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Rake ‘n’ Scrape Children’s Camp to Save the Endangered Accordion of the Bahamas

July 2, 2015
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Special Episode of Accordion Noir dedicated to Rake ’n’ Scrape music from the Bahamas with guest Diana Hamilton. She opened The Cat Island Accordion and French Camp to teach children and adults this lively music and keep it from disappearing. Not often we get a chance to lend a hand to a tradition that’s down to three active players.

Please consider supporting this: Donate to buy an accordion. Schedule to attend the camp (next year, if you can’t make this weekend), and support their proposed Caribbean Accordion Festival planned for 2017-2018. (Who wouldn’t love a documentary about that?)

The Cat Island Accordion and French Project: https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242

Lovely to finally connect with Diana. I’ve been trying to learn more about rake ‘n’ scrape and ripsaw music for years. I hope she doesn’t mind my edits to get more of her inspiring story into the short time we had.

Stream or download the show: 

http://www.coopradio.org/content/accordion-noir-237
Accordion Noir on Vancouver Co-op Radio’s site:
http://www.coopradio.org/content/accordion-noir
Musically I tried to play some of the Rake ‘n’ Scrape from the Bahamas and then some other music from the African diaspora that includes scraper-type percussion (brought from Africa by slaves in captivity) and the accordion (brought from Europe in the late 1800s or so.) If you make the documentary about this music, I want to see it.
Cat Island Accordion and French Camp!
Playlist: (Not listed: Me blabbing on.)
* Ophie & the Websites – If you touch that thing – (Thanks to Diana Hamilton for this track.)
* Ed Moxey’s Rake ‘n Scrape – The Timestable – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – Ragged Island and Cat Island, the Bahamas – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Diana Hamilton, Cat Island Accordion & French Camp – Diana Hamilton 1: Intro, Raking the Scraper – Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242
* Antonio Sanches & Tchota Suari – DJonsinho Cabral – Music From Cape Verde (1994) – Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa – http://www.cdroots.com/
* Ed Moxey’s Rake ‘n Scrape – Big Belly Man Polka – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – Ragged Island and Cat Island, the Bahamas – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Diana Hamilton, Cat Island Accordion & French Camp – Diana Hamilton 2: Preserving a Tradition At Risk – Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242

Pompey “Bo Hog” Johnson

* Thomas Cartwright and the Boys – Nobody’s Darling But Mine – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Diana Hamilton, Cat Island Accordion & French Camp – Diana Hamilton 3: Accordions for the World’s Children – Rake ‘n’ Scrape Interview 2015-05-08 – Cat Island, The Bahamas – https://www.facebook.com/dhaccordion242
* Thomas Cartwright and the Boys – Watermelon Is Spoiling On The Vine – Bahamas Islands Of Song (1995) – http://www.folkways.si.edu
* Paul Mcziel (Mczeal) & Wallace Gernger – French Waltz – Zydeco, The Early Years (1961) – http://www.arhoolie.com/

(Finishing up with a few upcoming Canadian shows.)
* The Jerry Cans – Suqutaunngilaq – Nunavuttitut (2013) – Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada – http://thejerrycans.com/
* The Mahones – Whiskey Devils – Irish Punk Collection (2008) – Kingston, Ontario, Canada  – TheMahones.ca

Newfoundland Country Music: Celtic Accordion + Hank Williams

June 6, 2015

Forgive my ignorance but the last few days I’ve got new thoughts going on about Newfoundland accordion. As a newcomer I’m just realizing they have more than one accordion tradition running in parallel (and mixing). There’s traditional Irish tunes and that, filtered through songbooks and radio and records and hundreds of years (actually more like 130 years) of accordions which probably kicked out some of the trickier fiddle tunes. I’m just getting though that they have this Newfoundland country music that seems pretty distinctive. (I assume everybody who knows anything about Newfoundland doesn’t need to be told this, sorry.)

Simani’s Old Man’s Accordion. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?

I’m trying to write about this now, and finding bits and pieces others have done, but it’s hard to get beyond the simple “Irish Music Outpost” view of Newfoundland, Once again I’m struck by the irony when folklorists pick and choose what they like from the music that “folk” actually listen too. I think it’s really interesting though, simple accordions layered onto basic country ballads in sort of a combo of music-hall Irish ballads with Hank Williams. Sort of brilliant in a way.

Years ago, the late Peter Narváez from Memorial University in St. John’s wrote some about it. I really wish I could have met him, an inspiration. His work on the Latin influence on the Blues was really cool. You can find his original 1977 “Country and Western in Diffusion: Juxtaposition and Syncretism in the Popular Music of Newfoundland” at the awesome Memorial University archives in Newfoundland. It’s pretty darn cool, but then I’m a sucker most things that use the world “syncretism.”

