2020-06 Tune - Brenda Stubbert's (Reel)

  1. HonketyHank
    This month's tune is Brenda Stubbert's, a Cape Breton reel. It was the song of the week back in April, 2010; here is a link to the SAW thread. ( https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/g...cussionid=1477 ).

    Brenda Stubbert's Reel was written in 2007 by Jerry Holland for a Cape Breton fiddler (and composer) named Brenda Stubbert (duh!). Holland, born in Massachusetts, USA, began playing fiddle at age 5 and was strongly influenced by the expatriot Cape Breton community in the area. His first television appearance was at age seven on the highly popular and long running Canadian program Don Messer's Jubilee. At age 20 he emigrated to the Cape Breton region of Nova Scotia, where he lived happily until his death at age 54 in 2009.

    Brenda Stubbert was a friend of Holland's. She is well-known among the Cape Breton music crowd and is still playing her fiddle at age 61. Her website is http://www.cranfordpub.com/stubbert/

    Some of the working videos in the SAW thread can be a bit intimidating, but this tune does not "need" to be played at breakneck pace. Nor are all those banjo-y trebles necessary. I plan to pick a version from the entries at thesession.org ( https://thesession.org/tunes/727 ). Some of the later versions there look quite playable.

    I really dug deep into YouTube looking for just the right video, either featuring a mandolin or Brenda Stubbert or Jerry Holland. I pretty much came up empty. I do recommend the video by David Mold (Old Sausage) in the SAW thread. But since the tune was named for a great Canadian fiddler maybe I can get away with a video featuring another great Canadian fiddler, Patti Kosturok. Here she is (on the right) with her friends Donna Turk and Marcel Hapel playing Brenda Stubbert's Reel on Brenda Stubbert's birthday, 2019.


    We do a tune a month. The folks in the SAW group post a tune a week. Patti has just completed her second year of "365 Days of Fiddle Tunes" on YouTube. That's what, 730 tunes in 730 days? Wow. Brenda Stubbert's was day 196 of the second year.
  2. HonketyHank
    Is anybody going to work on this one this month? My first impression of the tune was that it was quite an interesting fiddle tune but maybe difficult to make into a mandolin tune. It seems to depend a lot on those fiddly ornaments and fast pace.

    But I went ahead and looked at all the different settings for the tune at thesession.org. I selected three and downloaded them and loaded them into TablEdit. Tried to play them. I couldn't make them sound like what I had heard in the various YouTube videos but I narrowed my list down to one. That one was submitted by JACKB, a frequent contributor of tunes to thesession whose settings frequently appeal to me. He usually manages to get down to the basics of the tune and let the reader fill in ornaments if so desired. I have ended up using and adapting his settings for several other tunes also.

    So, I have been playing JACKB's setting for a couple of days now and I see where I might make a change or two, but I have to say that the tune is beginning to make sense to me. One of the interesting things I have discovered is that the phrasing is rather standard but the notes themselves try to lead you away from there. And if you don't stay really focused on the phrasing, you just get lost in a forest of notes.

    I am going to make a real effort with this one because I find it to be a challenge. I know I won't get it up to 'proper' speed, nor will try to replicate all the fiddly stuff, and I might well end up with a rather idiosyncratic version of dubious authenticity. It probably won't end up on my list of favorites. But I see this as an interesting exercise.

    Anybody else with me?
  3. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    I printed it out, which is much further than I got last month. I've played through it a couple of times, and the verdict is "meh." Didn't love it, didn't loathe it. I'll continue to work on it for awhile and see if it grows on me.
  4. bbcee
    Yea, think I'm going to take a pass on this one as well. I really liked Old Sausage's take on it in the SAW thread, really fresh.

    July's tune, "Down in the Willow Garden", should be a good one for ALL of us (hint, hint) to have a crack at.
  5. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    This is quite a nice tune with fairly easy fingering on the mandola.
  6. HonketyHank
    Nice, mm! You even got the trebles or triplets or whatever they are. Good job!
  7. SOMorris
    Good job!
  8. bbcee
    Thanks for posting, MM, and nice job!
  9. HonketyHank
    Here it is. I never got good enough with the trebley tripley ornaments, so I just skipped them and covered with drones, hammers, and pulls.

    When it is safe to emerge from my cave, I plan to celebrate with a grand haircut- and shave-a-thon. It's been a long time since I let my hair grow out this long. Now the question is, why is my hair so thin? where did the rest of my hair go? My head looks like an overly fuzzy peach. But my beard is growing nicely. Watch for my debut with the Soggy Bottom Boys.
  10. bbcee
    Sounding good Hank, even without the triplets!!
  11. Sleet
    This tune seems to pretty popular in Celtic circles. I've never quite gotten it. I do think it's better suited to fiddle and hard to make it mando friendly. Good job Hank, and mm, different approaches to make it work.
  12. HonketyHank
    Hey! Welcome back, Sleet! Nice work with Brenda. Is that a different mandolin? I seem to remember a flattop. Anyway, it sounds good. And your Brenda Stubbert's sounds good too.
  13. Sleet
    Hello Hank, and thanks for the welcome back. Time flies when you're having life. The Silver Angel was my last mando acquisition before I was lured into fiddle. I've kept the flat tops, lost the calluses. My mandos is still outnumber my fiddles but my practice time is mostly fiddle now.
  14. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Three for three—good work all around on ol' Brenda, people. Seems like all are putting quarantime to good use.

    Sleet, I love the sound of those Silverangels. Nice dark voice.
Results 1 to 14 of 14