Fiddle Club of the World Welcomes Renee Vaughan

Fiddle Club is back again. We are bringing a featured guest fiddler to give us a short concert and lead a jam. In this case, our fiddler is Renee Vaughan, a nyckleharpist from Minnesota.

Renee Vaughan plays new and traditional Scandinavian music on nyckelharpa (a keyed-fiddle), the national folk instrument of Sweden. Renee is currently the Musician-in-Residence at UW-Madison’s Center for Nordic Folklife and will be sharing tunes from her project on the music of first generation Swedish immigrants.    

This Fiddle Club of the World-Chicago Chapter meeting will be held

Wednesday, May 1 at 8:00pm at

Borelli Pizza (2124 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago)

Suggested donation: $10. The concert set will be followed by a jam for all players. A couple of Nordic tunes will be posted next week to help you get ready to play.

Here’s a tune from a Swedish fiddler, August Widmark, who emigrated to Minnesota in the 1800s. Renee learned this from a music notebook kept by Mr. Widmark and his family. Learning the story and setting of this notebook are a centerpiece of her residency at UW’s Center for Nordic Folklife.

Widmark Polonaise (aka Slangpolska efter August Widmark)

To learn more about Renee, her instrument and her music, checkout:


Tunes from Premo & Gustavsson

Laurel Premo & Anna Gustavsson – Sunday, October 23, 7:30pm
Meeting held at Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $20 at the door or pay in advance here.

All meetings begin with a short concert followed by a jam/workshop.

John Cole, American fiddle tune played by Laurel Premo

Swedish Long Dance, played on nyckelharpa by Anna Gustavsson

Orsapolska, Swedish dance played by Anna Gustavsson

For more about Laurel Premo & Anna Gustavsson, click the picture.

More tunes from Bjärv

Ain’t the interwebs wonderful. Olof Göthlin of Bjärv sent me some tunes last night for our jam session tomorrow. I can get them posted just in time for some of you to start learning them.

Polska From Ekshärad

Marsch från Bohuslän by Bjärv

I really enjoy this march. The recording starts with the jaw harp and then nyckleharpa leading the tune in G. After a guitar interlude, the fiddle takes over, but now the tune is in A.

Marsch från Bohuslän
Notation and ABCs for Marsch från Bohuslän

T:Marsch från Bohuslän
(3DEF | GGB^c d2dB | GBAF D2(3DEF | G2B2 G2B2- | BcAF D2 ::
D2 | EECE D2D2 | {D}EECE {EF}E2D2-| DEFG AB^cd | BGAF G2 :|
z4 D2 |: EECE D2D2 | {D}EECE {EF}E2D2-| DEFG AB^cd | BGAF G2 :|

If you want notation for the key of A, copy the whole Abc block and paste it into the box at this Abc Converter. Chose the Transpose option, up 2 semitones, and click submit.

Paul Tyler, convener

Some Tunes from Bjärv

Swedish tunes with Bjärv
Monday, June 24, 7pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

Here are a couple of tunes to give you an idea of the fine music to come on Monday evening.

Olof Göthlin here plays a duet with an unidentified clarinetist. The title translates as ‘Calle’s final composition.’ The Calle in question may be Calle Lindström, an early Swedish comic singer who is perhaps best remembered for his 1908 recording of Chikago. Yes, it is a song about our fair city, and the adventures of Lasse, an immigrant from Ossebo, Sweden. (Calle Lindström, by the way, never set foot in Chicago, or even the USA.)

Calles sista komposition

Olof Göthlin
Olof Göthlin
Calle Lindström
Calle Lindström
(Learn about Chikago, the song )

And here’s a piece from the band. The song is a fun one taught at the Old Town School by Mary Allsopp a couple of years ago at a World Music Wednesday workshop. Mary is the leader of the Chicago Spelmanslag, a group of Swedish players. Another tune or two are woven into the setting.

Vi Ska Ut Och Ga (Up and Out We Go)

Bjärv will give us a bit of a concert and teach us a tune or two.
$15 donation, payable at the door – goes to the musicians

Fiddle Club meetings at Seman Violins are BYOB. Munchies will be provided.

Special Last Minute Fiddle Club Guests

Monday, June 24, 7pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton, Skokie)

Sometimes great musicians wander into Chicago with open dates on their schedule. Fiddle Club of the World loves to take advantage of these situations, especially when the musicians in question are the talented men of this folk trio from Sweden and the US.