Anyways, interesting. It seems quite basic musically, kind of  honky-tonk accordion. If that had hung on in Southern Country music it would have been fun.

There’s some related work on Minnessotta’s Upper Midwest “Old Time Music,” which combined ethnic polkas and country. Seems sort of parallel. James P. Leary has written about how hard it is for other academics and folklorists to wrap their heads around the idea of these “mixture” traditions, even though other trads are equally mixed – we’re just used to them. Especially when you mix something like country, a low-status popular style, with some old folk tradition, the high-brows just want to edit that out.

It is troubling how popular “folk music” left out whole regions of the United States (Leary’s Upper Midwest). Why did Bob Dylan not pick up the accordion that people were playing all around him (local Minnesota folk music) and instead ran off to be an American? Good questions. Maybe Leary’s work with the long ignored Alan Lomax recordings from the 1930s will help change that. I can’t wait to read his Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937–1946, which is finally available! (I can’t help but cheer if people find accordion through Lomax’s work since he later developed an irrational hatred for what he called the “pestiferous instrument.”)

So I’m jumpin’ on this Newfoundland country thing. Opening my ears to some real folk I suppose.

Accordion Noir Radio Maria Kalaniemi Special, May 27, 2015

June 6, 2015
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May 27 was Finnish accordionist Maria Kalaniemi‘s birthday, so we did a special 2-hour Accordion Noir Radio episode of her music (and some friends.)

 

Maria Kalaniemi and her accordion in a window seat.

I haven’t been regularly posting playlists, and I’m not even certain this one is totally in the correct order, but it’s such wonderful music it seemed worth putting up.

You should be able to listen to the shows for now at:
1st Hour (taking over Soundscape’s spot): http://www.coopradio.org/content/soundscape-234

2nd Hour:

http://www.coopradio.org/content/accordion-noir-232

 

Closeup of Maria Kalaniemi and her accordion

 

Playlist: Artist, Song, Album (year)

Maria Kalaniemi – Cranes of Spring – Bellow Poetry (2006) – Finland – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Sagapool – Le vent des Îles – Sagapool (2012) – Quebec, Canada – http://www.sagapool.com/
Bon Débarras – O Yaille – Errance (2013) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – http://www.bondebarras.ca
Rattletrap Ruckus – Lola One-Step – Redlight Rag (2013) – Bellingham, WA, USA – http://www.RattletrapRuckus.com
Luftstråk – Maxlax – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Luftstråk – Skogsbässen – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Kurkimaisema – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
Maria Kalaniemi – By the Window – Bellow Poetry (2006) – Finland – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maans, Kalaniemi, Varis – Honga – I Ramunders Fotspar (2000) – Finland
Maria Kalaniemi – Taklax I – Maria Kalaniemi (1992) – Finland –
Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Ilo – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
Maria Kalaniemi & Sven Ahlbäck – Randas (Dawning) – Airbow = Luftstråk = Ilmajousi (2000) – Finland, Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Bon Débarras – Bercitude – Errance (2013) – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – http://www.bondebarras.ca
Dardanelles – Bad Boy – The Eastern Light (2011) – Newfoundland, Canada – http://www.TheDarddanelles.com Aaron Collis, acc.
Danielle Martineau – La danseuse des brumes/Multurluti – Les secrets du vent (2004) – Quebec / Nova Scotia Canada – http://www.qim.com/albums/description.asp?albumid=2679
Maans, Kalaniemi, Varis – Jag Ser På Dina Ögon – I Ramunders Fotspar (2000) – FinlandMarianne Maans-Maria Kalaniemi

Maria Kalaniemi / Musiikkia Näytelmään – Lyhyt Ilo – Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (2004) – Finland – music for theatre performance, includes new compositions plus three pieces from older albums.
Luftstråk – Skarv – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Luftstråk – Bleke – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/

Maria Kalaniemi – Under Fullmånen (Täysikuu) – Vilda Rosor (2010) – Finland – http://www.aitorecords.com http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/ Accordion Tribe – Istunpa Sankys Laitalla – Accordion Tribe (1998) – Slovenia, Sweden, Finland, USA, Austria –
Maria Kalaniemi & Sven Ahlbäck – Nu Skall VI Gå I Skogen (Now We Shall Go Into The Woods) – Airbow = Luftstråk = Ilmajousi (2000) – Finland, Sweden – http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Luftstråk – Skog – Siska (2008) – Finland/Sweden http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/
Maria Kalaniemi – Farmorspolskan – Maria Kalaniemi (1992) – Finland –
Maria Kalaniemi – Vilda Rosor – Vilda Rosor (2010) – Finland – http://www.aitorecords.com http://www.mariakalaniemi.com/

“Ne Plus Ultra Accordeon” – No Greater Antique Accordion?

