Tag Archives: norwegian fishing show

From the archives…

I just discovered the following unpublished post among my draft list for this blog. It’s possible that this was published in some other form last Spring on this site, but I’m too lazy to look. It features some rare audio footage from a late 1990s Champaign-Urbana supergroup, so it’s worth reposting in any case. Afiyet olsun!


For Viper, Tangleweed, Kennett Brothers, or Edward Burch completionists, I’ll call your attention to a video I just posted to YouTube designed to show the students in our first-year writing program what a poster session is. The footage was shot by my colleague Phil Troutman during the 2006 University Writing and Research Symposium at The George Washington University, which is an event in which I’ve played a lead role for the past four years (you’ll see me briefly in the hand-gesture-montage portion of the video near the end).

More to the point, the soundtrack is taken from one of the tracks that Kenneth Rainey, Edward Burch, and I (along with bassist Dave Wesley) recorded a number of years ago during a day of studio-composing material for a never-to-materialize fishing show aimed at the Norwegian television market. My peeps!

You can read more about these sessions (and download an MP3 of the song) over at the Tangleweed blog. In my files, I’d always just called this tune “Fishin’,” but I am reminded by Kip’s account that it was/is, in fact, called “Hank’s Fishin’ Song” — “Hankie” Kennett being Kip’s moniker with the Kennett Brothers. For the video, I stretched out the tune’s 48 seconds by cutting and pasting so that bars 9-24 repeat.

I know why the caged bird yodels

Last week I got the idea that the Paint Branch Ramblers should have an opening song to bookend what we’ve been closing with, the “Last Call Waltz.” This is the song, most recently recorded by Tangleweed, but orginally written as “Blue Fishin'” by Kip Rainey, Edward Burch, and me as part of the incidental music we were writing for what was to be a show about fishing in the U.S. for export to Norwegian television. Don’t ask. Wait: do.

In any case, I had an idea for a title, the “First Round Polka,” and all I needed was a song to go with it. The only stipulations I set myself were that the song a) should follow the basic polka chord changes (i.e., “Tiger Rag” or “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”), b) should modulate into the key of the relative 5th for a trio section, and c) should be wordless except for a yodeled melody, and that melody should make some reference to the similarly wordless yodeled melody in the “Last Call Waltz.”

So this past Wednesday, I fooled around on the mandolin until the instrumental parts came together, and this afternoon I wrote the yodel. Here’s basically what it’s going to sound like.


The chords are:

F F F C7
C7 C7 C7 F
F F F Bb
E7 F C F

With the coda:

Gm E7 F D7
G7 C7 F

Now to write out the rest of it for practice on Monday.