Monday, September 24, 2007

King Ganam

I'm kicking this week off with an "allemande left" and an "allemande right," courtesy of the best English-Syrian-Canadian fiddler you're ever going to hear. "King Ganam of the Royal House of Hoedown," as this album's liner notes memorably dub him, makes his third appearance here with four tracks from the mid-'60's LP Square Dances.

Square Dances is an RCA/Victor release that sadly lacks any information regarding the recording of the album or the members of Ganam's band. I still don't know a whole lot about fiddling, but the thing I like about this album is the tight ensemble performances, with the piano and/or rhythm guitar playing ascending or descending chords that cut through the melody (particularly on "Golden Eagle Hornpipe" and "The Fireman's Reel") and the drums coming in on the off-beat, almost as though it were reggae or ska music. I also don't know who Josh King is, but Marilyn Bell was the first person to swim across Lake Ontario (at the age of 16, no less), and became a bit of a Canadian folk hero in the process.

Josh King's County Breakdown
Golden Eagle Hornpipe
The Fireman's Reel
Marilyn Bell Reel


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

King Ganam is my Uncle, and I can remember sitting in my living room as a little girl and marveling at the sound he could get to come out of a fiddle....he was very talented..RIP Uncle Ameen. Thanks for remembering him.


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