Oliver and Susan Nares – who live in our neighbouring townland of Stouke – have played for us before (here and here), and embellished Susie’s post with two of Oliver’s wonderful photographs ‘of the music’. Two more tracks from them today. Firstly, Ollie plays a pair of tunes on his Eric Martin Cajun-style melodeon (listen out for those sonorous deep bass notes):
The first tune is one I always called LNB Polka, although I have never seen an explanation for that name. In fact it’s a barn-dance rather than a polka (the lines are blurred depending how you play it) and the real name is La Roulante. It was written by Jean Blanchard (b 1948), a musician, collector and scholar of traditional French music from the Massif Centrale and Auvergne regions. He is best known as an expert on the Cornemuse (French bagpipes), but an equally brilliant performer on the Accordéon Diatonique (that’s a French-tuned melodeon). Often played very fast (perhaps too fast!) this tune should have a steady tempo to suit a barn dance – Ollie’s pace is ideal. I first heard the tune played by the ‘folk fringe’ group Blowzabella in the 1970s, learned it then, and passed it on to Ollie…
Jean Blanchard back in the French festival days (left) and today (right)
Ollie follows the French piece with one which hales from the Orkney Islands – Jimmy Garson’s March. This is a great tune and there are many ways of playing it: as a straight march which is in the Scottish pipe band repertoire, or with syncopation – quite what that turns it into, I’m not really sure!
Today, Susie is treating us to a fine slip jig with Cork connections on her harp – Drops of Brandy:
Some sources suggest this is a Scottish tune, but it is in fact in O’Neill’s collection ‘The Dance Music of Ireland – 1001 Gems’ (number 448). It is also known as Cork Fancy.
Many thanks to the Nares of Stouke for these.