Ken Perlman | Frails and Frolics

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Folk: Celtic Folk Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Frails and Frolics

by Ken Perlman

Over 45 tunes, most of them collected by Ken from traditional fiddlers on Prince Edward Island, arranged on banjo to reflect their authentic flavor and nuance, and - like jewels in a setting - expertly organized into medleys; 17 cuts + 8pp. booklet.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Londonderry Hornpipe / Jenny Dang the Weaver / Sleepy Maggie
3:06 $0.99
2. Dr. Keith Strathspey / Miss Barker's Hornpipe / Carney's Canter
4:04 $0.99
3. Omar Cheverie's Jig / Fig for a Kiss / Hector MacDonald's Jig
3:36 $0.99
4. Pride of the Ball / MacKinnon's Rant / Lasses of Glenallandale / St. Kilda Wedding
3:18 $0.99
5. Bonniest Lass in A' the World / Emil Gaudet's Reel / Cheticamp Reel
4:03 $0.99
6. Dallas Rag
2:56 $0.99
7. North Side of the Grampians / Jack Webster's Reel / Souris Breakwater
4:03 $0.99
8. Rose of Tennessee / Don't Be Teasing / Whiskey Jig
3:58 $0.99
9. Carlton County Breakdown / Miller's Reel / Trip to Windsor
3:43 $0.99
10. Where the North River Flows
3:13 $0.99
11. The Marchioness of Tullibardine / Dinky's Reel / Little Donald in the Pigpen
3:50 $0.99
12. Hector's New Dance Hall / Hector's Fancy / Durang's Hornpipe
3:51 $0.99
13. Fred Wilson's Hornpipe / High Level Hornpipe
3:46 $0.99
14. Ottawa Valley Reel / Lad O'beirne's / Marie À Pierre
3:50 $0.99
15. The Bonny Lea Rig / Shores of Lough Gowna / Teviot Bridge
3:24 $0.99
16. Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase
2:09 $0.99
17. George V's Army / Mr. Murray Strathspey / Marquis of Huntley / Prince Edward Island Wedding Reel
5:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Frails & Frolics" includes over 45 tunes - most of them collected from traditional fiddlers on Prince Edward Island - arranged on banjo to maintain their feel and nuance, and organized into sets or “groups” There are reel sets, jig sets, and – my favorite type – “Scottish sets” combining different kinds of tunes with different tempos. There’s a special art to putting these sets together: each new tune needs to have a contrasting feel and offer a sense of expanding energy.

Most of these tunes have never before been successfully played on 5-string banjo (and I would venture to say that at least a few of them have never previously appeared on any “commercial” recording). Several sets of tunes involve one or more key changes (always a challenge in clawhammer where the usual practice is to retune for each separate key), and a few sets explore tunes “on the flats” (in the flat keys) without resorting to a capo. A few tune arrangements, or “settings” range about as far up the neck as you’ll hear clawhammer go, and I continue my exploration of 6/8 time (no less than three sets of really cool jigs!).

There are 17 cuts in all; and over an hour of music.

Ken Perlman is a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as melodic clawhammer; he is considered one of the top clawhammer players in the world, known in particular for his skillful adaptations of Celtic, Appalachian, & Canadian fiddle tunes to the style. He has toured throughout most of the English-speaking world and in Western-Europe, both as a soloist and – for over fifteen years – in a duo with renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour. An acclaimed teacher of folk-music instrumental skills, Ken has written some of the most widely respected banjo and guitar instruction books of modern times, he has been on staff at prestigious teaching festivals around the world, and he has also served as director for several music-instructional “camps,” including American Banjo Camp, Midwest Banjo Camp, and Suwannee Banjo Camp. Also an independent folklorist, Ken spent close to two decades collecting tunes and oral histories from traditional fiddle players on Prince Edward Island in Eastern Canada, resulting in three major works: a collection of over 400 tunes called "The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island," an oral-history based work called "Couldn’t Have a Wedding Without the Fiddler: The Story of Traditional Fiddling on Prince Edward Island," and a website devoted to traditional Prince Edward Island fiddling called "Bowing Down Home" (, which is jointly sponsored by the University of PEI and the Canadian Museum of History. Ken's recordings with fiddler Alan Jabbour are "Southern Summits" and "You Can’t Beat the Classics;" his most recent previous solo recordings are, "Northern Banjo," "Island Boy," and "Devil in the Kitchen," His banjo books include "Clawhammer Style Banjo," "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo," and "Everything You Wanted to Know About Clawhammer Banjo."



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