Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Little Foot Stompin'

No beads or fiber today, but I'm going to share a tidbit of personal info with you... in my "former life" I was a musician of sorts.  Yep, I started playing music by ear when I was 3 years old.  I had one of those little one-octave toy pianos - think Linus - and I could play the melodies of all my little kiddie records.  About 10 years later, my folks gave me a small Hammond organ for Christmas/birthday (they're 3 days apart).  And a few years after starting music lessons and loving it, I got the "almost real deal" Hammond - a model B2.  It was like the B3 without the Leslie speaker.

Some of my fondest memories of that period of my life are of the times when my cousin, Art Ross, would come over and we'd jam.  He was a fourth-generation fiddler and also played guitar a bit.  He couldn't read a note of music, but oh did he have an ear!  When he played his fiddle, I would accompany him on the organ;  when I played lead on the organ, he would accompany me on the guitar.  Here we are way back then - Art was 27, I was 15.

Art and I had different musical backgrounds and experience.  His repertoire consisted mainly of French Canadian fiddle tunes; mine comprised various genres - pop, folk, latin, big band, rock & roll, and on and on.  One of my "show-off" songs was Tico-Tico.  This song wasn't originally meant for the organ, but even way back then it was my kind of music.  This is the way Tico-Tico was originally intended, performed here by Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Berta Rojas.

I decided that I had to teach Art to accompany me on Tico-Tico, since I was the one "showing off" - you know how 15-year-olds can be.  Often times, we'd have friends and family over at the house for impromptu get-togethers or planned parties.  When Art and I played Tico-Tico, we'd bring the house down.  

Soon thereafter Art got married, and over several subsequent years he and his wife had 3 children.  Patrick, Art's middle child, was 8 years old when he asked his dad to teach him how to play a tune.  So began Patrick's foray into the world of music.  He and his dad spent a lot of time playing music together and competing in regional fiddle contests.  Unfortunately, Art met an untimely death when he was in his early 50's,  and I am still very saddened by this.  

So why am I chatting about this today?  Patrick and I are Facebook "friends", and a few days ago I had the pleasure of seeing his FB link to a video that he uploaded to YouTube.  And it gave me goosebumps!  I wanted to bring him to the attention of my fans and followers, so here's Patrick playing his own improvised version of... you guessed it... Tico-Tico.

Not exactly what you'd expect to hear from a fifth-generation French Canadian fiddler - but oh, cousin, YOU ROCK!

And now I'm off to prepare to teach tonight's bead making class. This is the first week of my latest Beadmaking 1 and Beadmaking 2 classes in San Jose and I need to be on my toes, so to speak. 

Have yourselves a happy and creative day!


Jenn said...

that was really cool! thanks for sharing.

Ginga Squid said...

I'm sorry to hear about Art and how you still miss him.

But on a happier note - WOW look at your hair, its so cool!!!!

Vicky x

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

LOL Vicky! My hair has gone through some amazing transformations over the years, not all of which have been good. ;-)

Cornerstoregoddess said...

What a great story!

Shirley Cook - Jumping Jack Glass said...

Jenn and "Cornerstoregoddess", I'm glad you liked my story. I had some real warm fuzzies writing it, and got some nice comments from Patrick, his sister, and his mom.

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