Jody Kruskal | Cool Tunes for Hot Dances

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Folk: Contra Dance World: Western European Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Cool Tunes for Hot Dances

by Jody Kruskal

Original dance tunes played solo on Anglo concertina. Music for contra, square, couple, ceili and morris dancers. or just for listening.
Genre: Folk: Contra Dance
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cutting Rushes / Easy Way / Song of the Hobby Horse
6:05 $0.99
2. Wagging the Dog
2:28 $0.99
3. Complete Hornpipe
5:06 $0.99
4. Dancing by Starlight
3:15 $0.99
5. Hudson Highlands / Marching Home
6:43 $0.99
6. Ox Cart
2:58 $0.99
7. Crank It Up
3:42 $0.99
8. Pixie Wings
10:05 $0.99
9. Saucy Sally
2:52 $0.99
10. Strange but True / Fantastic Miss Toe / Be It So
6:01 $0.99
11. Snow Baby / Fiddler’s Girl
5:05 $0.99
12. Work’s All Done
4:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Anglo concertina that I play is a direct descendant of the first German, accordion-like instrument invented in the early 1800’s. I like to think of it as a fistful of harmonicas, because the in-out playing styles are so similar. It was the first portable instrument that was loud, didn’t cost much, and could play both melody and accompaniment at the same time. The concertina became wildly popular all over the world.

These days, not many play the Anglo or its concertina cousins: the English, duet, Chemnitzer or bandoneón, to name a few. We’ve seen the rise and fall of concertina popularity. Back in the 1890’s, the pleasures of concertina playing tempted many to devote their leisure hours and professional careers to its mastery. The concertina remains highly addictive to this day. The truth is, the instrument's just plain fun to play, and the old dance music that I love fits it like a glove.

I’ve crafted these new tunes to be reminiscent of the old chestnuts from a variety of American and English dance traditions. Countless dancers — contra, square, Playford, ceili, and morris — have enjoyed these melodies, and I hope you do too.



to write a review

Brooks McKinney

Cool Tunes Indeed
This is a great CD! I have listened to it on every commute since I got it--more than a week now--and it gets better over time. This is solo concertina, but played in the harmonic style with bass line/accompaniment on the left hand and the melody on the right. The give and take between the two parts is much of the appeal of Kruskal's playing--sometimes it's simple harmony and other times it is more like counterpoint. Certainly a situation in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. To this general approach Kruskal adds great musicianship; every repeated phrase or section is shaped to make it just a bit different from the last iteration. Great fun to listen to! The tunes themselves are dance tunes, but from a wide variety of styles. If you can't stand concertina or accordian, this is probably not the CD for you, but if you have any intrest in concertina you will certainly enjoy this CD.

Gail MacDonald

Cool tunes for Hot Dances
Great tunes yet again from Jody Kruskal. It is truly amazing what Jody can do with an anglo concertina

Christopher Sblendorio

Cool Tunes
Cool Tunes For Hot Dances
What a nice collection of tunes beautifully played on solo concertina. Jody Kruskal has composed many a good dance tune. His playing is very tasteful, playful, driving, bouncy, smooth, it is all there. This CD is a real pleasant surprise.

Bill Nesbitt

Cool Tunes for Hot Dances
This is an album of original material, but the tunes sound like the best kind of traditional music from a wide variety of dance traditions. For someone learning to play, this is an inspiring and approachable selection, and the fact that it is played on a solo instrument makes it that much easier to grasp the tunes and styles. It's particularly useful for the tiny handful of aspiring anglo concertina players on the planet, but anyone who wants to play traditional dance music in an exciting way will benefit. As educational as this is though, it's great music! Jody's playing is driving, clean, lively, surprising and great fun to listen to, and his compositions manage to be both authentic and original. You won't be able to sit still!