Olof Göthlin (fiddle), Ben Teitelbaum (nyckleharpa) & Mikael Grafström (guitar) will be in the acoustically wonderful back room of Seman Violins. (Thanks to Peter Seman and his staff for hosting). They’ll give us a bit of a concert and teach us a tune or two so we can all play together. All we ask is a $15 donation, payable at the door. This is a great chance to hear these fine musicians up close.

Fiddle Club meetings at Seman Violins are BYOB. Munchies will be provided.

If you want more, check out their bios, visit their website,
listen to the them on MySpace or watch them on a recent visit to the US . . .

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

Tune of the Week for May 28, 2012

Låt i veckan för maj 28, 2012

Anders & Maria Larsson of the Swedish band Svanevit will be guests at Fiddle Club on Monday, June 4 at 7 pm in Room E124 — Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln). Click here to register ($15 for a single meeting).

Anders & Maria Larson
Anders & Maria Larson with Svanevit

Åleätarns vals (The Eel-Eaters Waltz)

This tune, from their album Rikedom och gåvor (Wealth and Gifts), is actually two waltzes. The first is played on bagpipes. The second waltz starts when the fiddle joins and is played in D, then raised an octave, and finally changed to the key of G. Both the album and the tune honor John Enninger, from Skåne in southern Sweden. A fiddler, writer and tune collector, Enninger (who died in 1908) played his best after “partaking of some schnapps and about half a yard of boiled eel!”

T:Aleätarns vals (Eel Eater’s Waltz)
“bagpipes-3 times through”DE{F}D2 F2 | E2 {FED}EF E2 | EFFG GE | A2AF D2 ::
B2GF GB | A2FD FA | B2GF GB | A2FD FA | GA/G/ EF GB |1 AC D4 :|2 AC D2 |:
“fiddle and bagpipes”
DF | A4 FA | G4 EG | F2A2 E2 | DCDE FG |
A4 FA | G4 EG | FGAG FE | D4 ::
{E}D2 | D2F2 D2 | AGAB A2 | D2F2 D2 | EDEF E2 |
D2F2 D2 | AGAB A2 | D2FA GE | D4 ::
df | a4 fa | g4 eg | f2a2 e2 | dcde fg |
a4 fa | g4 eg | fgag fe | d4 ::
{e}d2 | d2f2 d2 | agab a2 | d2f2 d2 | edef e2 |
d2f2 d2 | agab a2 | d2fa ge | d4 ::
“3 times through”GB | d4 Bd | c4 Ac | B2d2 A2 | GFGA Bc |
d4 Bd | c4Ac | Bcdc BA | G4 ::
{A}G2 | G2B2 G2 | dcde d2 | G2B2 G2 | AGAB A2 |
G2B2 G2 | dcde d2 | G2Bd cA | G4 :|

Swedish guests at Fiddle Club

Anders & Maria Larsson
Monday, June 4 – 7p
Room E124 — Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln)

This duo, veterans of the thriving Swedish folk music scene, is making their first visit to Chicago. In their few days here, they will give a workshop at the Old Town School on Sunday, June 3, followed by an evening concert at the Swedish-American Museum. Then on Monday evening, they will gather with Old Town fiddle alums, students and fans for an evening of traditional Swedish tunes. Come just to listen, or to play along. Not just for fiddlers.

Anders & Maria Larson
Anders & Maria Larson of Svanevit
(click here for info on June 3 concert at the Swedish-American Museum)

You can register for the Fiddle Club meeting for $15 by clicking here, or click this link for the $60 yearly subscription that gives you entrance to all Fiddle Club events.

Once again, here’s a couple of tunes of their beauteous music, as given on an earlier post, from the album Rikedom och gåvor with their quartet Svanevit.



Låt i veckan för maj 21, 2012

Swedish for Tune of the Week for May 21, 2012

Edwin Johnson & friend

Edwin Johnson was born in 1905 in Rättvik, Sweden in the province of Dalarna. That’s almost like being born in Galax, Virginia or Mamou, Louisiana, the heart if a vibrant regional folk music tradition. At the age of 19, he joined the stream of Swedes emigrating to the United States, and made a new home for himself in the twin cities Minneapolis and St. Paul. As he helped raise a family, the old Dalarna fiddle tradition was passed on–as heard on this 1977 recording–to his son and grandson.

