Liner Notes

SALMONBERRY: NEW ENGLAND CONTRA DANCE MUSIC

VRCD 352

Derek Booth - English Concertina, Melodeon
Lis Dreisback - Clarinet, Sax, Recorder, Whistle
Phil Katz - Melodeons
Arne Reinert - Flute
Erin Shrader - Fiddle
Pat Spaeth - Piano


From December 1980 through February 1994, Salmonberry produced and played for a contra dance on the Second Saturday of every month, in Seattle, Washington. The style of playing was inspired by several New Hampshire and Vermont musicians and bands, by the transplanted contra dance music evolved in the San Francisco Bay Area, by several English regional traditions, and by the adaptation of Irish styles to contra dance playing.

This CD was mixed down from recordings made at the May 11, 1991 dance, using the individual musicians' microphone channels. Live recording by Julian Adamaitis and Patrick Cammack, on Patrick's equipment. Mixing by Julian Adamaitis at J.B. Recordings, Seattle. CD production (February 2001) by Phil Williams at Voyager Recordings. Production by Arne Reinert and Phil Katz. Cover Art by Olemara Peters; Layout and Liner Notes by Phil Katz.

1. Quindaro/St Joseph's Reel. The first, a standard hornpipe/reel in several New England tunebooks, comes to us from the Green Mountain Volunteers' U.S. Bicentennial recording. Their use of the flute inspired us to choose it, as did Tim Lane's demonstration that it was remarkably natural on the melodeon. We got St. Joseph's from Seattle fiddler Steve Trampe (a participant in the late night sessions and dances at Fiddle Tunes Festival held in Port Townsend, WA, where several of us served our finishing apprenticeships), or from accordion player Laurie Andres.

2. Old Joe's Jig/Kesh Jig. Erin Shrader brought Old Joe's from the Irish sessions. Kesh is an Irish tune commonly used for contras here.

3. Round the Horn ©Jay Ungar/Jackie Tar/Goodnight and Joy Be With You. This version of Jay Ungar's tune came to Seattle from Rod Miller and Andy Davis, via a workshop at the 1981 or 1982 Fiddle Tunes Festival. Melodeon Player Phil Katz has it as the first reel in his music copybook. The last two are English hornpipes, found in the Fiddler's Tune Books by Peter Kennedy, which translate nicely into New England hornpipe/reels. Jackie Tar seems to be a "box" version of an earlier English fiddler's tune, Come Ashore Ye Jolly Tar.

4. Upton-On-Severn/Tripping Up Stairs. The first tune was originally an English Morris stick jig; the opening entrance was inspired by an early Albion Band recording. This transitions to a closely related tune, Russell's Jig, in the style of the New Hampshire Fiddlers' Union recording from the John Taggart Collection. Tripping Up Stairs comes from the incomparable Norfolk, England melodeon player Tony Hall. Both of our melodeon players discovered it.

5. Bouchard's Hornpipe/Eggnog Reel ©Pat Spaeth. The first reputedly started out as Birchard's Hornpipe by Mike Springer. We have it (as Bouchard's) from Laurie Andres. Eggnog Reel commemorates Pat's 1986 Christmas spend with Linda, Keith, and MacNeil Smith. It appears in Voyager's Brand New Old Time Fiddle Tunes, Volume 3.

6. My Birthday Waltz ©Paula Gorelick. Paula, formerly the guitar player in Seattle's Scotsbroome Country Dance Band, wrote this lovely waltz, which turned out to be her farewell to country dance music.

7. Bus Stop ©Anita Anderson/Lady Anne Montgomery. A pair of powerhouse reels - Anita's best known tune followed by Erin's "signature" tune of the era. Many's the time we ended the last contra of the evening to Lady Anne, Erin "solo-ing in" the firs time after the change. Bus Stop, published in Voyager's Volume 3 and in Anita's tune book Tunes from the Western Edge, is by now heard everywhere in our musical travels. Erin found her tune in the Irish sessions, then learned it from Ballmer and Sharpley's Irish books.

8. The Sweets of May/ Devlin's Favorite/Seven Stars. Phil got the first from the English band Cornfield Perambulation; we did minor surgery to make it 32 bars by playing it AABC (instead of a 48 bar AABBCC). Erin got Devlin's from Laurie Andres, who got it from a 78 rpm recording by John Kimmel. Seven Stars comes from English melodeon player Pete Coe of Ripponden, West Yorkshire via Seattle's Scotsbroome band. Pete found the tune (with this title) in a library's manuscript collection in his region. It appears to be common in subsequently uncovered manuscripts of the region, retaining the same title except for one appearance as The Grand Parade. In the U.S. the tune is often called Moon and Seven Stars, traced by Randy Miller as an 18th century pipe jig in the repertoire of the Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums of Coventry, Connecticut.

9. Far From Home/Miss Thompson's Hornpipe/Owen's Reel ©Randy Miller. The first, a standard, is from Shetland originally. Miss Thompson's was found simultaneously by Phil and by fiddler Mike Richardson of Scotsbroome, in North English sources. It is a "natural" as a Yankee hornpipe/reel or as an old-timey tune, despite not (to our knowledge) being in the U.S. before. Owen's was written by New Hampshire fiddler Randy Miller for his youngest son. The tune admits to styling as an Irish reel, as Randy play it, or a Northumbrian hornpipe.

10. Belknap's March ©Will Wellington/Jimmy Garson's/Louise's Parlor ©Pat Spaeth. Belknap's came into the local repertoire from dulcimer player Anne Belov and piano player Julie King, who made their mark with it at the 1984 Fiddle Tunes Festival. Phil imported Jimmy Garson's to the U.S. from the English ceilidh band Flowers and Frolics. He later found it (in Am) by The Rakes, a London English/Irish band. Originally it was an Orkney tune, brought to England by melodeon player Bob Rundle of Cornwall. Pat dedicates souring march Louise's Parlor "to Louise Runnings and her Parlor, where Salmonberry practiced weekly from November 1980 to May 1986."

11. Dirty Newfoundlander/Cooley's Reel/Mate's Reel. The first and last tunes came to us from the 1989 visit to Fiddle Tunes by legendary Newfoundland fiddler Rufus Guinchard (1899-1990), melodeon player Baxter Wareham, and guitar/fiddle player Jim Payne. Dirty Newfoundlander (the name originates in Newfoundland lyrics) sounds like Killiecrankie. Mate'swas Rufus' closer at both his concerts at Fiddle Tunes, and he played it for the evening dances. Hopefully he would be pleased when we played his tune for our closing contra dance, or for the last tune (before returning to the "home" tune) in a Chorus Jig medley. Cooley's is an Irish reel favored by Erin, Liz, and Arne.

12. Waltz: Ye Banks and Braes. A favorite from Liz's wonderful copybook collection of waltzes.

WE GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE the contributions to Salmonberry by founding members Laurel Andrews, Dianna Carreri, Nick Kuhn, Tim Land, Kate Palmer (now Pratt), Olemara Peters, Dianne (now Lucy) Smith, Keith Smith, Beth Swanson (now Kuhn), and Roy Wagner. Also Warren Argo, Shauna Brown, John Culhane, Edith Farrar, Claude Ginsburg, Shaun Hubbard, Julie King, Mike Richardson, Steve Trampé, Phil Williams Stuart Williams, and Vivian Williams, who played occasionally or regularly in the years after this recording was made. The operational contributions of Julian Adamitis, Greg Katz, Linda Katz, Denise Kennedy, Moh O'Hanlon, and Maggie Murphy are gratefully appreciated. SPECIAL THANKS to Louise Runnings.

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