Category Archives: fabulous ones

Hanukkah with the Viper, pt. 5

Though you wouldn’t know this from the scratch track, lead sheet, or cheat sheet, you would know from the recording that I posted on December 21 that the Paint Branch Ramblers pair our Hanukkah original “Heyse Latke Kalte Latke” with another song, one composed by Bill Monroe and called “Jerusalem Ridge.”

Though the pairing seems obvious, in terms of relative keys, modal feel, and subject matter, it should be noted that “Jerusalem Ridge” is actually a 1970s tune based on the family farm in Kentucky where mandolin player and bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe grew up, and the site of an annual bluegrass festival.

Here’s Bill Monroe with violinist Kenny Baker playing “Jerusalem Ridge.” The video starts in media res with the recording and starts with a montage of photos, but halfway through switches to footage of Monroe and Baker actually playing.

Fillmore and Buchanan part deux

A while ago, after I’d written my Presidents day salute to two of our least remembered, least loved presidents, “The Fillmore & Buchanan March,” Riley Broach took the lead sheet I’d uploaded and scored the piece in Sibelius. (For the background on the piece and the primary documents in question, see my February 20, 2008 entry)

When I asked him if he meant in the style of the Finnish composer, he laughed uncomfortably and wrote:

While an arrangement in the style of our favorite Finn, Sibelius would be hilarious, I was only referring to the program which is entitled, in fact, Sibelius. But you probably know that and are being hilarious as always, though one never can be so sure with you.

Well, he can be sure, because here I sit right now, whistling Sibelius’s Fifth like I’m Morton Feldman or something.

Anyway, here is the arrangement of The Fillmore & Buchanan March in some style arranged using Sibelius.

It sounded great, and really funny. But I was stuck. Because the file exists in a format that this blog doesn’t seem to recognize, it wasn’t until I was living in this backyard cottage I call Ainola (though if I knew the difference, I’d probably call it Shainola) and figured out that I could record streaming sound using Audacity that I also realized I’d finally be able to share Riley’s gift to the world.

So here it is, in all its scored glory, “The  Fillmore and Buchanan March.”

For download: