Click on cd covers for group info, cds, and tracklists.


Contra Dance Music

Two outstanding contra dance recordings put out by Great Meadow Music feature musicians from the Connecticut River Valley dance scene and are ones that I was asked to play on: Green Mountain and Full Swing. They are excellent presentations of New England dance music at its best, with beautiful tunes from different traditions, varied instrumentation and arrangements.

Green Mountain
cd cover: Green Mountain
Mary Cay Brass, brilliant pianist, accordionist and overall musician, spearheaded "Green Mountain," a favorite contra dance CD of mine. She is joined in this recording by the best women musicians from the area. The result is a delightfully varied, upbeat and beautifully crafted CD that celebrates the vitality and diversity of New England dance music. Click links below to hear samples.
  • Cook in the Kitchen / Dusty Windowsills, Mooncoin (Irish jigs)•
  • Reel Traditionelle, Reel Traditionelle, St. Antoine's (Quebec reels)•
  • Iles de la Madeleine (watlz)•
  • The Green Mountain, Tarboltan, Siobhan O'Donnell's (Irish & Scottish reels)•
  • New Delhi (Swedish walking tune) •
  • Clare Jig, Mist on the Mountain, Liam O'Flynn's (Irish jigs, reel)•
  • Jersey Lightning, Hippodrome Reel, Viva el West Side or Dedicado à Joe (New England / Quebec reels) •
  • Topphuvv'leken (Swedish hambo)•
  • Jules Verret, Reel de Mattawa (Richard Forest), La Belle Gaspésie (Quebec reels)•
  • Phil Cunningham's, The Dawn (Irish reels)•
  • Pipe on the Hob, Log Cabin, Hanley's Tweed (Irish jig/reels)•
  • Waltzes from Järna, Gås Anders Waltz •
  • Oj Ti Mome (Bulgarian kopanica)

Musicians:

Mary Cay Brass
piano / accordion
Becky Ashenden
bass
Sarah Blair
fiddle
Susan Conger
fiddle
Mary Lea
fiddle
Ann Percival
guitar
Becky Tracy
fiddle
Full Swing
cd cover:full swing
"Full Swing," with many of the same musicians as the previous CD and put together by Susan Kevra, has a different purpose. The focus of this high-spirited recording is to provide "dance length" cuts of New England chestnuts, square dance tunes of both New England and Southern style, as well as jigs and reels both for use by dance groups and for general listening pleasure. The CD includes a complete caller and dancer instruction booklet. Susan Kevra calls the dance figures on several cuts.
  • Le Diable Vert / Le 24 Juin / Galope de la Malbaie (Quebec reels) •
  • The Green Mountain / The Sligo Maid / Rakish Paddy (Irish reels) •
  • The Boys of Tandragee / Mary McNamara's Carraroe Jig (Irish jigs) •
  • Goodbye My Lady Love (square dance - sung) •
  • Sou'west Bridge / The Spey in Spate / The Cape Breton Fiddler's Welcome to the Shetland Islands (Cape Breton reels) •
  • Chorus Jig / Opera Reel / Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman (New England reels) •
  • Tatter Jack Walsh / Dinny O'Brien's / Gravel Walk (Irish jig / reels) •
  • North Carolina Breakdown / Sandy Boys (old-time reels)

Musicians:

Susan Kevra
caller
Sarah Blair
fiddle
Mary Cay Brass
piano
Stuart Kenney
upright bass
Mary Lea
fiddle
Becky Tracy
fiddle