As someone who has the zodiac sign of Cancer the Crab, I should feel uncomfortable about the title of this tune. But, I don’t.
I didn’t even feel uncomfortable when playing this tune at an old time contest cost me placement in the top five. Too bad. It’s a great tune. You can hear Liz Carroll play it on the Lost in the Loop album.
This tune goes way back. You’ll find it in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland for deep traditional “cred.” Also, check Mel Bay’s Irish Session Tune Book for contemporary validation. It’s all good with this one.
When I first heard On the Boulevard from the Liz Carroll album, Lost in the Loop, It seemed repetitious. The similarity between the A part and the B part seemed a little redundant. It was as if the B part was a replay of the A part an octave higher.
Then, I started playing the tune. When I got involved I found that the contrast between the tow parts was subtle but interesting. Now I’ve gotten to like the jig very much and have included it in the 2nd Sunday Session we have in Palm Harbor.
Maybeyou’ve heard the insensitive comment that all these Irish tunes sound alike. (Or, all these old timer tunes sound alike. Or, all these fiddle tunes sound alike. You get the idea.) Let’s not be that person. Let’s be open minded that we may not appreciate a tune when we hear it, but we know that some people may like it alot.
I got this tune from Liz Carroll’s book, Collected. It has 185 of her original tunes. When I play it as tabbed, I include a little tweak in the A part that organizes playing the first phrase four times for me. Otherwise, it is mostly as published in music notation.
When I play The Earl’s Chair, sometimes I think: The Duke of Earl’s Chair. That would be a slightly Americanized version of this great Irish fiddle reel.
I first tuned in to The Earl’s Chair when I heard the Liz Carroll album, Lost in the Loop. It’s preceded by an incendiary Silver Spear, and followed by a lively Musical Priest. There’s a cool riff she does that I imitate to some extent in this tab chart.
Originally I made a music notation version of what I was teaching. That went out to the Second Sunday Session that will be meeting tomorrow.
Since then I’ve tweaked it a bit. What appears below is close to how I play it now.
Here is what The Earl’s Chair sounds like.
This is a moderately difficult tune even at the intermediate pace of the sound file. Below is a YouTube video I made right after recording the above.
At the Second Sunday Session we play the Earl’s Chair after Silver Spear, just like Liz Carroll. Well, our Chair is more of a Lazy Boy Recliner by comparison.
A few years ago, I went to the Clearwater Library to sit in on a concert presented by the Bay Area Fiddlers. I had been out of the group for a few years. So it was that I met Anson and Pat Young for the first time.
I learned before long that they were very active in promoting the group and making sure things happened that needed to happen.
I know most of the tunes we played that day. One was new to me: Lannigan’s Ball, a sprightly jig in E minor. I faked along as well as I could and resolved to really learn the tune, because I liked it.
Now I teach it to my students, using this tab chart.
Here is the tune played at a moderate tempo.
For printing, and sharing with others, here is a pdf chart. Now that I look at it again, as I put it online, I wish I had put in a grace note from the 3rd finger to the first finger in the second bar, and the fifth bar which has the same figure of notes. Feel free to add that ornament to Lannigan’s Ball and have fun at the ball!
This audio file features me playing Lannigan’s Ball as you see in the chart, then a second time with a little more ornamentation.
Pardon me if you have heard this from me before: I like hornpipes to have a swing rhythm. Many fiddlers play some hornpipes with a swing feel, and others they play like a reel or hoedown.
Consider Sailor’s Hornpipe. I hear no one playing it as a swing rhythm hornpipe. Same with Fisher’s Hornpipe. Most fiddlers just blast it out as a fast reel. Well, I’m not comfortable with that.
The hornpipe you find here is usually played with a swing feel to it. In other words, it’s treated as a fiddle hornpipe. I often include it in a medley with Drunken Sailor. Now that I put these words to print, I’m thinking of including Sailor’s in the same line up. Let’s just keep it very nautical!
One morning not long ago I woke up with a head ache. Maybe it was from staring at those little dots of music at orchestra rehearsal. Or peering at the little screen on my lap top.
I took some ibuprofen, (my drug of choice), and made coffee. As I waited for the coffee to brew I was trying to remember a Liz Carroll tune. There was something about it that haunted me. But, I wasn’t remembering exactly how the tune went or what album it was on.
As I continued trying to focus through my achy head and morning bleariness, suddenly a new tune popped into my head. I’m saying it was an instant download from the Grassapelli influence. It was just there.
I got out my fiddle and Edirol. By that time the coffee was ready, so I poured a cup. By the time I had played through the tune two times and recorded it, my headache was gone. Hence. Quick Fix.
Indian Point is a jig written by Rick Mohr. It has become a popular session tune. Mr. Mohr has used a musical device in this tune that is very effective. Maybe he did not set out to do this composer’s trick, but it is a neat one.
The contour of the melody and chord progression in the A part is speeded up to twice as fast in the B part. That doesn’t mean that notes go faster. It’s the change of chords, and the arc of melody that moves faster. I hope that makes sense.
I find this jig absolutely magnetic. I love to play it.
In the first chart you find the basic tune in fiddle tab as it is published elsewhere in music notation. The second chart has some ornaments I like to use when I play the tune. Look for the pdf file for printing and the mp3 file for listening. They are below each graphic image.