Kitchen Fiddle

Kitchen Fiddle is fresh old-time and Irish fiddle; an album of my favorite tunes with my favorite musicians. 

1  Donald Cameron’s   My very favorite tune.  Fiddle and harmonica weave in and out giving it the feeling of an old-time dance.  I learned this reel from Ken Perlman’s book The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island. This tune was performed at a live show at WFHB in Bloomington, IN with Johnandrew Bellner/guitar, Mitch Rice/harmonica and Michael League/bass. Thanks to WFHB for the recording of this tune.

2  Pretty Polly   I learned this tune off the CD Fiddling Missouri by Howard Marshall and John Williams.  I play it in AEAC# tuning with Jude Odell on banjo who is my busking partner-in-crime.

3  Durang’s Hornpipe   A swinging version of Durang’s with Johnandrew Bellner on tenor banjo.

4  Billy In The Lowground   A one-of-a-kind version of this tune from Joe Dawson (1928-2012).  Joe taught me this fiddle tune at the Thursday night sessions in his living room in Bloomington, IN.  I feel incredibly fortunate I was able to spend time in the company of his music, wisdom (especially gardening!) and wit.  Johnandrew Bellner on mandolin.

5  Over The Moor To Maggie   Short and sweet, just fiddle and accordion played by John McGillian.  I met John at the Philly Folk Fest in 2001 and love playing tunes with him at the Plough and The Stars, 2nd & Chestnut, Philadelphia, where he hosts the session every Sunday with guitarist Tom O’Malley.

6  The High Cauled Cap   I learned this polka from John’s father, Kevin McGillian, an accordion player who is the foundation of Irish music in Philadelphia.  After I learned it, I realized I already knew this as the song “Hieland Laddie”.  I play it closer to the tempo that I’ve heard it sung just in case someone wants to throw a verse in. Terry and Johnandrew Bellner on concertina & banjo.

7  Julia Delaney’s and MacArthur Road  Played all by myself in my kitchen.  MacArthur Road written by Dave Richardson.

8  Betty & Beauty   A waltz from Joe Dawson about his two work horses of the same name.  According to Grey Larsen, who was Joe’s close friend: “Betty and Beauty were his two work horses, and he had amazing rapport with them that bordered on telepathy to hear Joe tell the stories. The horses were sisters, were black with white stars on their foreheads and white on their feet.  Wish we had a photo, but I never found one.  He loved those horses dearly, and it seems they loved him, too.”   Johnandrew Bellner on guitar.

9  Paddy Won’t You Take A Drink Of That Good Old Cider   Joe Dawson’s version.  Jude Odell on banjo.

10  Leslie’s March   From the ballet “Oscar and Malvina” written in 1793.  John McGillian on accordion and Tom O’Malley on guitar.  Pep talk by John McGillian.

11  The Germans   I found these tunes on an Altan album and I usually call them The Barndances.  Darin Kelly/guitar, Paddy O’Neill/flute and John McGillian/accordion.

12 The Hunter’s House & Johnny Cronin’s   This set of reels is what it sounds like at the Saturday session at Fergie’s Pub, 13th & Sansom St., Philadelphia, founded and anchored by Darin Kelly.  Ed Reavy of Philadelphia wrote the Hunter’s House and I learned the traditional Johnny Cronin’s from Kevin McGillian.  A big thanks to Mary Reavy for permission to record the Hunter’s House.  With Darin Kelly/guitar, Paddy O’Neill/flute and John McGillian/accordion. 

13  Shady Grove   Jude Odell taught me this version of Shady Grove.  I’m joined by Johnandrew Bellner, D. Mark Conway and Erik Peterson of the Indiana Old-Time Ambassadors.  Nothing but fun on this one.

14  Chinquapin Hunting   This was recorded at an old-time jam at Barbara Johnson’s house.  We got together with John Mahoney, Jann Glider and Ray Frick to have a good time.

Guest musicians include Grammy-winning bassist Michael League of Snarky Puppy, John McGillian/accordion, Mitch Rice/harmonica, Johnandrew Bellner/guitar & banjo, Erik Peterson/banjo, D. Mark Conway/bass, Jude Odell/banjo, Terry Bellner/concertina & voice, Darin Kelly/guitar, Paddy O’Neill/flute, Tom O’Malley/guitar, Barb Johnson/guitar, Jann Glider/fiddle, John Mahoney/fiddle, Ray Frick/banjo.  Recorded by Gabriel Donohue and Johnandrew Bellner. Mixed and Mastered by Johnandrew Bellner. Thanks to WFHB in Bloomington, IN for the recording of track 1. Special thanks to Mary Reavy for permission to record “The Hunter’s House” by Ed Reavy.  “MacArthur Road” by Dave Richardson.  Thanks to Grey Larsen for help with the liner notes.  Photo by Jasmine Reese, graphic design by Audrey Shebish & Deb Shebish.