Big Fiddle Stuff in City of Big Shoulders

Leadway Jam Session       Big Shoulders Square Dance

Sunday, November 16:
Last jam session of the year at 7pm at the Leadway Bar & Grill (523 N. Damen).
(Click tune list above for running list of all 2014 jams.)

Friday, November 21 Big Shoulders Square Dance with White Mule.
8:30 Global Dance Party at the Old Town School of Folk Music (4545 N. Lincoln).
Hot fiddling by Genevieve Harrison Koester. Solid old-time backup by Smith Koester, Andy Gribble and Abby Ladin. Callin by Paul Tyler. Dancing by y’all. No experience necessary.
(Click photo above for more information. Tickets available here.)

Barn Dance Tonight

This event is the culmination of the apprenticeship grant that Judy Higgins and I received from the Illinois Arts Council.  We’ve met every week for the last half year to learn about 18 to 20 tunes. We’ve worked on building up speed and drive with the bow.  Judy’s playing has become way more danceable.  And we’re going to test that out tonight with a return to the Atlantic Bar & Grill for a old-time square dance in the back room.

The band, Judy and the Big Dogs, includes Steve Rosen, Chris Walz and yours truly. Eric Zorn will call – and teach – the figures.  Come on out at 7pm, fill the floor and square your sets. We’re gonna have a big time tonight.

Fiddle Club Meetings New and Old

New Fiddle Club meeting just arranged.

On Sunday, April 13 at 7pm we’ll be joined by special guests, the Folkestra, an 11-piece band from northern England. Details will be forthcoming as to location &c. We will have some tunes to learn ahead of time for what promises to be a memorable jam session. Mark your calendars.

An Old Meeting Noted in a Chicago Tribune Blog

Eric Zorn writes about a tune he found on the Fiddle Club of the World blog (this one!).

Chirps Smith alert! Video images and more.


More Tunes from Lotus Dickey

Don’t forget!
Lotus Dickey CD Release Celebration
Sunday, December 1, 7pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

$15 at the door for a concert, followed by a session of tunes

Lotus Dickey jigging, circa 1986

Lotus Dickey at Sugar Hill, circa 1986

Complete and corrected notation for all the tunes.
Music notation is here.
ABC notation is here.

And some more tunes recorded in 1986.

Greasy Strings

Paddy on the Handcar, Second tune in a medley from the album “Pride of Glencoe”

More tunes here.

Tunes from Lotus Dickey

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

$15 at the door for a concert, followed by a session of tunes

Music at the celebration provided by Dickey’s Disciples.

Lotus Dickey & the Sugar Hill Serenaders
1984 Disciples – aka Sugar Hill Serenaders
in front of Lotus’s cabin on Grease Gravy Hill
Lotus Dickey & Friends at Fermilab barn dance
1989 Disciples – aka & Friends
at the Fermilab Barn Dance
(click for full photo)

Here are some tunes recorded in 1989 for the album that has recently been reissued on Vigortone Records. The CD will be on sale at the Fiddle Club of the World meeting (more info here).

Oyster River Hornpipe

Kiss Waltz

Holiness Piece

The following recordings are from 1986. The quality is not as good as the recordings on the CD. But Lotus was playing a bit stronger at the time. The first two tunes, but not the waltz, can be heard on the CD.


Little Bess

Albert Dougherty D Waltz #2 (guitar; in A dorian, aka 1 sharp)

Complete and corrected notation is here.
Complete and corrected ABC notation is here.
(Click your pick.)

Dickey’s Disciples (aka the Volo Bogtrotters)
circa 2009 at Breaking Up Thanksgiving

More tunes here.

Paul Tyler -convener
Fiddle Club of the World, Chicago Chapter

Tune of the Week for July 2, 2012

A classic rag, as played by Les Raber of Hastings, Michigan.
Check out his cool Michigan Fiddler trading card.
Collect the whole set.

Les Raber back of the card

Dill Pickle Rag

T:Dill Pickle Rag
S:Les Raber of Hastings, Michigan
degd egde | gdeg2 edB | GABG ABGA | BGAB2 AGE | DEFD EFDE |1
FDEE2DEF | GFGE2 FG2 | A^GA2 d4 :|2 FDEE2 FGA | Bd2B dBA2 | G6 z2 |:
D2^D2 E2F2 | G2ed2 ed2 | F2ed2 ed2 | G2ed2 ed2 | DA^DA EAFA |
G2ed2 ed2 |1 AB^ca2 ege | fde2 d4 :|2 A2ed2 ed2 | g5 g2z2 |:
cAGc AGEF | GEGA GECE | DEDd2 BA2 | G4 A2B2 |
cAGc AGEF | GEGA GECD | EDEG2 ED2 | C4 c2B2 |
A^GAB cBcd | e^dea2 ge2 | d^cdg2 ed2 | c4 c2z2 :|

NB Twenty-four Tunes of the Week have been posted through the first half of 2012. Since the second half of the year just started, I’ve started the numbering back at 1.

