Old-Time Square Dancing in Chicago

A couple of great dances are coming up in the next month or so in the City of Big Shoulders. We’ll call them Big Shoulders Square Dances.

Foghorn String Band plays the first ever Evanston Barn Dance on Monday, November 2. Calling by Bill Sudkamp and DrDosido.
Foghorn square dance
(Click the poster for the Facebook event page.)

Renowned caller, Phil Jamison, will lead you through the figures at Kuhn Barn at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois on Sunday, November 8 at 6:30pm. Music will be supplied by the Volo Bogtrotters.
Phil Jamison
(Click Phil’s picture for more information).

Can I Get an Amen plays the Global Dance Party at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Friday, December 4 at 8:30pm. Calling by DrDosido (aka Paul Tyler)
Can I Get an Amen 3
(Click the band’s picture for ticket information.)

No experience needed to enjoy any of these great dances. All figures will be taught. Merriment is encouraged.

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

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