2021-09 Tune of the Month - Dubuque

  1. HonketyHank
    The tune of the month for September 2021 is "Dubuque". The Tunearch.org annotation for this tune begins with "AKA and see ...", then lists 19 alternative titles and/or variations. Oddly, the one title that I found most often, "Old Grimes" is not on that list of 19, while most on the list were unfindable during my brief research.

    The MandolinCafe tabledit library has versions of both "Dubuque" and "Old Grimes". They share a common A part. The B parts certainly sound related but they are indeed different enough to merit different titles.

    The tune first appears in print in 1867 under the title "Village Hornpipe" in Elias Howe's "Howe's 1,000 Jigs and Reels, ...". This important volume has been reprinted by Mel Bay with an extensive foreward by Patrick Sky. Before that, the history of the tune is basically unknown except that most agree that it is most likely American, not European.

    Dubuque is the name of a river port on the Mississippi River in the state of Iowa, USA. It was named after a French-Canadian explorer/trader/entrepreneur, Sieur Julien Dubuque, who was one of the first white men to settle in that area. One account mentions his prowess with a fiddle but it is unknown if the tune was in circulation during his life. Dubuque died in 1810.

    The Song a Week thread for this tune is here: Week # 65 ~ Dubuque. Barbara's intro to the tune is a cut and paste of the whole tunearch.org annotation, so check it out for more detail than I mentioned above. Also, I liked Shaun Garrity's renditions of the tune in that thread, on both mandola and mandolin.

    Here is a version that I found on YouTube and enjoyed:

    It is two Russian guys named Yura (Yura Maltsev on guitar, Yura Lytkin on mandolin). They are somehow associated with the Saint Petersburg Forestry Science University. Faculty? Students? Staff? Their tune is titled "Old Grimes". Lytkin also has a separate video with just him playing the same tune solo.

    And here is a fiddle version by Wayne Cantwell:

    I'd say pick any one of the 20+ titles associated with this tune. Or make one up! Maybe we'll have a contest for "Best Title".
  2. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    A few years ago I scame upon this tune in the yellow book of fiddle tunes with the refugees from the 1970s on the cover.

    My grandmother lived in Dubuque for a few years before she married my grandfather in 1925, and other family members lived in Galena, Earlville, Shullsburg, McGregor, and other tiny towns in the area. Prairie du Chien, 60 miles up the river, is where my great-great grandfather pulled his wagon full of household goods across the frozen Mississippi in the coldest hours of a February night in the 1850s, leading the horses across one at a time, as he couldn't trust the ice to support the weight of the horses and wagon together. (And now we whine if the internet is a little slow.) All to say, I have a fondness for this tune and that specific part of the world.

    Not being a video whiz, I stumbled on this goofy filter while trying to figure out why this video is flipped right-to-left. Couldn't figure out how to fix that.

  3. SOMorris
    Good job, Louise. A catchy little tune!
  4. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Nice, Louise! I had that same problem when I took a video with my old Samsung cell. Don't know why or how to fix it.
  5. HonketyHank
    Very nice, Louise. And you get an early bird citation as well.

    On my old iPhone 7, you go to settings, then scroll down to Camera, then find "Mirror Front Photos". Click that button to OFF (gray instead of green).
  6. TTT
    That’s great Louise!
  7. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Thanks, folks. Who's next? It's a nice tune, and i found it a good exercise in getting a decent tone out of the lowest strings.

    The phone is a Samsung. It took more than one try to get a video I could live with, and all the rest of them were right way around. I must have done something while trying to cut 10 seconds off the beginning of this one. Oh well.
  8. bbcee
    Now you’ve inspired me to try out some iMovie SFX, Louise! Well played, great backstory, and thanks for posting early as an inspiration to us procrastinators.

    And PS, it's such a pleasure to hear that L&H - such a unique tone. Is your F5 stil in the shop, BTW? Are you trying for a record, if so?
  9. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Ahhh, the F-5. It was home for a while but started eating E strings. My luthier wanted to swap out the tuners for Rubners, his favorites, as the E was getting bound up in the old tuners and snapping. Rubner was retooling, then had a fire, then had to re-retool—took over a year to get the tuners here. Mando went back in late March for a quick swap. It got complicated (the old holes weren't perfectly drilled and need to be redone) and here we are. I'll supposedly have it at the end of the month. I adore my luthier, both as a craftsman and as a human, but time management skills are not his strong suit. I once heard someone describe "drug-dealer standard time" as "two hours later than you can possible imagine anyone being." Guitar-builder standard time has similarities, only we measure in a unit larger than hours.
  10. NDO
    I just wish I had access to a luthier!
  11. bbcee
    I learned the Dubuque-like Old Grimes from a Stangeland TEF version, and combined it with a pretty straight read of Red-Haired Boy. I'm still working on getting the tempo up, but wanted to post something. It's a really wonderful melody, it feels like one I'll play often. iReal Pro was used for the backing track.

    Louise, all I could manage FX-wise was a kind of glow-y vintage look, pretty subtle. Hoping to go full sci-fi on the next one!
  12. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Wow, that was really good!
  13. HonketyHank
    That Rigel sounds absolutely stellar. And good job pickin' - both tunes. I see you worked the ole pinkie a few times to good effect, too.
  14. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Sounds great! "Old Grimes" flows into "Red-Haired Boy" without a break. Good combination, well played.
  15. NDO
    Wow bbcee, well done!
  16. bbcee
    Thank you for the nice feedback. I didn’t add that I really like the Ukrainian duo’s version Henry posted above. Yura’s YT channel is impressive, he’s does quite a range of music. Maybe a future Mandolin Mondays artist!
  17. HonketyHank
    Made it! It is still September here on the left coast. I apologize for aiming the camera a bit high and chopping off the view of my right hand. Not much good to see of that anyway, so no big loss. I did want to be sure I got my hat into the frame.

  18. bbcee
    Great stuff, Henry! Nice, brisk tempo and that ... Red Diamond?? really roars with that wonderful oval hole sound.

    What, no video effects??
  19. NDO
    Wow Hank, great tone and tempo!
  20. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Hmmm, someone's playing one blonde oval A, two more hanging on the wall behind, and the L&H isn't even in view. Do I see a trend here? Are there even more? Nice playing!
  21. HonketyHank
    Louise, that's all of 'em. Oops, all of them except old Waldo. Haven't had him out in a while. But I have a few f's to balance things out.

    bbcee - look again. There is a perfect fade transition between me and the aerial view of beautiful modern day Dubuque. I was too zoomed out over my fabulous new furnace blower motor to do much more.

    Thanks for the comments, all.
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