Calypso Mexico

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Keymn
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Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:02 pm

When playing All the different styles of music, a song which I like to perform on the accordion. An old Elvis song, I have the beat on my Korg arranger and sing it. I am sure the BK-7m has a similar beat/style. A popular line dance song in some areas, but get good social dance response. I could only find this You tube version...enjoy!

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by maugein96 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:25 pm

Thought the location was "somewhere in the US", until I saw the RATP Paris bus and tram crossing the bridge in the background!

Couldn't get an exact location but it's definitely Paris, and not an accordion in sight.

I'd probably get the tune down OK, but where I grew up most of the dancers would have been drunk, and it would probably have been more appropriate to call it "Wine Dancing!"

Thanks for the post.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:19 am

It is amazing how Line dancing and American Country music is popular in these areas. An easy song to learn, 3,4 chords. In the US, not a popular line dance number for some reason(far as I know , never had it requested). I perform it in restaurants and at social dances. I dare you to give it a try and let me know of the results!
Nothing wrong with playing an Elvis song with accordion. I have a blast with “Jailhouse Rock”. Then if you want to be conservative, how about “Wooden Heart”.
Nice we can share our music ideas worldwide on this Forum.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by maugein96 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:19 am

Despite the relative popularity of the accordion in Scotland in the 50s and 60s, very few players dared to venture out of the Scottish Country music "comfort zone", and if an accordion was produced the audience would expect to be entertained with Scottish jigs and reels etc. A handful of pro players diversified into what Scottish accordionists have traditionally referred to as "Continental" music, and that term serves to describe any acceptable music for accordion that isn't Scottish, including some of the better known classical titles.

The very notion of a Scottish accordionist having a stab at an Elvis number would probably raise more than a few eyebrows, which is a pity. There shouldn't be any barriers as to what an accordionist should or shouldn't play, but that isn't the way it was in Scotland. I dare say things may have changed of late but I haven't had much interest in the local accordion scene at all, largely for that same reason.

I've never actually played any of my boxes recently, as I cannot really get motivated with it these days, although I still like to listen. If I ever have the urge to wipe the dust off the accordion cases I'll certainly give that tune a go.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:59 am

I just finished a 2 week engagement at a German Restaurant. My background is Polish and Slovania styles Polkas. Which I think is different then the typical German Oompa. Nobody ever questioned my style. Always get a good reception playing those Yankovich Polkas. And yes, that “Calypso Mexico”. The manager gives a smile as well as the patrons when I do other than stock German music. Complimented on doing the Beatle song, “oo-bla-di” (after all it is a Polka beat).

Times are changing for accordion players. We have a talent to move around the stage and give some foot stomping Entertainment. Listening to accordion youtube videos are nice but We should still do our own thing.
Would like to hear more from gigging Accordionists on there experiences.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by hais1273 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:08 pm

I'll confess my ignorance here, I don't know very much at all about Polish or Slovenian Polka or much about German oompa, for that matter. The only time I've seen it live was at a Farmers Market just up the road from us in a cute village by the name of Steyning. I danced an average heel and toe polka to a couple of tunes, best beloved, myself and a couple we've known for years were the only people dancing. Steyningites obviuosly aren't big on al-fresco dancing. ( Bit to posh I expect :lol: )

the band were a lot of fun...
Could you suggest an easy(ish) Polish or Slovenian polka tune or two ?

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:14 am

The most famous Polka is, “The Beer Barrel Polka”. If an accordion performer, a must to have on the list!
Others:
“Heaven No Beer” “Pennsylvania Polka”
For the dancing crowd, not too fast, 123-128 BPM. In my area, these are most requested.
As far as as Polish and Slovanian, Franky Yankovich and Jimmy Sturr have a good selection of these styles. You will notice the accordion shakes the bellows in the background on many of the Jimmy Sturr Polish Polkas. Yankovich used a second accordion which did fill-in runs, which I think is more of the Slovenian style.
Check this out with the famous Myron Floren along with Jimmy Sturr.


