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A Dartmoor Country Dance Party
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It is over 60 years ago that Bob Cann first played for country dancing and since then he played for scores of barn dances all over the country, He has performed either on his own, (often playing melodeon and calling the dances at the same time) or with a variety of musicians who have crossed his path over the years. These have certainly been diverse, from the traditional Dartmoor players to, in the 1970ís, rock musicians, when he played in a dance band led by ex Steeleye Span bass guitarist Ashley Hutchings.
Bobís first memory of a formal band, known simply as ĎBob Cann and his bandí was in the 1940ís, and it wasnít until the early 1960ís that they became known as ĎThe Dartmoor Pixie Bandí. This was when Bill Murch, who had played mouthorgan and melodeon with Bob for many years, was joined by Tom Barriball on banjo and Hawaiian guitar, and Roy Parish on drums. The drummerís seat was finally occupied by the drummer on these recordings, Cyril May, and this line-up was completed by Bill on mouthorgan, Kath Mortimer on accordion, Billís son Robert Murch on banjo and Bobís grandson Mark Bazeley on concertina and melodeon. After Bobís death in 1990 Mark took over the leadership of the band on melodeon, with his wife Sarah calling the dances.
Bob Cannís Pixie Band played at village halls all over Devon and it was rare for them to have a Friday or Saturday evening free, particularly when many bookings are taken twelve months in advance. They had a large local following who would travel anywhere in the county to dance to the band, and at many dances there is little need for Bob to call even the most complicated dances, as the gathered crowd have been so well taught in the past that they are now totally familiar with his repertoire of dances.
These recordings were made at one such dance in the Victory Hall in South Zeal in 1988 with the band in full flight with Bob calling the dances to his regular crowd. This, then, is a continuing tradition with a repertoire which includes many well-known dances as well as new dances and the most interesting and unusual dances to be found being danced in a Dartmoor village hall, the American Squares which Bob made so popular.
1. Up Town, Down Town (Golden Slippers).
2. Belle of the Ball.
3. The Pixie Jubilee Jig (Princess Margaret's Fancy)
4. Marching Through Georgia
5.Waves of Tory. (I'm noo awa' tae bide awa'/ Rosin the Beau/ The Minstrel Boy)
6. Smoke on the Water
7. Danish Double Quadrille (Same/ Old comrades march)
8. Chinese Breakdown
9. Mary Anne
10. Ripple of the Teign
11. East Meets West (Hamish's tune)
12. Otto's Grand March
13. Going Down South
14.Trail of the Lonesome Pine
15. Circassian Circle (Show me the Way to go Home/ Good Night Ladies/ Irish Washerwoman)
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