28 October 2009

RSL Wed night 28 Oct

'Blackwaterside' aka Neil, Maryanne, Greg Hammond and Steve performed at Newport RSL last night as part of the regular program of Wednesday nights and monthly Sunday BBQ gigs organised by Don Gula. Thanks to performances by many artists, including a good number from the NFFC, the RSL has been able to keep out the dreaded pokies and still survive financially by attracting a crowd to enjoy these free music events.

Last night, Maryanne was sporting a new banjtar or guitjo - ? I am not sure what to call it. I think she will need a pair of overalls and change her name to Daisy-May to go with that new hillbilly sound (sorry M-A, I couldn't resist that cheap shot!).

The Newport RSL made us all feel very welcome as usual, and made sure we did not go hungry or thirsty. These gigs are a great way to get some practice at playing with an audience. I am sure Don will be looking for more volunteers next year, and I hope the NFFC can provide some fresh talent to fill the bill as players improve their performance skills at the club nights and gain the confidence to venture outside the Newport Hall.

I hope to see some of you at Maldon this weekend. Have a good one!

Steve M

19 October 2009

Newport Bush Orchestra in Growth Mode?

The Newport Bush Orchestra had a different feel tonight - 5 new fiddlers came along to check out what was happening. As you can see from the pictures, they were happy to be playing along with the team, and at the same time decreased the average age of the NBO by a significant number of years. Let's hope they become a regular part of the Newport Music Making on a Monday night.

Present: Greg O, Bruce, Simon D, Christine H, Christine McD, Nancy, Wendy, Marilla, Annette, Kathryn, Dave I, Michael S, Michael de V, Alasdair, Leonie, Mary Anne, Chris K, Pam, Rod D, The Abatayo family: Evelyn, Zion, Czarline, Czarina, Gyrah, Zymone, AJ.

The rhythm crew ran through some of the American repertoire including: Old Joe Clark, Over the Waterfall and then had a look at the lovely waltz Midnight on the Water.

The melody group ran through Old Joe Clark.

After the break we all got together and played Old Joe Clark. As a finale, Michael S led the way in a 'folkey' line dance - the 'Nixie Polka' - backed by fiddles. Talk about bang for your buck - free dance lessons thrown in!

14 October 2009

Choir 14 October

Christmas still seems a long way off but we are already preparing with Silent Night now sounding great after only 2 rehearsals and another carol on the agenda for next week. Lovely to see the familiar faces and welcome to newcomer Marilla, already getting into the swing of it amongst the sopranos.

Our South African number Sinje-Nje-Nje is really coming together now after a very productive rehearsal focussing on the tricky pronunciation and trying out a new arrangement.

Keeping up the language challenge, we also worked on Dimna Juda - always challenging for new singers but simple enough after a bit of practice. It really has some dynamics now and sounds great. We finished up with Shut De Door, an oldie but goodie ...one of these days we'll sing it absolutely perfectly but it sounds fantastic just as it is!

Any basses out there who are thinking about having a sing? We'd love to have you! Norm and Mark are doing a great job but another bass or two would give us a perfect balance. See the Activities page for details.

Bush Orchestra Monday 12/10/09

Present: Bruce, Simon D, Christine H, Nancy, Rhonwyn, Wendy, Marilla, Annette, Kathryn, Dave, Michael, Greg O, Alasdair, Christine McD, Leonie, Mary Anne, Chris K.

Tonight we all worked on that classic old timey and bluegrass tune 'Old Joe Clarke' in A.

After the break we ran through a wild medley of 'Old Joe Clarke' (A), 'Jambalaya' (D), 'Bonaparte's Retreat' (D) and finally 'Over the Waterfall' (D).

After the official finish for the night the informal jam session kicked off with the following:

Leonie and Bruce - 'Cluck Old Hen' (A)
Michael - 'Kiandra'
Simon - a great old Irish song that I forgot to write down
Greg O then played a banjo tune - but my pen broke and I couldn't write it down (and now I can't remember what it was - or what else was sung. I'm still too upset over the busted pen - and wondering whether anyone is actually going for these sad old excuses). 

Next week I'll have new pen in hand and promise to faithfully jot down all tunes that are played.


