Week #390 ~ Willafjord and Spootiskerry

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winners are Willafjord and Spootiskerry, which were summiteers as Shetland reels that go well together! I am not familiar with those tunes, and am on my annual camping trip, so I will ask for help from members familiar with either to find some links!
  2. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Great tunes! Notation at tab for both are at Nigel Gatherer's site:


    Nigel also confirms that these two tunes are usually played together in session. Note that only Willafjord is traditional -- Spootiskerry is a modern tune written by Ian Burns.

  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Here is the recording of these two Shetland reels I made today. For "Spootiskerry", I have used an arrangement for contra dance band by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni. "Willafjord" is a traditional Shetland tune, said to have been brought back to Shetland from Greenland by whalers in the late 19th century. Original arrangement by me, amalgamated from several online transcriptions.

    Played on two mandolins and two tenor guitars. Second mandolin plays Evelyn's harmony on Spootiskerry and then joins the first mandolin in unison for Willafjord.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar (x2)

    [Re-Uploaded with remixed volumes -- guitar was too high in the mix]
  4. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thanks, Martin, for the links and the video! Great job!
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Two great Shetland reels, and ones I always enjoy playing in sessions. Spootiskerry is the composition of Ian Burns. According to Tom Anderson, the great Shetland fiddler, Willafjord should have a syncopated rhythm akin to walking smartly along with one foot in a ditch and the other up on the edge of the road, or in Tom's own words:

    "If du imagines some een gaen wi wan fit ida stank an de idder een on a broo an gaein a lunk as dey go alang, dat's da kind o' syncopated rhythm du haes to get whin du plays dis een".

    Interesting version, as always, from Martin with the added harmony parts. I thought there would be more responses to this fine set from some of our regulars.

    My version is simpler musically than Martin's and is on mandolin with guitar backing.

  6. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Spootiskerry was Week 188 tune of the week. Here is my fingerpicked version.
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