Welcoming Maria McCullough & Yahvi Pichardo to Fiddle Club

Friday, September 25, 7:30pm
Seman Violins
(4447 W. Oakton in Skokie)
A concert set, followed by a jam/workshop.
Admission is $15.
Yahvi Pichardo & Maria McCullough
Yahvi & Maria have been with loyal Fiddle Clubbers since our very
beginning in 2008. But they recently moved to El Paso, Texas. We are so glad
they could be our featured guests on a visit back to Chicago.

Here are a couple of tunes to help you get ready. The first is a gusto from Tierra Caliente, a style known as Son Caletano. Maria says, “We learned this tune from master teachers Serafín Ibarra and Jesús ‘Chucho’ Peredo.” Maria once had the opportunity to study with the grand master fiddler from that region, Don Juan Reynoso, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94. The second is a tune from the Purepecha, one of the First Peoples of Michoacan.

El Tecolote, The Owl (something like this one.)

El De Ichán, Serafín Ibarra teaching Maria

Serafín Ibarra and Jesús 'Chucho' Peredo

Up next at Fiddle Club of the World
BluEagle String Band
Tyler Wilson, Dave Prine, & Jim Chesney
Friday, October 9, 7:30pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton in Skokie)

Square Dance with Phil Jamison
& the Volo Bogtrotters

Sunday, November 8, 6:30pm
Kuhn Village Barn (at Fermilab in Batavia)

Bringing Bluegrass to Fiddle Club

Colby Maddox & Sunnyside Up
Sunday, May 31 – 7pm
Seman Violins
(4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $15 at the door.
How to get that bluegrass sound on your fiddle.
How to work that fiddle into a bluegrass band.

Colby moved to Chicago in 1995 to work with The Special Consensus bluegrass band where he rubbed elbows and shared the stage with many of his heroes like Tim O’Brien, Scott Nygaard, Sally Van Meter, Laurie Lewis, Slavek Hanzlik, J.D. Crowe and John Hartford. Along the way Colby studied fiddle with Missouri State Champion Charlie Walden and played for a short time in a duo with young banjo wizard Noam Pikelny.

Colby teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music now, and in 2006 he won first prize at the Rocky Grass mandolin competition in Lyons, Colorado. Recent side projects include playing on the soundtrack for the recent PBS documentary The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance, narrated by Garrison Keillor and singing on the soundtrack for the Newberry Library’s Homemakers of the Civil War: Sheet Music.

The first two tunes below were recorded by Colby alone. He has Sunnyside Up guitar-backup on the last.

Cotton-Eyed Joe by Colby Maddox
“The bluegrass, two chord version. I have heard Jason Carter (Del McCoury) and Ronnie Stewart (The Boxcars) whip this one out for a little fiddle banjo fun. Small changes in the phrasing can turn into some nice twists.”

Strawberry Point by Colby Maddox
“A tune I learned from Al Murphy who heard Bill Monroe compose it on the spot in Strawberry Point, Iowa. Very good for working up your bluegrass phrasing, and we will learn a few standard variations.”

High on the Mountain
“This is the verse, which is normally the only section used for solos, but we can work up the chorus if you like this. With a little singing and light back up this one can really flow.”

Danish Duo Does Fiddle Club

Fiddlepallooza 2015 with Jensen & Bugge
fiddle & accordion duo from Denmark
Tuesday, May 12, 7pm
Mauer Hall at the Old Town School of Folk Music
(4544 Lincoln)
The program will include a concert set followed by a jam/workshop.
Admission is $15. Get tickets.
Kristian Bugge & Mette Jensen

Fiddlepalooza returns as the Fiddle Club of the World once again teams up with the Old Town School of Folk Music fiddle program for an evening of listening and learning. This program is open to all fiddlers, players of other instruments and all lovers of traditional folk music.

We welcome from Denmark fiddler Kristian Bugge and accordionist Mette Jensen, childhood friends and music partners since 2001. Kristian Bugge is active in many Danish and Nordic folk music ensembles, including Baltic Crossing, Kings of Polka and Habadekuk. He has also been instrumental in promoting the Danish-American music of Dwight Lamb, an octogenarian fiddler and accordionist from Iowa. Kristian’s energetic fiddling is especially well-matched with the squeeze-box mastery of Mette Jensen. Give a listen . . .