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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by hais1273 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:02 pm

Thankyou. food for thought. I occasionally play Beer Barrel Polka ( it can only get better!) I don't know "No Beer in Heaven " Pennsylvannia Polka" rings a bell somewhere. I don't suppose it's all that well known over here, but I may be wrong....

I would get a "look" if I did a bellows shake in any tune I played with one of the groups I've been involved with. I got a "look" when I had a foot tambourine on one occasion! Innovation was and is frowned on!! I will think about accompanying bellow techniques....

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:33 am

In the US, a good accordion player capable of playing popular dance songs can make a good living. In my experience, playing simple well known songs, will get the gigs. I will never become a virtuoso, but enjoy technique that will have your audience up on the dance floor. Believe me, the suggested songs above are a must (anyway in my case).

I never performed in Europe or England, but when in Germany for 5 weeks, 15 years ago, I was amazed to find a Country Western club dance with a band playing American Country Music. Audience decked out in Western attire and doing Texas Two Step!

I understand the pain of trying something different that was never done in your country. But maybe with an arranger attached to your accordion, you can take that “something different song” and put it to a familiar style that will capture your audience.

YouTube videos are flooded with accordion players “doing there own thing”. I do not take them too serious in wanting to play like them,. To me, a good source of reference in what an accordion is capable of doing. I applaud them all!

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by hais1273 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:05 am

Now thats interesting thought, I like the the thought of earning a decent living playing dance tunes. I expect it's hard work at times, like any other day at the office! I wonder if that would be possible over here? Others on this forum would know more about than myself, I'd be surprised if it were.

When we used to go to motorcycle rallies in France, Belgium we found the Germans could usually be relied on to create a good party atmosphere...!

Having just watched the Jimmy Sturr Myron Floren clip through again, it strikes me they are all playing with total conviction and enjoying themselves even if they had played the tunes a dozen, or a hundred times before.

One of the "issues" the French Folky Dance scene on the South Coast suffers from is too many tunes. The local house band plays dozens of waltzes, mazurka's and so on. Nothing wrong with that really, that is until they're performed for a bal and then it becomes obvious they aren't "in" the music like the Jimmy Sturr and Myron Floren.

Polka isn't played all that often...

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by JeffJetton » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:35 pm

Keymn wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:33 am
I never performed in Europe or England, but when in Germany for 5 weeks, 15 years ago, I was amazed to find a Country Western club dance with a band playing American Country Music. Audience decked out in Western attire and doing Texas Two Step!
I did some country music gigs overseas a few times, years ago, and it was amusing to see the Europeans show up in their own conception of what "country attire" looks like, which seemed to sometimes take a cue from old Western movies.

So I saw more than few guys show up dressed as a full-on cowboys, complete with a holster and toy six-shooters (as I said, this was several years ago... I'm sure that wouldn't fly today), and their dates were dressed a la Pocohontas, feathered headdress and all.

Not sure if they still do that. (Edited to add: Oh wait, I guess they do. :D )
Last edited by JeffJetton on Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by TomBR » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:04 pm

Yes, when I'm playing for "Barn dances" or even something advertised as a Ceilidh, many people here in England automatically assume a "Wild West" theme and turn up in their cowboy outfits! Sometimes the hall gets decorated with plastic waggon wheels and cardboard cactuses!

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:33 pm

JeffJetton wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:35 pm
Keymn wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:33 am
I never performed in Europe or England, but when in Germany for 5 weeks, 15 years ago, I was amazed to find a Country Western club dance with a band playing American Country Music. Audience decked out in Western attire and doing Texas Two Step!
I did some country music gigs overseas a few times, years ago, and it was amusing to see the Europeans show up in their own conception of what "country attire" looks like, which seemed to sometimes take a cue from old Western movies.

So I saw more than few guys show up dressed as a full-on cowboys, complete with a holster and toy six-shooters (as I said, this was several years ago... I'm sure that wouldn't fly today), and their dates were dressed a la Pocohontas, feathered headdress and all.

