April on Round Window Radio

Here are the liner notes that accompany the April 2018 release on Round Window RadioSubscribe for a mere $3 and hear this music, and 28 other new tunes. 

Paddy Cronin's Beauty / Man of the House / Guns of the Magnificent 7

Here is a set of tunes I put together for the session with Jon Sousa and Adam Agee. I found “Paddy Cronin’s Beauty” on the beautiful album “Deadly Buzz” by Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Mick O'Brien. The other two I learned from Jon and Adam. Once again the Valley of the Moon camp has brought me back around to loving this music in a whole new way. 

For the uninitiated, musicians will play Irish tunes in sets, such as this month’s release. Each tune is performed three times. Usually, fiddlers will not know any of the chords, and sometimes not even the name of the tune. It is just a shared melody. The typical accompaniment is a guitarist in DADGAD tuning. With no other harmony instrument, the guitarist has the freedom to play all kinds of substitutions. If you listen to Jon’s playing on “Guns,” he changes on each time through the form creating all sorts of harmonic surprises. This tune is a 3-part tune that is a bit crooked in the C-part. The first time through he plays the chords one expected, but then by the second time A-part he changes things giving it an entirely new flavor for those 10 seconds. He also syncopates the rhythm of the chords on the C-part, creating an unexpected lilt. By the 3rd time through “Gun” we are careening towards the end of the set, and he saves some unexpected chords for the turn around in the last A-part, and a fresh rhythmic idea through the B-part. All this variation alleviates the monotony of hearing the same tune three times in a row. 

Jon and Adam’s album is fantastic. And they have a new one coming out this month. 

Deadly Buzz is available here: 

And for more on DADGAD guitar, dig this set of tunes by the indomitable fiddler Liz Carroll. Watch John Doyle through this clip. He shreds the groove. ¡Increíble! 

Jake Schepps: banjo
Adam Agee: fiddle/foot percussion
Jon Sousa: guitar

Traditional Irish except “Guns” by Fintan McManus

Produced and arranged by Jake Schepps
Recorded May 11, 2017 at eTown Studio, Boulder CO
Engineered by James Tuttle
Mixed by Justin Peacock
Artwork by Duncan Burke