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Portland Play Along Selection
Here is a double CD set with a selection of 97 tunes from Susan Songer's two Portland Collection books of tunes played "mostly at moderate "learning" tempos." One melody and one accompaniment voice are used on each cut, with some variety of instrumentation. An invaluable tool for those who already learn by ear - and for those who want to! Betsy Branch, fiddle; Clyde Curley, mandolin, 4-string banjo, fiddle, guitar; Susan Songer, piano. 2008
On A Portland Play Along Selection, Betsy, Clyde, and Sue invite musicians to pick up their instruments and play along with this representative cross section of the music in the two tune books published by Songer and Curley, The Portland Collection: Contra Dance Music in the Pacific Northwest (1) and 2. The tunes are individually tracked, even though they are played in medleys. Most of the tunes are played at a moderate tempo with only one lead and one back up instrument at a time. The recording is engineered so that the listener can pan right to hear the melody, pan left to hear the back up, or pan center to hear both together. The first and last sets on each disc are played faster with variations and harmonies to give a feel for how the music would be played at a contra dance. No tunes are duplicated from either of the two previous Portland Collection companion recordings.