Lead fiddle by Edwin Johnson, seconding by Bruce Johnson & Paul Dahlin

Vals fran Ore

T:Vals fran Ore
S:Edwin Johnson
B,A, | G,2B,2 C2 | D3E DC | B,2D2 G2 | B4 dB |
c2E2 G2 | F3A BA | G2F2 E2 | DE DC B,A, |
G,2B,2 C2 | D3E DC | B,2D2 G2 | B4 dB |
c2E2 G2 | F3D EF | G3A G2 | G4 ::
cd | e2c2 e2 | g3f e2 | d2B2 G2 | DEDC B,2 |
ABc2 A2 | F4 A2 | Bcd2 c2 | Bc BAG2 |
e2c2 e2 | g3f e2 | d2B2 G2 | DEDC B,2 |
ABc2 A | F3D EF | G3A G2 | G4 :|

Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear some masterful Swedish musicians at Fiddle Club.

Anders & Maria Larsson of Svanevit
Monday, June 4 – 7p
Room E124 — Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln)

Single meeting dues is $15: register here

Nota Bene: The Old Town School website has been migrating to new servers, and access to the Fiddle Club blog has been a bit spotty over the past week. All problems should now be solved.

Paul Tyler, convener

Big Fiddle Times a-Coming

Lots of good stuff coming up. Get your calendars out. Make your summer plans.

1. Fiddle Club of the World meetings

Dorian Gehring, Cajun
Sunday, May 20 – 6:30p
Room E324 – Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln)

Single meeting dues is $15: register here.

Sample these tunes recorded live from the grounds at the Chicago Folk & Roots Festival in 2010, when Dorian Gehring & the Cajun Vagabonds took first place in the 8th Midwest Fiddle Championship Band Division.

Cajun waltz

Lacassine Special

Dorian Gehring & the Cajun Vagabonds
Dorian Gehring & the Cajun Vagabonds
Anders & Maria Larson
Anders & Maria Larson of Svanevit

Anders & Maria Larsson, from Sweden
A special meeting, just scheduled
Monday, June 4 – 7p
Room E124 — Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln)

Single meeting dues is $15: register here.

Or come to both meetings, plus all Fiddle Club events for the next 12 months with a yearly subscription of $60.
2. Old Time Square Dances
(part of Global Dance Party)

The White Mules (Genevieve & Smith Koester)
with caller Bridget Edwards from Bloomington, Indiana
Friday, May 18 – 8:30p
Szold Hall – Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln)

All tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance by clicking here.

More square dances have been added to the schedule
Patt & Possum
with caller Bill Sudkamp
Friday, August 17

Geoff Seitz & Friends (from St. Louis)
with caller Paul Tyler
Friday, October 26 (tentative)

3. As part of the Square Roots Festival

10th Midwest Fiddle Championship
Finals will be held on Saturday, July 21 – 1:45-2:45p
Maurer Hall – Old Town School West (4544 Lincoln)


Fiddle Club of the World Battle of the Bands
an invitational, same day – 7-8p
Szold Hall – Old Town School East (4545 Lincoln)

Opening round and registration information to be announced soon.

-Paul Tyler, convener

Tunes for the Square & Ceilidh Dance

Dance band practice April 17 and June 19. We’ll workshop some of the tunes and dances on June 19. The full dance is scheduled for July 17.

Here’s a fun video from Italy of the Tacco e Punta (Heel & Toe?) dance.

Tacco e Punta (aka Patacake Polka)

Raatikko a dance known among Finns, Germans and other Euro-Americans

Give these variants a listen, Ein Zwie Drie und a Fier, from Joe Altman & the Spaasmachers, a German band in St. Meinrad, Indiana and The Seven Step, by a Bohemian Polka band in New Braunfels, Texas.

The Seven Step, a different dance and a different tune in the key of G

I learned it in D from Wayne Satkamp of Stendahl, Indiana and Herb Wenning of Portersville, Indiana, who played it in G. Here’s a video of The Seven Step as danced by the Ukrainians and Métis of Manitoba.

And we have to play a schottische. One of the most fun dances ever.
Hast Schottische slow from Mary Allsopp (see Jan 16th meeting)

We’ve played the Hast Schottis before. Next time, we’ll have more dancers.

Paul Tyler, convener
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)