06 October 2009

September was another great Club Night get-together success - a turn out of about 45 people, very surprising considering it was a very wet night and Grand Final Eve. Christine and Alison arrived early just before 7.30pm to open up with at least 8 peple already waiting outside. Thr troups got to work immediately setting up chairs and the night kicked off at approx. 7.50pm. Interestingly most of our regulars weren't there - Alan ha a choir gig but arrived just in time for the 'Parting Glass'. Michael was overseas this month and in his abscence Christine hoted the night with the support of Alison and Jackie keeping tabs on 'who sang what'. The night finished just after 11pm with about 20 people stil keen to kick on. By 11.30 'closing time' had to be called - that's always a sign of a good nitht! More details of the night still to come - stay tuned.

05 October 2009

Steve's travels

Hi All,

sorry I missed out on the September meeting and NOSH for October. Ann and I were on holidays in Broken Hill and the Flinders Ranges, and yes! I took my bass with me. Echuca is the furthest it has travelled, so it was keen to come along, plus I could have some practice to avoid getting too rusty.

Towards the end of our travels we arrived for a night at the Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, which is on the edge of some real outback country. Ch 7 were doing some filming there that night with Ernie Dingo and John Williamson. Socky (one of the locals) started playing guitar out the front of the pub around sunset, so I joined him for a play, and soon we had a bit of a session going.

Once the filming was finished, Ernie Dingo borrowed the guitar and we started to reel off a huge variety of songs - he is quite a singer, and they went down very well with the locals. Then as Ernies voice started to fade, John Williamson graciously took over, and reeled off Old Man Emu and a few other requests. By this time, the whole pub was dancing and whooping it up. What a night!

The publican Jane has asked that if anyone from the NFFC comes up to Parachilna, be sure to bring an instrument!

Steve Martin

The BO at the opening of Gov. Latrobe's Cottage

Bush Orchestrarians
The Latrobe Cottage event was a success all round.
present: Annette, Kathryn, Rhonnie, Mike le Valle, Pam, Marilla, Wendy, Alasdair, Greg, Dave.
The performers dressed in an amazing panoply of equipage and frippery of the period and this was really appreciated by the organizers.
We rattled off our collection of tunes, coaxing applause from the snooty gathering for a couple of hours, interspersed with speeches (mumble,mumble) from the re-enactors. The sun shone and birds twittered, curious bystanders noseyed around and all in all it wasn't a bad day.
The original brief of the BO from the Victorian Historical Society who funded the first year was to teach the orchestra authentic Australian tunes and to perform them in public. Well it couldn't get any more appropriate than this. The original opening of Victoria's first Government house had music provided by a party playing jigs and reels. 170 years later we did the same thing at the re-enactment with a repertoire as close as possible to the original.
Thanks to everyone and well done!

Bush Orchestra Monday 5/10/09 Like the man said - Back to Work!

Present: Greg O, Bruce, Mary-Anne, Annette, Alisdair, Christine  x 2, Simon, Marilla, Pam, Nancy, Rhonwyn, Katherine, Michael, Wendy, Leonie. 

Well, the hols are gone and we're all back at the coalface! Greg started the session by handing out a list of 81 tunes we know (or have known) and play, rated into the following categories: 'core', 'ok-sort of', 'dodgy' 're-teach'! One goal for this term is to get some of the lesser played tunes on the list up and running again. Another goal is to broaden our tune and song base.

We also discussed the possibility of the group attending and playing at the Fiddlers Convention next year. 

Both the rhythm and melody groups worked on that wonderful old Hank Williams tune 'Jambalaya' in D and it went down a treat once we found the right pace.

We then had a session free for all with members performing the following tunes/songs:

Lonesome John - A
Clinch Mountain Backstep - A
Planxty Irwin - G
Inisheer - G
Wind that Shakes the Barley - D
Bonaparte's Retreat - D
Marie's Wedding - D
Blowing in the Wind - G
Come Over the Sea Charlie - G
Lord Let Me See - D
The Old Schoolmaster - D
Cock of the North - D

All in all, a great night was had and we're all quite happy to be working on this particular coalface!!

Newport Bush Orchestra - Term 4 2009 - Back to Work!

The Newport Bush Orchestra is back at work on a Monday Night for Term 4. Last Saturday was another triumph for the NBO - this time at a celebration of Australia's History at La Trobe's Cottage. All in costume, and the music made the day. Tonight though they are all playing along and having a great time. The pictures tell the story! Its always fun and if you are interested in joining the group come along - 7.30 Monday night to the Outlets Newport COmmunity Centre 45 Mason St Newport. Bruce will keep you posted as to what they are playing and Greg will be reporting on the gigs that are coming up so come and drop in to the blog each week and see how the story goes.

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