have searched for more videos with this tune.

When you hear Ashokan Farewell you might think that this is a traditional Irish tune, but that is not the case.

Jay Ungar und Molly Mason

Ashokan Farewell was composed by Jay Ungar in 1982. Jay Ungar and his Wife Molly Mason are playing american roots music since the late 1970s and have organized fiddle and dance camps. Ashokan Fawell was used in a TV Series about the American Civil War and is a tune that is obviously known by many Americans. The music for this TV series has even won a Grammy award, and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.
This information and more can be found on the homepage of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason jayandmolly.com : Ashokan Farewell FAQ

Sheet music of this tune can be found at thesession.org: Ashokan Farewell – the session

Now let’s start with the videos. As this blog is mainly about plucked instruments, I will start with a version played on the guitar:

Ashokan Farewell – guitar

Fiddle tune by Jay Unger that was featured in the Ken Burns documentary about the American Civil War. I found this arrangement for guitar on the internet credited to Denny Straussfogel. Nice work, Denny.

Ashokan Farewell – Slide Guitar

von www.martingross.com

Ashokan Farewell – The Richardsons

An interesting version with four violins played by the Richardsons – the youngest of them is just 12 years old:

Playlist Ashokan Farewell

A playlist with those and many more videos of Ashokan Farewell (including also some versions played on the mandolin). The first video of this playlist is a version by Jay Ungar, where he tells about how he invented this beautiful melody after a summer fiddle camp in Ashokan:

CD tip (amazon partnerlink)

Ashokan Farewell . Beautiful Dreamer (Songs Of Stephen Foster)

– Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Thomas Hampson, David Alpher