ROOTS ALIVE! in Garforth!

Delighted to be a part of the ROOTS ALIVE concert on Saturday the 23rd March 2019. An afternoon performance of music with the Arts Live Folk Band following a series of workshops in March 2019 with the Irish Arts Foundation. Also featuring the Leeds Fiddle Folk Group!

Roadfrog

A reel in G minor for Northumbrian Smallpipes

When Colin Ross made my Boxwood 17-key chanter he asked me “do you really want a Bb key?” Apparently they are awkward to make and he was concerned that I wouldn’t make best use of it. I insisted that I did, because playing in G minor on the Northumbrian Smallpipes is one of my favourite keys for the instrument. My set is in ‘F’ which means this actually comes out in F minor when it’s played.

Colin Ross 17-key boxwood and brass Northumbrian Smallpipe chanter

Time to fettle the Northumbrian Smallpipes…

The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing (amazingly for February!) and so were the Northumbrian Smallpipes after some rather overdue ‘fettling’.

All piping (Uilleann, Northumbrian or otherwise) involves a certain amount of ‘fettling’ especially when the weather/seasons change, which can play havoc with your tuning if it happens suddenly and catches you unawares. Brass and metal work were polished, bores were oiled, bindings were re-hemped as required, and drone reeds tweaked, flicked and generally faffed with!
A day or two devoted to maintaining them every now and then is well worth the effort – you just have to be in the right mood to tackle the 17-key chanters with the polishing cloth…

Northumbrian Smallpipes by Colin Ross and Dave McQuade

Pictured above are my trusty Colin Ross Boxwood and brass 17-Key F set, and Andy May concert G chanter, and a lovely wee 16-Key G set by Dave McQuade in Blackwood and Nickel Silver. Both beautiful, but completely different beasts in tone and character. Dave McQuade taught me to play way back in the early 80’s so I am delighted and honoured to play a set that he has made.





Rustic Rock and Roll with…a MacCann Duet Concertina!

Photo by Chris Czainski

Friday the 8th of Feb saw my first outing with Des Horsfall’s new line-up of his ‘Rustic Rock and Roll’ band KUSCHTY RYE. Snapped from the audience is this great pic that shows Des in the light and a shady figure playing Ralphie Jordans old MacCann Duet from ‘the dark side’… I think Ralphie would approve…

Here’s a Youtube tribute to Ralph that features the same box (along with many others!). Gone but not forgotten.


https://youtu.be/XwRRxrYFJDQ



Heading out with KUSCHTY RYE..

Kuschty Rye
http://www.kuschtyrye.net/

All go at BT HQ this week gearing up for the first gigs with the fabulous KUSCHTY RYE chaps. You can catch them this week in and around Halifax (and Barnoldswick!) with more in the pipeline somewhat further afield, so catch them local while you can!

KUSCHTY RYE is DES HORSFALL….. with an array of wonderful guest musicians. This line-up features the solid backline grooves of Hugh Bradley on Bass and Dylan Pepper on drums, the mighty Chris Preston on Guitars, Jason Offen on Keys, and Becky will be adding fiddle, mandolin and a sprinkling of low whistle and concertina.

Keep up to date with the live dates and other random snippets of info at the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/deshorsfallskuschtyrye/about/?ref=page_internal or http://www.kuschtyrye.net/

The creation of the band KUSCHTY RYE and albums ‘The Good Gentleman’s Tonic’ and ‘The Bastard’s Tin’ were directly inspired by the work of British musician & songwriter Ronnie Lane; specifically from his ‘Slim Chance’ period after he split with The Faces.

Back in the Bellows!

Delighted to announce that after over a year of not piping I am now officially ‘Back in the Bellows’. The regime of treatment, rest and focusing on other instruments has paid off and I have now regained full movement in piping-critical RH little finger meaning that I can play properly again.

Many thanks to everyone that has supported and helped me through this difficult (if quieter than usual!) time – you know who you are!

Ghostcode remix

I was very happy to stumble across this track, bringing back very happy memories of Jonathan Taylor and the @TFRUK gang.

The Forgetting Room

A shortened remix of Ghostcode 010 for the Russian radio show by Yuriy Chernyshov in December 2012 – this was the most folky track from the album and the section you have here comes in after the narration….

 

More on the The Forgetting Room Project here, sadly cut short by the untimely death of it’s driving force, the much missed Jonathan Taylor.

Duetting

Messing about with the duet concertina

Here’s something I came across whilst looking for something else (isn’t that always the way!). Messing around on the duet concertina with the odd whistle and pipe thrown in, recorded at Steve Smith’s (now of Kimbers Men fame) in 2016 just before the problems with my hand stopped me playing for a while…good news on that front – I will be back in the bellows soon! Watch this space

Duet Concertina

 

All music and arrangement by Becky Taylor, all rights reserved, © 2016

 

Introduction to Uilleann Piping video from NPU

This excellent introduction to Uilleann Piping from NPU is well worth a watch.

This short introduction to Uilleann Piping from Na Píobairí Uilleann features music from Mick O’Brien, Louise Mulcahy, Pat Mitchell, Kevin, Tierna and Naoise Rowsome, Gay McKeon and Jane Walls. Even if you are an experienced piper I think you will find something interesting in it. Well done NPU and thank you!

You can find out more about the work of NPU on their website: http://pipers.ie