Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rubber Dolly (or Ducky if you prefer)

Here's the recording to "Rubber Dolly" as played by Kim & Karen.

Here's the chord sequence—

ends with a fiddle tag, joined by guitars on a slow "A" chord strum.

Here's the melody for the violins.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our Set List for FolkLife

We have a playlist! RISK plays Seattle FolkLife on Friday, May 22, in the lower level of the Armory/Center House, Seattle Center. We perform for 30 minutes, starting at 4pm. See rendezvous times below.

Below is a jpg of the PlayList and Guitar Chord Cheat-Sheet. It's now revised, so feel free to print it out for your use during FolkLife. No heavy notebooks to drag around!

There are ferries off the North End at 12:25 and 12:45. Once on the mainland, take 99/Viaduct up to Seattle Center. Performer parking is in the Mercer Street Garage on the north side of Seattle Center; we only have 3 parking passes so RISK will reimburse drivers who have to park elsewhere. We have 3 more cars than passes, so drivers without passes, be prepared to wave your Official Performer Maps at surly parking gatekeepers or catch the earlier ferry to allow time to find street parking (which will be payola).
     If you don't have a pass and can park anywhere, you might try the garage west of the Pacific Science Pavilion. It's the nearest to the Official Load-In Gate, which is Gate 2 at 2nd & Thomas. That entry is next to the Hospitality/Registration area, where Kim will be registering our group by 3pm (see Map hand-outs, coming to you at RISK session May 19th). So our first rendezvous point will be 3pm at the Hospitality area. Those together by then will proceed to the Armory at 3:10.
     By 3:20, we must be backstage of the Lower Level Stage in the Armory (once known as the Center House). Our stage is on the lower level: a nice sunken stage with bleacher seating around it. Note that we are NOT on the main stage (I, for one, am relieved...).
      To help you if you're lost, I STRONGLY SUGGEST putting the iPhone numbers of Kim and myself into your phones. Most of you already have Kim's #; mine is 206-856-8952.

More details & hand-outs to come. Meanwhile, Guitarists, print out the OFFICIAL CHEAT SHEET!


A Klezmer Klassic: Bei Mir Bistu Shein

This is a Klezmer classic, written in 1932 for a Yiddish musical called "I Would If I Could." The lyrics are a dialogue between two lovers. The musical closed after a year, but in 1937, an American music producer heard the song performed in Harlem, bought the rights from the two Jewish composers for a mere $30 (big money in Depression America), rewrote all but the first line of the lyrics into English, and persuaded a new girl quartet, The Andrews Sisters, to record it. It went gold, became a world-wide hit and a jazz standard, and over the years earned $3 million—but the original composers couldn't earn a thing on their creation until 1961 when the purchased copyright expired. Proving once again that You Never Know...
Here's the English lyrics to the Chorus part represented on our sheet music.

"Bei mir bistu shein, please let me explain,
"Bei mir bistu shein" means you're grand.
Bei mir bistu shein, again I'll explain,
It means you're the fairest in the land.
I could say "bella, bella", even say "wunderbar".
Each language only helps me tell you
How grand you are.
I've tried to explain "Bei mir bistu shein".
So kiss me and say you understand."

Taken from

Finally, here's a New York group that managed to turn a New York subway platform into a red-hot Swing Club for their performance of our classic. Wait patiently through the 27-second commercial and the group getting themselves down to the subway, then enjoy all the Shake-Jive-n-Wailin' of The Hot Sardines and all their jazzoid friends.