Paul Tyler, convener

Tune of the Week for March 26, 2012

I’m a little late posting this weeks TofW. Sorry about that. Sometimes life in the fiddle-industrial complex gets hectic. But my mind is back home in Indiana, so I think it’s time for a Lotus Dickey tune.
Sugar Hill Serenaders
Lotus Dickey, Paul Tyler, John Bealle, Teri Klassen

Little Bess

T:Little Bess
S:Lotus Dickey from Poindexter Ainsworth
D2f2 fgfe | d2F2 A3F | E2AB cBAc | d2F2 A3+EA+ |
+D2A2+fe fgfe | d2F2 A3+FA+ | +E2A2+AB cBAc | +F4d4+ +F4d4+ :|
e4 e3f | e2c2 +c4e4+ | B4 g2eg | aeae c’3c’ |
e4 e3f | e2+ce++ce+ +c4e4+ | B2ef gefg |1 +c4a4+ +c2a2+z2 :|2 +c3a3+z =+B3g3+z ||

Tunes from Lynn Frederick

These tunes were originally collected by the late Jeff Goehring in the 1980s from traditional fiddlers in south and central Ohio. Jeff and Lynn played together in the Red Mules String Band. Many of Jeff’s field recordings are available on CD from the Field Recorder’s Collective, including albums featuring Lonnie Seymour, Jimmie Wheeler and John Hannah mentioned below. Also available are CDs featuring Cecil Plum, Arnold Sharp and Ward Jarvis. All can be found at

The guitar accompaniment heard on the recordings below is by Beth Braden, who was also a Red Mule.

Two tunes from Lonnie Seymour of Chillicothe, Ohio. Lonnie’s playing can be heard on Field Recorders Collective CD FRC403.
Tomahawk in A

Tomahawk slow

Log Chain in D

Log Chain slow

A tune from Jimmie Wheeler of Portsmouth, Ohio (FRC401) . . .

Cauliflower slow

. . . and one from Estil Adams of Washington Courthouse, Ohio
Putner’s Run in G

Putner’s Run slow

Here’s a tune from John Hannah, a native of West Virginian who moved Columbus (FRC405).
Daddy Whipped the Baby in G

Daddy Whipped slow

This one is from Missouri fiddler Bob Holt. Lynn learned it from Jeff Goehring.
Blue Mule in G

Blue Mule slow

Lynn Frederick with Fred Campeau will guest at the Fiddle Club of the World meeting onSunday, October 23 at 6:30p at the Atlantic Bar & Grill (5063 Lincoln). More info here. Single meeting dues are $15. Register here by date (10/23/2011). For yearly dues of $60-which covers all meetings for the next 12 months–click here.

Meetings & Guests for Fall 2011

All events happen at the
Atlantic Bar & Grill (5062 Lincoln)

You can now join Fiddle Club of the World for $60 yearly dues. This allows you to 1) support our effort to bring notable fiddlers to the Old Town School for friendly and up close interactions with our local players, 2) save up to 50% off of single meeting dues, and 3) get a cool Fiddle Club card with your name and renewal date inscribed. You don’t have to be a fiddler to join or attend. Everyone is welcome.

Lynn Frederick with Fred Campeau
Sunday, October 23, 6:30 – Old-Time

Lynn Frederick
A Midwestern mainstay of old-time music,* Lynn Frederick, a native of Indiana now living in Ohio, played with the Rhythm Gorillas in the ’80s and the Red Mules String Band in the ’90s. From Red Mules fiddler, the late Jeff Goerhing, Lynn learned the half dozen Buckeye tunes he will share with Fiddle Club (watch for a forthcoming “Tunes” post). A multi-instrumentalist, singer and dance caller, Lynn will also give us a few of the great old songs in his repertoire.This Fiddle Club will feature Lynn paired up with Fred Campeau, of Volo Bogtrotters fame. They make up half of the Knock Knock Hoosiers that have performed annually at a festival in Nappanee, Indiana for the better part of three decades. Songs and tunes don’t get much older or timelier than this.

Or is he a mainstay of Midwestern old-time?

Go here for tunes from Lynn Frederick. Learn some or all. We’ll play them together after Lynn’s program.

Square & Ceilidh Dance workshop
Sunday, November 20, 6:30 – dance band practice** dancers welcome

Michi Regier with Peasants Abroad
Sunday, December 11, 6:30p – Ukrainian &c.

Michi Regier
Michi Regier started out with classical violin lessons (lessons that were well-earned), but soon went off in search of Gypsy fiddling on paths that took her into the worlds of Mariachi bands and renaissance fairs. Among other gems, Michi will perform her “Fiddle Tree” travelogue in fiddle, English and Ukrainian, highlighting the musical folklore of the Ukraine, which she studied first-hand in 2003 at the Lysenko Conservatory in L’viv. She also plays with the Milwaukee based Water Street Bridge. Peasants Abroad is the Madison, Wisconsin duo of Ashli Fain on mandolin and percussionist Richard Miller. Both will also demonstrate some dancing to the accompaniment of Michi Regier’s exotic fiddling.

Single dues for a meeting with a featured fiddler are $15. Register here by date.
Or you may choose the yearly dues option for $60.

** To be a Fiddle Club player, come to a Fiddle Club event. There are no single dues for meetings at which we just play tunes, watch films or dance. Come and join us, even if you don’t have a Fiddle Club card. If you decide to register for one, we appreciate your support.