This album was recorded and mastered by Bruce Seikmann of Ameoba Audio in Fleetwood, PA. It was professionally reproduced as a CD-R at Diskfactory and will not get stuck in your car stereo.
Beverley Conrad has been playing the violin since she was a kid in upstate New York. Early exposure to the music came by way of Sunday dinners at Grandpa Conrad's house where he played fiddle and sang tunes as a way of entertaining the family. When she was six years old he gave her a fiddle and she took classical violin lessons for eight years during elementary school. When she was twelve she threw her violin at a mouse. Not being able to afford a new one or violin lessons once out of elementary school, she pretty much gave it up until 1973 when she found her Grandpa's fiddle in a closet and started dabbling with it. Then started the long trek of learning to play fiddle most of which came by way of talking with other fiddlers and learning from them.
In 1987 Beverley moved to Pennsylvania with her husband and gained more exposure to fiddling and old time music by way of regularly attending a local jam session at the Jersey Town Tavern as well as getting together with other musicians to play. Her first paying gig as a fiddler was at Penn's Tavern in Fisher's Ferry, PA in 1992 where the owner offered her a job as a strolling fiddler. She played there most every Saturday night for over twelve years. Early on during that time someone wanted a strolling fiddler at the Selinsgrove Street Fair and called Bev. Then more places locally that needed a fiddler to come play some tunes called Bev. Then people who wanted to learn how to play called Bev.
Now Beverley performs and teaches about the fiddle at a great many festivals, museums, schools, community centers, restaurants - you have it - throughout Pennsylvania. She has a steady line of fiddle students and has been writing the “Teacher's Tips” column and “Ask Beverley” question and answer column for the National Old Time Fiddlers News (Weiser, ID) since the summer of 2000. She has released four albums of old time and traditional music, her first in 1998 with her husband, Greg Burgess, and three more recently with Luke Glick. Her music has been included in several TV documentaries and “The Boys in Blue and Gray” by Luminence Films as well as educational films.
Luke Glick teamed up with Bev in 2003 to perform with her as a drummer. He has since learned from other musicians and hands-on experience how to play bones, spoons, jawharp, penny whistle, octave fiddle and fiddle, djembe and of course, the bodhran. He demonstrates and tells about these instruments and is able to teach others the basics of how to play them.
Luke is a talented woodworker and makes many of the instruments displayed at their Making Music Tent. Having been a trapper and hunter for years, Luke also makes instruments from natural sources such as the deer toe rattler and steer horn rattle. He jumped right in with both feet when Bev started booking festivals and has become an engaging speaker and seasoned musician on stage and in front of groups. Luke engineers the logistics of setting up the tent and getting the two of them and all their stuff from one place to the other.
Beverley and Luke have appeared at Warrior Run - Fort Freeland Heritage Days, Danville Iron Heritage Days, Eckley Miner's Village, Bethlehem Celtic Classic, Pennsylvania Maple Festival in Meyersdale, PA, Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Kutztown Folk Festival, Westmoreland Arts and Crafts Festival, Touchstone Arts and Crafts Center, Northumberland History Day, the Pennsylvania Heritage Festival and many other community events. They keep busy playing music and sharing the joy of joining in on the fun.
Learn more about the fiddle at Bev's fiddle website http://www.fiddlerwoman.com
Find out more about The Lowlander Highlanders as well as their schedule for live performances at http://www.lowlanderhighlanders.com
Now here is a little something about each of the tunes in this album:
1. According to the Celts should a person die away from their homeland, the fairies will provide a “low road” for a person’s soul to return home. Played on high fiddle with the low fiddle droning in the background Loch Lomond leads into the Flowers of Edinburgh, a longtime favorite of the people of Appalachia.
2. The Rights of Man, composer unknown, made its debut in the British Isles following Thomas Paine’s publication by the same name. It’s a hornpipe good for dancing.
3. Egan’s Polka was the first tune that Luke learned to play on tin whistle. He learned it from Dutch Kopf who also taught Luke to play the bones. Add the fiddle, add some drones, add some double-stops and it sounds like many musicians have joined in, but it’s just the two of us jamming out.
4. The Minstrel Boy is for all the musicians who have gone to war and have either not come home or have come home with their experiences forever a part of their music.
5. “In eighteen hundred and forty-one, I put my corduroy britches on, I put my corduroy britches on, to work upon the railway…” Filimiooriay, the first of this set, is sung in schools around here. The beat of the drum leads from jig to double-jig with O’Keefe’s Slide, then back again with The Road to Lisdoonvarna.
6. Some tunes are especially fun to play for the bow work involved. Harvest Home is one of them. It’s best played fast leaving any thinking behind and letting the music take hold of the tools of the trade - the bow and the tipper.
7. Ever popular especially around St. Patrick’s Day, The Wearing of the Green harks back to the days of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Wearing a shamrock on your hat showed rebellion. Today on these shores, the same shamrock shows Irish pride.
8. Slip jigs played on fiddle and djembe, The Butterfly and Rocky Road to Dublin are fast paced dance tunes. In the Appalachians it’s not uncommon to see butterflies following along as you trek down a rocky, dirt lane which is why we put these tunes together.
9. Many of the Scots and the Irish who settled in the middle Appalachians went Off to California during the gold rush and to work on the transcontinental railroad. Some may have carried the family silverware with them, well, at least two spoons. This tune is played on fiddle and spoons, maybe the way it was played around the campfire on the way west.
10. Bonny Tyneside is a favorite amongst pipe and drum bands. We emulate that sound in this arrangement played on high fiddle, then on octave fiddle, the octave fiddle with drones. The solitary beat of the drum echoes in the back ground.
11. Played on tin whistle, this tongue in cheek arrangement of Galway Piper includes the sound of a tuba. Just the sound, mind you. Those low notes are that of the octave fiddle trying to keep up.
12. The Joys of Wedlock traveled to the middle Appalachians by way of New England where it is a popular dance tune, no doubt played at many a contra wedding.
13. Two fast paced reels, Drowsy Maggy and the Tam Lynn Reel are popular in both fiddle and dance competitions. The faster you go, the more fun they are to play. We just about outrun each other on this set.
14. Played on low whistle and fiddle, Ned of the Hill (Éamonn an Chnoic) is a soulful ballad that recounts the story of an Irish rebel who lost his land and turned outlaw. It’s one of our favorites.
15. Neil Gow’s Lament to his Second Wife Fancy that! I just read that maybe he wasn’t lamenting his wife at all but wrote this about his fiddle, his second wife, which he dropped and broke. That might just be here-say, though. This tune is played solo on a very carefully held fiddle, a family heirloom.
16. Midnight on the Water is the only tune in this collection that was born in America. By blending the high fiddle with the drone of the low fiddle, we feel this tune brings us full circle in keeping with the songs and sounds of the Celts in the Appalachian Mountains