Fiddle Club’s Ninth Year Begins

The Chicago Chapter of the Fiddle Club of the World is pleased to announce its ninth season of concerts and jams featuring guest artists representing fiddle traditions (and more) from all over the globe. The three meetings listed in this post will all be held at Seman Violins at 4447 W. Oakton in Skokie. Admission for each meeting is $15.

Tim Macdonald & Jeremy WardTim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward
Scottish tunes on fiddle and cello
Sunday, March 6 – 7:30pm

Harry Bolick

Harry Bolick
Mississippi fiddling
Friday, April 22 – 7:30pmg




Lydom, Bugge & Høirup
Lydom, Bugge & Høirup
folk music from Denmark
Thursday, June 16 – 7:30pm

Check back to this blog in coming weeks for recordings of tunes you can learn for the jam sessions to follow each concert. Fiddle Club is not just for fiddlers. Players of other instruments and listeners or all sorts are welcome.

More dates to remember: Bob Bovee & Pop Wagner, Fiddle Club guests in 2014, will be playing the Evanston Barn Dance on Friday, March 11 at the American Legion Hall (1030 Central St.) Actually, Pop will be calling the figures. Bob, joined by several of his local friends, will lead the band. And we hope to schedule a Fandango of music from Michoacan, Mexico some time in early May. TBA.

Recovering Old-Time Music

with the
BluEagle String Band
Friday, October 9, 7:30pm
Seman Violins
(4447 W. Oakton in Skokie)
A concert set, followed by an old-time jam.
Admission is $15.
BluEagle String Band
Dave Prine, Tyler Wilson, & Jim Chesney make up the BluEagle String Band, the most recent iteration of the Old Town School of Folk Music’s first in-house old-time string band, known variously as the Friends of Old Time Music and the Fleming Brown String Band (see below). But that was back in the 1960s.

In the 1970s, Tyler Wilson and Dave Prine performed in a duo known as the NRA. At that time, the band name was the acronym of the National Recovery Administration, a centerpiece of FDR’s New Deal. Just as the original NRA sought to bring renewed vigor to rural American life, Tyler & Dave’s NRA recovered the vigorous old-time string band music of the 1920s and ’30s for a new generation of listeners and players.

Fleming Brown String Band

Adding Jim Chesney on guitar and vocals, the group is back with same great old-time songs, and a new name, taken from the iconic logo of the Depression-era National Recovery Administration. They’ve just released their first ever album (see above), which will be available for purchase at their Fiddle Club appearance. They’ll start with a concert set. We’ll follow with a jam session of tunes and songs. Give a listen to some of the old favorites we’ll play together in back room of Seman Violins.

All Around the Mountain

Diggin’ on the New Railroad

Georgia Railroad

The Glendy Burk

Fiddle Club is not just for fiddlers. Banjo players and guitar players are also needed. We welcome anyone who wants to come and join us with any instrument. You can also come for to sing, or just to listen.

Up next at Fiddle Club of the World
Square Dance with Phil Jamison
& the Volo Bogtrotters

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

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

Fiddle Club Spring schedule taking shape

Fiddle Club is flexible. That’s been a strength. If some good fiddlers or other musicians are passing through Chicago with an open date on her calendar, we can leap to the task and put together a meeting where they can be our featured guest. That’s exactly what is happening next week-Thursday, February 26 to be exact.

John Grimm & Beverly Smith
Thursday, February 26, 8:30pm
Leadway Bar & Grill

(5233 N. Damen in Chicago)
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)
Admission is $15

Old-time tunes and songs from a duo steeped in the tradition of north Georgia and the southern uplands.  Visit their website to learn more.  For the jam session that follows their concert, we might sing a few songs as well as play a few tunes.  They’ll be sending some mp3s soon to help us get ready, just as soon as their power is restored after the recent blizzard.  Check back in few days

Future Fiddle Club meetings

Colby Maddox, a bit o’ bluegrass
Sunday, March 15
location tba

Stephanie Coleman, old-time fiddler
Saturday, April 4
location tba
Originally from Chicagoland, Stephanie’s been tearing it up out East ever since she went off to college.  It will be great to welcome her home.

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)