Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The definition of a Gentleman:

One who knows how to play an accordion but doesn't.

I'm not sure what that makes me. I don't know how to play my new concertina -- but that doesn't stop me from trying to play it.

A concertina looks like an accordion:

but it's less complicated and smaller, and mine was a thoughtful birthday gift from my husband -- whose capacity for suffering seems to know no bounds.

And when the concertina is traveling in its handy-dandy carrying case:

it raises eyebrows and causes much consternation among the minions who monitor the airport security x-ray machines, at least according to a story told by Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen.

We saw the two of them in concert at Bernie's a few months ago, and that's when I decided that I really needed a new musical instrument that would tax my middle-aged brain to the absolute limit: 20 buttons...40!

When it's played right, the concertina has a sweet, long-ago kind of sound -- perfect for Irish songs. Right now I'm working on "The Wild Rover."

Here's The Dubliner's version. It really ought to come with a pint of Guinness, but I'm still waiting on that technology:

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