New Contra Dance Tunes May 2012

Here are a few tunes that we Portlanders have enjoyed playing these past couple of years.

Step Around Johnny:
This tune comes from a recording of The Red Mountain White Trash, Chickens Don’t Roost Too High. Their liner notes tell us that they learned it from guitarist Sam Taylor, who got it from his grandfather Jim Allen. In Portland, Joyride and the Portland Megaband play this tune.
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Sheepskin and Beeswax:
Kevin Carr put this Qu├ębec tune down on my cassette tape at Fiddle Tunes during a repertoire session there in the early ’90s. This version has been tweaked a little bit, but the bones of it are the same as the notes on my tape from Kevin.
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Bob’s Own:
This is a rousing, accessible A major jig composed by famed New Hampshire piano player Bob McQuillen. You can find it in his own hand in Bob’s Note Book 5. Since Bob doesn’t dedicate it to anyone else, perhaps the title says it all.
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Riff City:
John Goodin, mandolin player in the band Contratopia, wrote this dramatic Gm tune, which is included in that band’s tune book, The Contratopia Tune Book. That’s where I found it. the Megaband members loved playing it for the 2012 dance.
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Ruth’s Waltz:
Anne Duston of Portland composed this waltz in memory of her aunt. She says of it: I composed Ruth’s Waltz the day we learned that my husband’s beloved aunt had passed away. The tune is reminiscent of her cheeriness, and her love of music and dance.
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New Contra Dance Tunes May 2012 — 2 Comments

  1. hiya Sue and Clyde…hope all is well with both of you…. I am looking for music for a tune I heard on an old Swallowtail recording…. the tune is called “Trip to Moscow”. Any suggestions about where to look?

  2. Hi Bill–

    If you Google “Trip to Moscow” music, you will be directed to a very clear recording of the tune. If it is the tune that is polka-ish, Gm, by Ian Ball. Nice tune!

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