Last weekend, I had the lucky opportunity to play some music for a local Farm to Fork Culinary Tour, run by a former student of mine at Flavors of Northwest Iowa. It was a really neat trip! The weather was perfect for touring the farms, and we had the chance to meet the farmers, learn about what they were doing and why, and learn more about food — how it’s grown, how it’s prepared, how people think about it, how local economies depend on it. I’m a city kid with only a general sort of bookish grasp of farming, so for me it was a bit like going to Local Agriculture University for a visit with the resident PhDs — amazing! We also got to eat some really, really fresh and delicious stuff. It was a magnificent day. If you ever have the chance to do this, GO. It is worth it on so many levels.
The little band of musicians I joined on the tour (all of them amazing local folk I have the great fortune to play with on a regular basis) was brought along to provide sweet background tunes and to make appropriate noises for some dancers. A few weeks before the gig, we were told it would be line dancing, and were bracing ourselves for some (*shudder*) Boot Scootin’ Boogie when we noticed that the songs suggested for the dance were most emphatically NOT performed by anyone even distantly related to Brooks and/or Dunn. We were perplexed.
We were perturbed.
Then, I went and dug out some music for a couple of the dances that our farm hosts had in mind, and it turns out they were going to do some Scottish traditional dancing. That’s when we got confused.
That’s when we started having some fun. Some of us actually got up and danced, which was wildly entertaining, and the music itself presented some neat challenges for a group not really all that familiar with the style or genre we were playing. We did it, though, and it was pretty cool.
I decided it might be fun to try to put one of the tunes, Dashing White Sergeant, together for my own little challenge (since I’ve been too busy until just now to blog like I should), so here’s how it went:
I wish I had a concertina in the right key and knew how to play it, because I think the additional sound would’ve been pretty sweet. I just played fiddle, acoustic guitar, and Dashing el Deano, my massive acoustic/electric bass guitar, into a condenser mic run through the Mackie. Fun!