24 October

Cold Frosty Morning (am)
On the Danforth (A)
The Rambler, aka Father Hanley's (A)
Stool of Repentance (A)
Flagstaff (A)
Hommage à Edmund Parizeau (A)
Buffalo Girls (A)
L'air mignon (A)
Fleur de Mandragore (A)
Lost Girl (G)
Seneca Square Dance (G)
On the First Day of the Year (G)
Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance
Possum up a Gum Stump (G)
Spootiskerry (G)
Rocking Babies to Sleep (D)
Over the Waterfall (D)
Sally's Got Mud Between Her Toes (D)
Rose Tree (D)
Paddy on the RR, aka Merry Blacksmith (D)
Union Street Session (D)

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16 October 2017

Shoes and Stockings (G)
Le Canal en Octobre (G)
Great Uncle Henry (G)
Mouth of the Tobique (G)
Old Yellow Dog Come Trotting Through the Meetinghouse (G)
Sandy River Belles (G)
Flagstaff (A)
Big John McNeil (A)
Repeal the Poll Tax (A)
Fleur de Mandragore (A)
Reconciliation (A)
Sarah's Jig (D)
Juliann Johnson (D)
Sheilah Coyle's (D)
Through the Gates (D)
Pays de Haut (D)
The Telephone Tune (A/D)
Walk Old Shoe (D)
Coleman's March (D)
Swallowtail Jig (em)
. . . ????
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2 October 2017: what we played

The Svensson Girls (G)
Lambingfold (G)
Mississippi Sawyer (D)
Rights of Man (em)
The Scholar (D)
Aunt May’s Canadian Jig
Toss the Feathers
Hommage a Edmund Parizeau (A)
Big John McNeil (A)
Walk Old Shoe (D)
Through the Gates
Lady Ann Montgomery
Reunion Jig
La Belle Catherine (A)
Bonaparte’s Retreat (D)
Fleur de Mandragore (A)
Metsakukkia (gm)
. . . and more

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29 September 2017: What we played

Spotted Pony (D)
Single-Footing Horse (D)
Rose Tree (D)
Year of Jubilo (D)
Maison de Glace (D)
Le Printemps (demo)
Home with the Girls in the Morning (dm)
Camp Meeting on the 4th of July (D)
La Promeneuse (D)
Glise à Sherbrooke (G)
Walker Street, aka Traveler's Reel (G)
le Canal en Octobre, aka The Little French Tune (G)
Old Yeller Dog Come Trotting Through the Meetinghouse (G)
Spootiskerry (G)
Round the Horn (G)
Big John McNeil (A)
Multnomah March
Fleur de Mandragore (A)
Flagstaff (demo) (A)
Reel of Sceachóg (for next time)
Air Mignon (A)
Little Billy Wilson (A)
. . . a waltz

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From David, more of the story

Some additional historical details:

Susan Conger and Susie Secco, along with numerous others including me, had long been part of the rich musical landscape of the Monday Night Dance in Amherst. When the English musicians and dancers took over the entire evening instead of just the first half, the “No Sitting In” rule came into being.

That was in 1995. Decades later, my blood pressure still goes up when I recall that development.

Susie and Susan came up with the idea of a weekly session which, unlike other sessions in the area, would be multi-cultural, multi-speed, welcoming, inclusive, and non-competitive. Because of Susan’s schedule back in 1995, we decided that *second* Mondays would be at her house and focus on Scandinavian music while all other Mondays would be upstairs at #2 North Street (where, until 1998, both Susie and I resided) and be more eclectic in terms of repertoire and style.

Music on the non-Scandinavian Monday nights continued upstairs at 2 North Street until around 2015, at which point one of the Session’s cornerstones was replaced: It relocated. Usually, it took place at the Common Hall (formerly the Grange Hall) across the street from 2 North Street; sometimes, it took place at Becky’s house around the block.

In September of 2016, they moved yet again: To my new residence on Center Street.

In recent years, another cornerstone of the Monday Night Session was replaced. Whereas the long standing custom had been for the Session to take place every week without fail, regardless of my whereabouts, an assumption formed in recent years that if I’m absent, the Monday Night Session doesn’t happen. Becky created an email list to which she sends out confirmations when the session is happening and announcements/reminders when it isn’t. It has proven very useful; many rely on it.

How is the Monday Night Session evolving? This could be a good blog post. I have some long flights and train rides coming up, so perhaps something will emerge soon.

David Allen Kaynor
2017/04/29 at 12:12 am

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Slower, faster

A free-reed player named Judy Minot went on a tear about speed in response to another free-reed player saying  she couldn’t go to a workshop because she couldn’t play fast enough.   See  Judy’s diatribe (her word) dated September 19, 2017, for her analysis of why it’s counterproductive to be discouraged if you can’t play a tune “at speed.”

One useful response was from someone who said, in essence, I play for dances and so sometimes I have to practice a tune faster than I can play it. What I work on is figuring out what I can do at tempo to make it sound good–what notes can I leave out, when can I play a drone, when can I play a chord instead of a bunch of single melody notes?  A simplification isn’t a flaw, necessarily–it’s texture, and can be musical and fun.  New synapses spring into being, maybe.

I think the discussion applies to a session, too–how to stay interested and engaged when you’re playing a tune slowly (Judy, plus what David often says about 25 iterations of Basic Tune X at 90 bpm*), and how to enjoy being on a roller coaster when you’re not altogether thrilled about the downhill plunges.

*a sauntering pace

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18 September 2017

Scolley's (em)
Spootiskerry (G)
Shoes and Stockings (G)
Ora Lee (G)
Nail That Catfish (G)
Bellman's Jig (G)
Arizona (G)
High Clouds (G)
JD Robinson of Brasstown (G)
Sandy Boys (A)
Hommage á Edmund Parizeau (A)
On the Danforth (A)
Buffalo Girls (A)
Steamboat Quickstep (A)
Flagstaff (A) (demo)
Union Street Session (D)
Bus Stop (am)
. . . and a few more.

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