Way back in September I started jamming with the Roustabouts. They meet once a month in McGee’s Irish Pub and invite anyone who plays fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, etc. to join in playing Old-Time Music (you know, from Appalachia – in an Irish bar in Switzerland – it works).
The American fiddler in the Roustabouts is Elizabeth (from Chicago), and last week she emailed me to say that there was a Swiss Fiddle Jam. Did I want to join her? Of course I did! But Swiss Fiddle Music? There is such a thing? I know about yodeling. I know about alphorns. And I’ve probably heard an accordion or two playing a Ländler or so.
So we took our fiddles to El Lokal, a funky bar downtown. Sure enough, Eva Wey (who had been advertised on the El Lokal website last week) was there with about 6 or so other fiddlers and a guitarist and another lute-type instrument (a bouzouki?) playing what sounded definitely like Swiss music to me.
Elizabeth and I ended up not playing along, but I videoed a few of their songs and am going to learn them, and Eva’s website (which is under reconstruction since last week) had some links which led me to a 40-page document with sheet music for Swiss Fiddle. Maybe next time we will be brave enough to join in.