May 19, 2015
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This post is to ask for help. What can we discover about this not very humble accordion?

Ne Plus Ultra Accordeon for blog - 03

I was able to score this old squeezebox online for about $50 which is pretty cool. It’s what historians call “pretty old,” and I’m willing to guess it’s from about 1900, but there must be more details somewhere. It certainly has some distinctive things that should help identify a maker or era. So I’m asking for any help readers can offer.

Read more…

Accordion Metal Indoctrination Tour: Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, Trollfest, North America 2015

May 9, 2015

The Accordion Metal Indoctrination Tour, or “Squeezebox Ragnarök” [I made those up] continues across North America [Dates] with the triple-bill of Scandinavian bands, Ensiferum (featuring Netta Skog), and Korpiklaani (featuring Sami Perttula) both from Finland, with Trollfest (featuring Manskow) from Sweden. I hope to see you at the shows! (Vancouver, is tomorrow, Sunday, May 10 at the Rickshaw.) Read more…

Accordion Noir Radio 2015-05-06, International Accordion Day of Metal! (with Netta Skog of Finland’s Ensiferum)

May 7, 2015
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Playlist for last night’s Accordion Noir heavy-metal accordion special including an interview with Finnish band Ensiferum’s Netta Skog! (I hope to transcribe the interview and post a transcript.)

See Netta on the unprecedented Triple-Bill of Accordion Metal, with Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, and Trollfest, on tour in North America starting this week!

Tour Dates on the Korpiklaani website.

Vancouver BC: Sunday, May 10 at the Rickshaw Theatre

 

Listen to this and previous episodes of Accordion Noir here: 

http://www.coopradio.org/station/archives/58

 

Playlist:

Band – Song – Album (date) – Where they’re from – Contact/Website

 

B&B – Nothing Else Matters (bandura and accordion Metallica cover) –  https://vk.com/bandurabayanproject  https://www.facebook.com/BandBproject

El Gran Silencio – Ya – Super riddim internacional Vol.1 (2003) – Monterrey, Nuevo León, México – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Gran_Silencio

Koby Israelite – Kashmir (Led Zeppelin cover) – Asphalt Tango (2013) – Tel Aviv, Israel – www.kobyisraelite.com

Éric Lapointe, Yves Lambert et Le Bébert Orchestra – L’ivrogne et le pénitent – Bal à l’huile (2009) – Quebec, Canada – http://www.lebalalhuile.com  http://yveslambert.com

ZEITKRATZER (feat. Lou Reed) – Metal Machine Music (excerpt) – Metal Machine Music (2007) – Berlin, Germany – Luca Venitucci, accordion.   http://www.zeitkratzer.de/     http://asphodel.com/releases/view.php?Id=100

Stolen Babies – Swimming Hole – Naught (2012) – Los Angeles, California – www.stolenbabiestheband.com

Trollfest – Toxic – A Decade of Drekkadence (2013) – Sweden – http://trollfest.bigcartel.com/

Korpiklaani – Rauta (official video) – Manala (2012) – Finland – http://www.korpiklaani.com/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ZWt2XE2_Q

Ensiferum – One More Magic Potion – Victory Songs (2007) – Finland – http://www.ensiferum.com/

Netta Skog and Bruce Triggs – Interview April 2015 – Accordion Noir Radio (2015) – Finland / Canada

Netta Skog – Dead to the World (Nightwish) – Filmed in ikaalinen sata häme-soi accordian festival.  (2006) – Finland – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quSs_Ef4L94

Netta Skog and Bruce Triggs – Interview April 2015 – Accordion Noir Radio (2015) – Finland / Canada

M. and Mme. Adélard LeBrun (duo d’accordéons) – Le mistigris (gigues/jigs) – Digital Gramophone, Library and Archives Canada (1927) – Montréal, Québec, Canada – © http://www.nlc-bnc.ca

Happy Accordion Day!

(Happy Birthday on the World’s Largest Accordion, in Castelfidardo, Italy.)

Upside-Down Accordion Noir Radio, April Fools Episode 2015

April 2, 2015
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April Foolish episode of Accordion Noir Radio tonight playing music by artists I wrote about yesterday who played accordion upside down. Good fun.

Kimmo held upside down with his accordion. That's one way to do it.

Kimmo Pohjonen hard at work researching the history of Accordion Wrestling in Finland.

The standard Co-op  Radio archive feed seems not to have “fed” (April Fools on me) but here’s a Backup version of the show downloadable from Dropbox: Accordion Noir Wednesday Apr 1 22:00 2015

Playlist: Read more…

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