Sore Fingers October Weekend 2011


Patrick Couton - Autoharp

Patrick Couton Please note: This is open to full weekend students only. There are no Saturday day only bookings.

A professional musician for over thirty years, Patrick Couton began his career aged six playing flute before progressing to accordion then guitar. He then moved onto Old Time Banjo and Dobro. In 1971, Patrick added the Autoharp to his arsenal of instruments and quickly got into traditional Iris music and “old Jazz”. His first Autoharp dedicated CD -Autoharp Ce Soir - was re-issued in the US by famous luthier ad Autoharp maker Oscar Schmidt which was received to great acclaim on the other side of the Atlantic. As a result of that exposure, Patrick subsequently toured the US with George Fischer between 1980 and 84 and those trip included many appearances at the Prairie Home Companion.

Patrick’s professional work includes playing with several bands, mostly guitar. But the Autoharp is never far away and is currently revisiting his repertoire for the Autoharp with a view to re-releasing a new CD in 2011 featuring his long time partner George Fischer.

It’s great to welcome such an accomplished musician at Sore Fingers and we hope this will be the first of many.


Richard Holland - Banjo

Richard Holland Richard Holland began his musical career aged 5 with piano lessons and continued playing the instrument until he was about 14 years old when a change of direction came about. Richard was to become an England international as part of the trampoline team... After a career of thirty odd years teaching Physical education, Richard discovered the Banjo and Bluegrass. Already a descent guitar player from his college days, the banjo became Richard’s first instrument about twenty five years ago and he has been present on the British Bluegrass scene for many years playing with a variety of good bands including more recently Contraband, Dalebilly, Home Territory and his latest project, North Drive.

A background in education means he has some good ideas on how to teach people to play the five string banjo and we assume that won’t mean jumping up and down on them!

Notwithstanding his sporting success, Richard is a fine player and gets right into the detail. He has a great feel for both Bluegrass and Old time playing and will surely add breadth to anyone’s style. We are proud to have Richard teaching at Sore Fingers for the first time.


Bill Dalton - Dobro

Bill Dalton Bill’s Dobro journey began with a visit to Sore Fingers back in 2000 as a student.
Tutored and duly inspired by some of the world’s finest players here and in the US he now teaches Dobro and ukulele to all ages, runs a small studio dedicated to recording acoustic music and regularly takes workshops (and acts as MC) at music festivals as well as performing solo or with the “odd but satisfying” trio, Lonesome.

The workshop will cater primarily for those beginning the instrument, although if you have played for a little while (or have taken it up as a second instrument) there will be plenty to learn and keep you busy for a quite a time to come.

Here’s a brief outline of what we will cover:

All the instrument basics - the tools and techniques available to “lap style” players.
No “music theory” – just a little demystification – nothing to scare anyone!
With some basics in hand – approaching new tunes and improving technique
How to move away from “familiar” material and increase our repertoire – painlessly?

You will all leave with tunes to play and plenty to keep your playing “moving forward”

Review from Acoustic Magazine –The Sore Fingers Experience –Dobro class (October 09).
“Because of his relaxed approach, no one felt intimidated by their technique, or absence thereof, and Bill’s avowed intention that everyone would leave with a tune to play was achieved with much laughter and enjoyment along the way”

As with all of Bill’s workshops, tailored reference material for both class use and future learning is provided – some electronically so please ensure he has your e-mail address.


John Boston - Fiddle

John Boston John has been playing since he was six, but discovered Bluegrass later in life. He first played with Chris Moreton when the latter had just started playingflatpick guitar, then took a break for a couple of decades while raising a family. He was “rediscovered” playing solo fiddle in a Dorking folk club by Mike Artes & Charlie Gaisford, founder members of UK Bluegrass pioneers the Orange Blossom Sound, later joining Del Robinson’s Rocky Island Boys for a long spell of regular gigging at concerts and barndances. More recently, he has played with String Fever, the Morris Boys, Kittyhawks and currently Roots & Galoots. He also plays fiddle in Kevin Brown’s Western Swing band ,The Mendip String Band. In short, John can turn his bow to Folk, Bluegrass, Oldtime & Western Swing and is recognised as a fine natural fiddler.
Having sat at the feet of the masters during 10 years of Sore Fingers attendance, John now assures us he is able to combine his ability to play with an understanding of how it all happens, and is very keen to pass on this knowledge in a straightforward and commonsense way. This will include in -depth explanation & demonstration of bowing patterns, with everything taught being compatible with classical techniques, and in the best possible taste!


