PERFORMER OF BUSH TRADITIONS

Over the past thirty something years I have performed in some weird and wonderful places. I started to sing bush songs, recite poetry and tell yarns in the late nineteen sixties, by default rather than intent. I grew up, so to speak, at the beginning of the so called 'folk revival' of the late nineteen fifties and the hootenanny period of the sixties and stuck in there for another three decades and now stand reservedly on the side-posts.

MY CONCERTINA

I play an English Wheatstone 42 key concertina that I bought from Colin Dryden in the 1980s. It is a beautifully crafted instrument with a particularly mellow tone. I wish I could say I was a good player but, sadly, I am not. I taught myself to play some years back by reading notes but this always seemed to rob me of musicality.

In 1999 I came home one night, I'd had a few glasses of wine, and picked up the 'tina and started to play without reading notes. I found I could do it. This was a shock to me and my faithful audience (Mo the dog). I rarely look at the notes these days and find I can play most tunes from memory. More importantly, I found the musicality I was looking for – I can now sing with the concertina and have quite a repertoire.

My biggest problem is that I rarely use it in performance because I get nervous and the tunes run away. Mind you, I am happy to sing unaccompanied and can always rope a musician to accompany me but one day I will champion my nerves and it might be clear sailing. Hmm. We'll see.

Greer, Gulpilil and Fahey

 

 

 

 

Denis Greer (Folkways long-term shop manager) on banjo, famed Aboriginal actor and fine didge player, David Gulpilil and Warren Fahey with his English Concertina

 

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Performer of Bush Traditions

Australian Folk Revival - A Potted History

The Larrikins - Pioneer Bush Band

Songs From My Swag

Discography

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