Sunday, November 30, 2014

the Bartender's Polka

There are at least three different tunes called the Bartender's Polka, and they're all good!

First up is one with Polish lyrics, just posted yesterday! I think of this as Chicago style polka.

I remember hearing Walt Solek's "Bartender's Polka" when I was a kid:

The Bartender's Polka that Hank Thompson had a country western hit with in 1958 is popular with the Dutchman style polka bands that I love. Here is that tune, covered by Gary's Ridgeland Dutchmen:

At the beginning of this video, Gary Brueggen says it's the same tune as Fingertanz. I heard that and thought great, we've got that in our new books! — but it seems to be a different "Fingertanz".

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Circling Pigeons

Here's a favorite of mine, a traditional tune for midwestern polka bands, with Czech roots: Circling Pigeons waltz (or ländler).

Tom Waits had some praise for this version:
I love these Czech-Bavarian bands that landed in Texas of all places... This music is both sour and bitter, and picante, and floating above itself like steam over the kettle. There's a piece called the 'Circling Pigeons Waltz', it's the most beautiful thing - kind of sour, like a wheel about to go off the road all the time.
Brian and the Mississippi Valley Dutchmen do a great rendition with a concertina solo. My other favorite would be the Romy Gosz recording, but since there's no footage of that group, the following tribute will do: 

Kinderhaus Weihnachtsfest

Our band will be playing at the Christmas party for KinderHaus, Saturday December 6th. The event starts at 3, we play at 6.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Franz Klein library

I am pleased to announce that BlowMusik has acquired the Franz Klein music library. This is a set of arrangements from a band that was active in the Detroit area in the 1910's and 20s, according to the guy I bought it from, whose father acquired it in the 70s. There are about 80 hand-written arrangements, and 33 typeset, all nicotine stained but in decent condition. There are familiar pieces by Strauss and Sousa, some traditional tunes, and other things I hadn't heard of. Some may be originals by Klein, for all I know. There are books for Flugelhorns, Horns in Eb,  Bb clarinet, Eb clarinet, alto saxes, 'Eufonium' and Bass. It all arrived in a very old and hand-made briefcase of wood and leather.

I'll be trying out these on the piano, copying the pieces I like into Noteflight, and posting links here when I have time. The parts are notated beautifully and clearly, with a steel-nib pen. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Where were you for game 6 of the World Series?

You probably weren't at the San Mateo Marriott, but if you were, you might have seen this:

Thanks to Melissa L. for sharing her video with us.