Gary Payne - Guitar

Gary Payne Gary Payne is one of the UK Bluegrass scene‘s top performers always giving 100% when on stage with his band “A Band Like Alice”. Gary has a phenomenal knowledge of Bluegrass songs and never runs out of material to play at a session. That knowledge extends to many of the famous American Singers and Gary’s stories about Jimmy Martin, Bill Monroe and Co are legendary.
Coming from a family steeped in Folk Music, his dad ran a folk club in Southern England and Gary had little choice but to grow up with acoustic music. To do all those songs justice, Gary accompanies himself on the guitar and the mandolin sometimes and it this side of his musical talent that will be coming into play at this October’s Sore Fingers weekend.
A firm believer in strong and good rhythm, Gary will explain how to play the guitar for a band, the finer points of the timing and the dynamic required to support the lead instruments and the singers. He says you cannot become a great lead player until you have these skills well under control. And, whilst the tunes are fun, it’s the songs that really define Bluegrass with those unmistakeable harmonies. They deserve only the best, great guitar playing and that is what Gary will be showing everybody at Kingham.


Percy Copley - Mandolin

Percy Copley Percy Copley has been around the British Bluegrass festival circuit quietly plighying his trade for as long as one can remember. Percy, a man of many talents is equally adept on Mandolin, Banjo (tenor and five string), Guitar and Ukelele…, in fact you name the instrument it and it is likely he can get a tune out of it! Percy is on the entertainment staff at a well know theme park near Paris in France and has been there since the establishement opened in 1992. But, here we are concerned with his expert mandolin playing and his great style which many wish to learn about. He’s happy with both Old Time style as well as Bluegrass and will show you some tricks to increase your versatility. Percy has an infectious sense of humour but behind the façade, there is a real professional at work. His class is guaranteed to be fun but expect to meet a dedicated master of his art.


Bill Whelan - Old Time Banjo

Bill Whelan Bill Whelan's music career had taken him on the most wonderful and varied journey.
He has played with artists as varied as Don Stover, Tim O Brien and punk goddess Patti Smith.
As a member of De Dannan he even played for Nelson Mandela! He is as smitten today with the sound of
the banjo as he was when he first started playing back in the 60's.
This will be Bills fifth appearance as tutor at Sorefingers. Although the class will try to cover all levels of experience
it is recommended that students should be capable of the basic frailing stroke and be able to play at least one simple tune.


Jock Tyldesley - Old Time Fiddle

Jock Tyldesley Jock Tyldesley is perhaps best known for his fiddling in Cajun bands such as The Flatville Aces and the Bearcats, as well as more off-the-wall antics with The New Rope String Band and The Chipolatas.
He also nurtures a long-time passion for Southern Appalachian old time fiddling for many years and has spent more time concentrating on this, whilst touring worldwide with his regular bands and US acts such as Eddie LeJeune, The Dirk Powell Band, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Martha Scanlan, Beverly Smith and Carl Jones and Balfa Toujours.
He is much in demand as a private and workshop tutor and has taught for several years at Folkworks Summer Schools and The Burwell Bash, as well as being a visiting tutor at Blazin’ in Beauly, The London Fiddle School and the Folk Degree course at Newcastle University, plus many international festival workshops.
Jock is an instinctive tutor, teaching by ear and concentrating on the feel and rhythm of the music as much as the tune, and trying to bring out the ‘drive’ in peoples’ playing. He will also be exploring bowing patterns and different fiddle tunings during the course.


Roland Emmanuel - Singing

Roland Emmanuel Roland is back for a second year in a row by popular demand! So many came up and told us what a great class Roland ran last October that it was a foregone conclusion. So if you missed the Singing class last year, you certainly shouldn't miss it this year!
Roland, a founder member of Bluegrass band ‘Roots & Galoots’has played with the band extensively across the UK in recent years and its members are known for their expert harmonies.

Having retired from teaching after 32 years he has continued to follow his interest in singing and in particular vocal harmony and since Roland was brought up in a Welsh musical family, he gained much experience in singing ranging from choral to smaller ensembles.

He has a particular passion for Bluegrass harmony and relishes the opportunity of teaching at the Sore Fingers weekend.

If you want to find an easy and fun way to learn how to sing harmony by ear then this is the course for you. No note reading, no bogging down in music theory, learn to sing harmony intuitively. Just come along and enjoy!


Jules Bushell - Bass

Jules Bushell Jules has been living around active music making since before he was born, as he comes from a family of musicians and teachers. He got started on trumpet aged 8 which he played classically until he discovered his dad's old guitar in the attic. Moving swiftly to electric bass guitar, that was that- he'd found his instrument. Around the same time came an interest in folk music and the mandolin, and those two musical threads kept him busy for the next 20 years until he inherited his father's double bass. Suddenly everything made sense! Folk, rock & roll, swing, and.... bluegrass. As well as all the playing live, Jules has worked in the theatre world composing soundtracks for shows of all sizes and styles, and has spent several years teaching music technology and recording at the local college in Taunton. As well as the Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys, he plays with too many people in too many styles to list here.
Putting all these aspects together, Jules has a strong understanding of how the bass forms the base of music, but is not just the bit at the bottom! Come and find out how to support the other instruments and hold it all together, while exploring the other notes beyond the root and the fifth!