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Thread: A wee tune on the Sobell

  1. #1
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    Default A wee tune on the Sobell



    Over many years playing traditional Scottish music with The Occasionals and many other great friends, I have been lucky enough to encounter a handful of remarkable musicians. Folk who never get the spotlight shone on them, but are in my mind the real thing, rooted in their traditions which are sadly fading fast. Accordionist Ali Beag MacLeod in Coigach with his pure Gaelic lore, the wonderful accordionist Jim Brown of The Foundry Bar Band who taught me so much about the genuine Scottish dance idiom with its deep roots in Angus, Shand and the ferms and bothies, and his old pal cornet maestro Dod Michie of Jim Cameron's legendary Scottish Dance Band. Genuine traditional musicians.

    Then, in more recent times I would occasionally hear real maestros on out of fashion instruments, one memorably being the hugely accomplished moothie player Jimmy Little, first heard at the mighty Rothbury Accordion Club, where he moved me hugely with his groovy, accurate and lively renditions of catch local compositions by Willie Taylor; deep roots again. My Occasionals pal, leader and brilliant composer Freeland Barbour has properly honoured this superb musician with a suitably catchy tune. Here it is, sight read and new to me, so excuse any wee slips. I look forward to being able to play this with Jimmy and Freeland sometime when this dreary pandemic time is over.

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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    I love the tone on that Sobell!
    fine playing there.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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  5. #3
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    Fine playing as usual, Kevin. A great wee tune and the Sobell is sounding great in this recording.
    I must say you are weathering the lockdown well too, and even keeping the hair tidily coiffured!
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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  7. #4
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    3 for 3!
    1. good tune
    2. good sounding mandolin
    3. good playing

    thanks for posting it, kevin!
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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  9. #5
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    I loved the first track on your "Springwell" album because the notes sounded like a fountain of the clearest water - if that isn't getting too poetic. Was that the same mandolin? Your playing here has something similar going on, and it's so enjoyable!

  10. #6
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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    Thanks! Yes, that same old Sobell, a 1983 model, Indian rosewood back and sides, small bodied, European spruce top, 8 strings, J74s....

    The track, the first thing I ever recorded "solo" was done in Castlesound Studios in Pencaitland, Scotland in 1999. Alec Finn accompanied me on the track, and on the first take I was so nervous that I sat thinking as I played, this is rubbish, I'll need to redo this! Frankie Gavin immediately stuck his head round the door and said, mighty take lads, let's move onto the next track! I took a listen and realised that as I struggled through the notes, Alec was grooving away, holding it all together and making it sound wonderful! I was amazed. He made everyone sound so much better! What a thrill to have these old pals, and other compadres, help make it listenable!

    It was onto analogue tape too, just on the cusp of digital recording, and there is a clarity and space in the sound, that I like too. Top quality engineering from Stuart Hamilton and beautiful mikes. And a classic space. Very lucky to have had the opportunity from Ian Green of Greentrax. Would never happen these days!

    This video sound is just a wee Panasonic video recorder mike, and as my video editing software, MS Vista Moviemaker is now faulty, for no apparent reason, I can't edit the fluffs! Oh well!

    I have material ready for a possible 5th solo cd, the first on my own entirely, probably. Hope to get it recorded this year. There's virtually no outlets for cds now, so I'd only make a few copies for the heck of it.

    Thanks for your kind comments, it does mean a great deal!

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  12. #7
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    Thank you for sharing the story of that track, which is so interesting. Credit to Alec, for sure, but don't downplay your own excellent picking on that classic track.

    And that's a real keeper of a mandolin you have there. I've never heard a better sound come out of a mandolin.

    Let us know when that new recording is done, too. I'll buy a copy.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: A wee tune on the Sobell

    At Castlesound and Edinburgh 1999

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    Name:  9-Alec frankie.jpg
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