Peder Pøhls Hopsa


Den Trekantede Sløjfe


Future Fiddle Club events
Colby Maddox & Sunnyside Up
Bluegrass from the fiddle side.
Sunday, May 31, 7pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton in Skokie)

Make Music Chicago
Sunday, June 21, all day
Fiddle Club performs in the Loop and leads a Fiddle Tune Jam at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Rosin your bow,
-Paul Tyler, convener

Stephanie Coleman Visits Fiddle Club

Saturday, April 4, 7:30pm
at Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie)

The meeting will begin with a short concert followed by a jam/workshop.
Admission is $15 at the door.

Stephanie ColemanStephanie Coleman grew up as a Chicago fiddler, starting out with such local teachers as Chirps Smith, Rhys Jones, Steve Rosen and Paul Tyler. Then she went off to college in North Carolina and began to make a name for herself in the national Old-Time scene. From 2008 to 2010 she toured with Rounder Records artist Uncle Earl. She continues to grow in musical stature, performing with Cleek Schrey, Adam Hurt and many others. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn where she performs and teaches traditional Appalachian music on fiddle and banjo, leads weekly jams and does studio work.

Give a listen . . .
Rocky Pallet with Steve Rosen at the 2004 Midwest Fiddle Championship

Say Old Man, I Want Your Daughter with Adam Hurt from the 2009 CD Perspective

And more recently (and even better)

Future Fiddle Club meetings

Kristian Bugge & Mette Jensen
fiddle & accordion duo from Denmark
Tuesday, May 12 in Maurer Hall
Fiddlepallooza 2015
Old Town School of Folk Music (4544 Lincoln)

Colby Maddox
a bit o’ bluegrass
May 29 or May 31
Seman Violins

Spread the word.
-Paul Tyler, convener

Baltic Folk Music at Fiddle Club

Sunday, January 11, 7pm
Seman Violins
(4447 Oakton in Skokie)
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)
is pleased to present
Ain Haas
with a demonstration, workshop and jam session of
Folk Music from Estonia and Latvia
Admission is $15

In memory of our good friend
Andres Peekna (1937-2014)

Ain Haas was born in Sweden to Estonian parents.  He now lives in Indianapolis, where here he leads Siilikesed, the Hedgehogs, an Estonian and Latvian folk ensemble. In the concert, Ain will demonstrate a variety of plucked zithers (kannel and kokle), bowed lyres (hiiu kannel and giga), Estonian bagpipes (torupill) and other ancient instruments. A jam session of Baltic polkas, waltzes, marches and airs will follow. Most tunes will be fairly easy to learn. Some recordings are posted below. Sheet music will be available.

The evening will be a tribute to Andres Peekna, who, with Ain, led the Chicago-based Estonian folk ensemble, Tuuletargad, the Wind Wizards. In the top photo, Andres is playing the small table-top kannel.  Andres, along with several members of Tuuletargad, appeared several times at the Midwest Fiddle Championship hosted by the Fiddle Club of the World. Here is a recording from the 2004 championship. Mary Allsopp is on fiddle. (Click the blue title to play.)
Vigala Reinlander

Kägära-Näpupolka, Ain on torupill and Andres on kannel

     torupill (bagpipes)        –         Ain Haas with kannel    –  in center is a hiiu kannel (lyre)

Click here for standard notation for all the tunes linked on this page. All from the collection of Andres Peekna.

Recordings by Siilikesed, the Hedgehogs
Ackups (a Latvian tune)

Minoome Labajalg (Minor-key Flatfoot Waltz)

Ruhnu Pulmamarss (Ruhnu Island Wedding March)

Recordings by Tuuletargad, the Wind Wizards
Hopser (hop-waltz)

Valgamaa Simmanilugu (Valga County Village party tune)

Some Quebecois Tunes, with Danish

Maja Kjær Jacobsen & David Boulanger
Sunday, November 9 – 7pm
Seman Violins
(4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $15 at the door.

Tretur fra Falster Danish tune played by Maja & David
(from a suite, The Bee Tour)

Le Batteux Quebecois tune played by Maja & David
(from The Overstringed Set)

Maja Kjær Jacobsen, from Silkeborg (Danmark) plays fiddle and hardingfele (hardanger fiddle), and has recently joined with David Boulanger, fiddler with La Bottine Souriante from Quebec.

Arto & Antti Järvelä workshop

Finnish Fiddle & Guitar workshop with
Arto Järvelä & Antti Järvelä
Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Monday, October 6
Admission is $15 at the door. *

A family friendly workshop will begin at 5:30pm followed by the regular workshop at 7pm.

* Present a ticket stub from Arto & Antti’s concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Sunday. Click here for information and reservations on what is sure to be a fabulous show.

