MP3 Ryan Thomson & Brennish Thomson - Fiddling Thomsons, Music for both hands
Lively twin fiddling of world music by an award winning father and son duo, playing their own accompaniment including keyboard, flute, accordion, tin whistle, banjo, frotoire, cajun triangle, wooden flute, french canadian wooden spoons, and beat box.
18 MP3 Songs in this album (51:08) !
Related styles: World: World Traditions, Folk: Traditional Folk, Type: Instrumental
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Lively tunes in styles from England, Hungary, Ireland, USA, Scotland, Germany, Canada, and Tex/Mex.
The Fiddling Thomsons, Brennish and his father Ryan, have been involved together with fiddling, dance, and music since Brennish was an infant. Ryan is a right handed former northeastern USA Fiddle champion who taught himself how to play violin all over again left handed after he suffered a disability involving his right shoulder. As Ryan was relearning how to play the violin he often brought Brennish to his various performances along with a blanket for Brennish to sleep on as evenings drew late. At home he would often play his violin next to Brennish''s crib.
One day, at 18 months of age, Brennish unexpectedly grabbed the violin bow from his father''s hand and began drawing it across the violin strings in a slow deliberate manner. As he learned to talk he began asking for a violin to play. When Brennish turned 2 his father bought him a tiny 1/32 sized violin and taught him to play the country fiddle tune - Boil Them Cabbages Down. As Brennish got older he began performing with his dad at various events including concerts, dances, and at teaching workshops. At 13 years of age Brennish and his dad won the Twin Fiddle award at Lowell National Historical Park, in Lowell, Massachussetts, USA.
On this album, at age 14, Brennish plays fiddle/violin, french canadian wooden spoons, seed pod percussion, frotoire, (zydeco rub board) and beatbox vocals. His Dad plays fiddle/violin, banjo, accordion, pennywhistle, cajun triangle, wooden flute, and piano/keyboard. In order for the two of them alone to play all of these different instruments, Ryan and Brennish first recorded each of 18 different tunes as a duet using two of their instruments. After that they recorded additional tracks which included the other instruments. Each tune on this album was learned in the traditional way, by ear, from the playing of other musicians.:
1. Scottish - Lord MacDonald’s Reel, “Leather Britches,” 2:11
Ryan and Brennish play this lively reel here as an unaccompanied twin fiddle duet. Lord Macdonald''s Reel is the scottish name, and Leather Britches is the name often used in the southern mountains of the USA. They play the tune for square and contra dances, or as an instrumental piece during a bluegrass performance.
2. French Canadian set - Gaspe, La Bastringue, Pays de Haut, 5:02
French folk music is popular in New England and these tunes serve well for traditional contra dances and french quadrilles. This medley of Quebecois tunes (from the canadian province of Quebec) was first recorded as a twin fiddle duet. Brennish added wooden spoons and vocals, and his dad added piano and wooden flute.
3. Irish - Egan’s, Rattlin Bog, (Kerry polkas) 2:40
Brennish plays fiddle and his dad plays pennywhistle on this set of fast polkas often used for Irish set dancing.
4. Hungarian - Friss Czardas, “Fast Dance,” 2:46
Brennish learned this gypsy tune on his violin and then taught it to his dad. They recorded it as a fiddle and banjo duet and then Ryan added on a piano part.
5. Swedish - Gärdebylåten, a Ganglat “Walking Tune,” 2:56
This tune is commonly used as a processional march for weddings. Ryan and Brennish recorded it with twin fiddles and then Ryan added a piano accompaniment.
6. USA - Kitchen Gal, a southern square dance tune, 2:10
The Thomsons first recorded this as a twin fiddle duet and then Ryan added on old time clawhammer style banjo.
7. Irish - Connaughtman’s, My Darling Asleep, Morrison’s, jigs, 4:38
Ryan and Brennish recorded this Irish jig medley as a twin fiddle duet. Brennish then added wooden spoons and his dad added pennywhistle, flute, and piano.
8. English - None Such, dance tune from the 1600’s, 1:43
The Thomsons first recorded this ancient English country dance tune as a twin fiddle piece. Ryan then added keyboard and Brennish added beatbox vocals as percussion. The 1600''s meet the 21st century.
9. USA - Rag Time Annie, Bluegrass, 2:12
The Thomsons recorded this hot tune first with twin fiddles and then Ryan added piano. Its a staple of old time southern square dancing and an essential tune in the repertoire of country and bluegrass fiddlers.
10. Canadian - Ookpik “Eskimo” Waltz, 3:06
Ryan learned bits and pieces of this beautiful tune by ear in Idaho from other fiddlers in the 1970''s. He assembled and customized it in his own fashion and style of playing. He discovered 30 years later that the original composer was a musician from British Columbia named Frankie Rodgers. Brennish learned it from hearing his dad play it, and they often perform it together in concerts and for dances. They recorded it first with twin fiddles and then Ryan added piano.
11. Irish - Trip to Durrow, a reel, 3:42
Ryan learned this tune at irish pub sessions and contra dances. Brennish heard his dad play it, liked it, and then quickly learned it by ear. They recorded it with twin fiddles and then Ryan added the piano part.
12. French cajun - Bayou Two Step, 3:04
Ryan learned this tune from cajun fiddler Michael Doucet. Brennish picked it up from his dad. The Thomsons first recorded it as twin fiddles playing similar versions of the melody. Brennish added a third fiddle part playing a low rhythm accompaniment along with frotoire for percussion rhythm. Ryan added a cajun triangle.
13. Scottish - The Mason’s Apron, a reel, 2:17
Ryan learned this tune from fiddler Aly Bain, and Brennish learned it from his dad. Ryan and Brennish first recorded this fast and lively reel with twin fiddles and then Ryan added piano.
14. Tex/Mex polka - Sean’s Squeezebox, by Ryan Thomson, 1:25
Ryan composed this Texas/Mexican style tune on keyboard accordion and named it in honor of his nephew Sean Thomson, whom he had given a small accordion as a gift. Brennish learned it on fiddle and they have recorded it here as a fiddle and accordion duet. Brennish added percussion using a dual set of south sea islands seed pods as shakers.
15. USA - Soldier’s Joy, a southern square dance tune, 2:11
Ryan Thomson originally learned this old time mountain tune on banjo and then transfered it to fiddle. Brennish learned it from hearing his dad play it on fiddle. On this track Brennish plays fiddle while his dad plays clawhammer banjo.
16. German - Huntsman’s Chorus, 2:14
Ryan learned this tune from the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra. This folk dance tune has a melody similar to an excerpt from Carl Maria Von Weber''s famous opera - Der Freischutz. Von Weber called it the "Hunter''s Chorus," ("Jagerchor," in German) and it pertains to the joy of hunting. Ryan and Brennish play it often for folk dancers. They recorded it with twin fiddles and then Ryan added piano.
17. French cajun - Lake Arthur Stomp, 3:13
Ryan learned this cajun two step from the Balfa Brothers cajun band. On this recording the Thomsons started with twin fiddles. Ryan fiddles the melody while Brennish plays a second fiddle as accompaniment. Brennish then added frotoire, and his dad added cajun triangle.
18. USA - Dickson County Blues, a Tennessee fiddle tune, 2:37
Ryan learned this melody by ear from another fiddler many years ago and then shaped it into his own style. That fiddler had learned it from an old 78 disc record of a recording of fiddler Arthur Smith. Brennish picked it up from hearing his dad play it. They play it here on unaccompanied twin fiddles.
The Thomsons are available to travel anywhere to perform and lead educational workshops in the styles of music that they play. They reside in New England, USA, and can be contacted through their web site at https://www.tradebit.com