Friday, August 1, 2014

Slow and Easy Vol. 2 Released: 25 (more) Essential Irish Session Tunes

John Weed (fiddle) and Stuart Mason (DADGAD guitar) have released their second volume of slowly played standards from the Irish session repertoire.  Just like on volume one, they cover a gamut of tune types (and modes and tonal centers) - reels, jigs, slip jigs, hornpipes, polkas and an air.

One thing I like about Weed and Mason's "play alongs" - in addition to the fact that the tune selections are spot on - is that it still sounds like music.  Instead of seeming condescending or purposely boring, the interpretations on both Slow and Easy volumes could exist as its own sort of alternate style.  If you can get into these tunes as they are being presented then it doesn't really matter that these same melodies are usually played much faster at sessions.  The whole point is to really get the feel of the tune and the music -- that feeling can always be sped up the more comfortable you are with it (or kept sorta slow if that's more your thing).

As a person who can sometimes get too bogged down in the study of Irish music, I can put this music on while driving or washing dishes and instead of it feeling like practice, it can feel like simply listening to good music out of pure enjoyment, which is a refreshing way to approach it.  Plus, since it's just two instruments - lead fiddle and backup guitar - you can clearly hear both the melodic and harmonic aspects and potential of this music.

Also like the first volume, there will be pdf charts (sheet music and chords) for all of the tunes available soon.  The music itself is streaming on Bandcamp or you can download it.  What I did last time was download the music so that I could then take it with me and/or use the Amazing Slow Downer to speed up the tunes as needed.  Yep you can use the Slow Downer in reverse too!

No comments:

Post a Comment