Top ten reasons why you don’t want to miss this workshop.
10. This is Arto’s 3rd visit to Fiddle Club of the World. **
9. Arto’s first two visits were awesome.
8. Polskas are awesome
7. Finnish fiddling is both archaic and contemporary.
6. Järveläs have been playing the fiddle for at least 7 generations.
5. Antti is a really friendly guy.
4. This will be a load of fun.
3. Antti and Arto are awesome musicians.
2. Arto is one of Fiddle Club’s best friends.
1. Did I mention that Finnish fiddling is awesome?

** Check out these previous Fiddle Club posts (or just click Arto’s name in the tag cloud in right hand column). Check back later in case they send us more tunes.

Like these . . .
Foops two polskas from Maria Spoofs manuscript collection, circa 1800.

Reinon Knäpsäys a polkka (aka polka)

An evening of English Traditional Music

Folkestra from England
Sunday, April 13, 7 pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

This event is free.

Folkestra is 11 teenage instrumentalists and singers from Sage Gateshead, an Old Town School clone in Northern England. They are doing a week-long residency at the Old Town School of Folk Music, highlighted by a concert and ceilidh/barn dance at Global Dance Party on Friday, April 11. (That event is also free.) Their visit to Fiddle Club gives us a chance to hear more tunes, learn a couple, and play together.

I hope to be able to post some tunes to learn this week. But try out this pair.

New and Old Morpeth Rants by Our Northern Branch

Just added! A peek at Folkestra’s performance at the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Global Dance Party on April 11, 2014.

More tunes, and maybe some notes, to follow.
Paul Tyler, convener

A Night of Swing with Don Stiernberg

Don Stiernberg
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!
Sunday, January 26, 7pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

$15 at the door. Fiddle Club is not just for fiddlers. All players and music lovers are welcome.

I am very excited that our next featured guest at the Chicago Chapter of Fiddle Club of the World is Don Stiernberg, a fabulous jazz mandolinist and all around good guy. Don also plays a mean fiddle, and I expect we will hear both fiddle and mandolin in his mini-concert in the back room of Seman Violins. Chris Walz will provide guitar accompaniment.

Don Stiernberg.

In the jam sesseion/workshop to follow, Don will help us through the first steps of swing and improvisation. Start out with this class, Sweet Georgia Brown. Two more standards will be posted later today.

Sweet Georgia Brown slow

Sweet Georgia Brown lesson

Sweet Georgia Brown improvised

Don Stiernberg with Jethro Burns & John Parrish

– Paul Tyler, convener

Lotus Dickey CD release party

Lotus Dickey CD Release Celebration
Sunday, December 1, 7pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

Honoring the memory of Lotus Quentin Dickey (1911-89), Dickey’s Disciples will play tunes from the new CD: Down the Pike and Other Fiddle Tunes from Orange County, Indiana. The four disciples who accompanied Lotus in recording these tunes will be present: Fred Campeau-banjo, Jim Nelson-guitar, Steve Rosen-banjo and Paul Tyler-guitar and mandolin. To make it look even more like a Volo Bogtrotters appearance, Lynn “Chirps” Smith will also join the fun. And after the concert set, we’ll make a circle and everyone can play. Some of Lotus’s favorites will be taught.

Lotus Dickey: Down the Pike

Lotus Dickey was incredible man, a brilliant song writer and powerfully good fiddler. I was very privileged to spend a great deal of time with him from 1981, when I booked him for the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in Battle Ground, up until his death in 1989. During that time, we made an concerted effort to identify and document all the tunes he had learned during his boyhood (the 1920s) from the old fiddlers who were his neighbors in Orange County, Indiana. The last time I saw Lotus, was a visit he made to Chicago in April of 1989. We set up an overnight recording session in the concert hall at the Old Town School of Folk Music and recorded about fifteen tunes with accompaniment by Dickey’s Disciples. The next morning, Lotus and I sat in front the microphones in engineer Flawn Williams living room and record another eight or so tunes, mostly waltzes.

Those were magic moments. The public first heard them on a 2-cassette album issued by Marimac Records in 1992. Now thanks to Vigortone Records, these session have been re-mastered and re-issued on CD. The CDs can be purchased at this Fiddle Club of the World meeting.

Lotus at his cabin on Grease Gravy Road
Lotus Dickey in front of his cabin on Grease Gravy Road near Paoli, Indiana.

To hear some tunes from Lotus Dickey & Dickey’s Disciples, go here and here.

-Paul Tyler, convener