Not sure if they still do that. (Edited to add: Oh wait, I guess they do. :D )
That is interesting with the feathered headdress and old western movie dress...my best country favorites are 60’s through 90’s. With the rise of Urban Cowboy scene in the 80’s, many western bars opened. Have one down the street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
With our VAccordion’s we can break into this industry and utilize the piano, pedal steel sounds along with guitar, banjo and fiddle.
Tonight’s gig (at the American German Club Dance), I will attempt to add.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by hais1273 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:27 am

I would be amazed if they didn't!. Quite a while ago, one of our French friends took us to a "Cowboy Bar" in the small Norman town of Yvetot, somewhere between Dieppe and Rouen It was very odd experience,. Piped country music, wall to "western" paraphenalia, odd saddle style bar stools. I was sure the barman had been the cowboy in village people at some point. Far far beyond camp and kitsch!

But we did have a good evening though.

But they did serve a very good entrecote steak... I suppose it proves that a good number of people want to be something else.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:13 pm

I thought I’d share my version of a Cole Porter Song. I recorded this with my Korg PA3x arranger using vocal processor. Just a little old West fun.


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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:56 pm

hais1273 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:05 am
Now thats interesting thought, I like the the thought of earning a decent living playing dance tunes. I expect it's hard work at times, like any other day at the office! I wonder if that would be possible over here? Others on this forum would know more about than myself, I'd be surprised if it were.

When we used to go to motorcycle rallies in France, Belgium we found the Germans could usually be relied on to create a good party atmosphere...!

Having just watched the Jimmy Sturr Myron Floren clip through again, it strikes me they are all playing with total conviction and enjoying themselves even if they had played the tunes a dozen, or a hundred times before.

One of the "issues" the French Folky Dance scene on the South Coast suffers from is too many tunes. The local house band plays dozens of waltzes, mazurka's and so on. Nothing wrong with that really, that is until they're performed for a bal and then it becomes obvious they aren't "in" the music like the Jimmy Sturr and Myron Floren.

Polka isn't played all that often...
To perform full time takes lots of work. In my case, I am in area of few accordion players, South Florida. It would different if in the Midwest. If I was in Europe, play like you said, Mazurkas/waltzes, then add maybe “Country Roads”, “Sweet Caroline” to the mix. I would think world renown “Beer Barrel Polka” would be a hit too.

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by hais1273 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:42 am

As I said Iike the idea of performing professionally. I wouldn't want to do it full time, it strikes me as hard work. On many occasions we've seen bands perform, get an enthusiatic encore...and then, have to pack up the instruments, the sound system, yards of cable, load them in the car/van and then drive home. And then put all the toys away before going to bed. Job of work isn't it

Of course we've seen enough American TV over here to know the sun always shines in Florida, there are never any traffic delays, or roadworks and that parking at your destination is really easy. :D

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by jozz » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:25 am

hais1273 wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:42 am
As I said Iike the idea of performing professionally. I wouldn't want to do it full time, it strikes me as hard work. On many occasions we've seen bands perform, get an enthusiatic encore...and then, have to pack up the instruments, the sound system, yards of cable, load them in the car/van and then drive home. And then put all the toys away before going to bed. Job of work isn't it
It's either:

A. You do it fulltime and have people to take care of the carrying.
B. Do it as a hobby and get paid expenses :D

Couple of thoughts, the accordionist:

... has less to carry than the drummer. +1
... arrives late and leaves early +1
... gets special attention because of the instrument. +1
... gets to shine musically on sensitive romantic phrases, earning him bonus points with the opposite sex +1

I can't see why you wouldn't pursue this {}

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Keymn » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:34 pm

Well said! It is a good retirement gig too. Build up your skills towards retirement. Good supplement income to a pension or Social Security Check. But, Dare to be different! A good test: book hour gigs at assisted living or nursing homes. If you can keep them happy for an hour, you are ready for the big-time. :b

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Re: Calypso Mexico

Post by Matt Butcher » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:59 pm

Keymn, I was pleased to hear the clip of (one aspect of) what you do, I really like to be able to put a sound to a name. I also like the gigging stories and comments, you get paid to play and you earn it, I get paid in omelettes for the playing I do right now and all the more reason to think about how to connect with an audience. Much appreciated.

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