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Page history last edited by Mary.Ellsworth 6 years, 9 months ago

Foggy Bottom Morris were long blessed by having Nick as a musician. Besides showing a skill that I still find incredible when he banged out the notes on his Jeffries Duet concertina, he kept our band together, set the tempo, and often dictated the tunes that were played for particular dances.


Jim Besser, no mean concertina player himself, recorded 12 tunes at practice over several Thursday nights in 2006. He intended to use them simply to learn the tunes and how to play them for us. Fortunately, they leave us with a record of how Nick sounded when he played for us week in and week out.


The tunes are from the traditions of Badby, Bampton, and Bledington. Nick had taught us Badby; that night we danced Sheriff's Ride, Shepherd's Hey, Noah's Morris (after Noah Lewis; dance by Nick; tune by Jim Lewis, Noah's dad), and Cavalier. We danced the last to the tune of The World Turned Upside Down, the tune Nick had selected for it. Bampton has long been a Foggy Bottom favorite. We did Banbury Bill, Step and Fetch Her, and Donkey Riding (a dance written by Hogtown Morris of Toronto) that night. We were just learning Bledington, which would soon replace Badby. These are the tunes that Nick plays at a properly slower pace: Idbury Hill, William and Nancy, and Young Collins. The recordings also include the Border set. This is all Nick--his tunes, his dances: Richard's Castle to come in, then Dilwyn (to the tune of Not for Joe) and Fanny Frail. 



Banbury Bill


Border Set


Cuckoo's Nest


Donkey Riding


Idbury Hill


Noah's Morris


Shepherds Hey


Sheriff's Ride


Step and Fetch Her


William and Nancy


The World Turned Upside Down


Young Collins


Nick also had a knack for just jamming tunes out, particularly tunes that weren't "Cotswold" (and therefore part of normal Foggy Bottom playing), at moments of joy or merely when taking a break on a tour.  Here's one such example, a beautiful ditty we caught at a pub in Inverness, Scotland, on our UK2K tour.  The first tune is The Young Widow.  The second is as yet, unknown.  




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