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Bruce Molsky and Beppe Gambetta: "Brass Band Ruchenitsa"

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Bruce Molsky and Beppe Gambetta play Bruce's fingerstyle guitar arrangement of a melody he heard played by a Bulgarian brass band.

by Dan Gabel
February 21, 2015

Peghead Nation's Old-Time Fiddle instructor Bruce Molsky is a multi-instrumentalist to be reckoned with. Anyone who has seen his solo shows knows that he brings the same talent and impeccable taste to guitar and banjo as he does to his beloved fiddle playing.

Here, Bruce shows his fingerstyle guitar chops in a performance with Italian flatpicking master Beppe Gambetta at the Halkær Festival in Denmark in June 2011. They're playing Bruce's arrangement of a Balkan tune that he calls "Brass Band Ruchenitsa." Bruce is playing in open-C tuning (C G D G B D), the tune is in the key of G, and Bruce kicks off by asking Beppe if he's ready to count to seven!

Here's what Bruce says about "Brass Band Ruchenitsa" and the performance with Beppe:

"When our band Mozaik first got together, Andy Irvine circulated some recordings of Balkan music; just looking for ideas. There was a recording of a Bulgarian brass band, rather formal and almost theatrical sounding, playing this tune. I imagined a group of guys with big mustaches and billowing white shirts marching around a public square somewhere with instruments. The melody really stuck with me, so I worked it up as a fingerstyle guitar piece and named it The Brass Band Ruchenitsa. Beppe and I did a tour together in Denmark in 2011 and had a blast doing it in the shows."

Beppe says:

"This shows one more time how Bruce is able to find and arrange beautiful melodies from old traditional music that comes from all over the world. It was great fun to add my part, and this duet proves one more time that flatpicking and fingerpicking mixed together are perfectly compatible, and the two different way of touching the strings can generate an intriguing synergy."

Bruce recorded this tune on his Compass Records album Soon Be Time. For more, see BruceMolsky.com and BeppeGambetta.com.

Thanks to Thorkild Mosbaek for the video. See more of his work on his YouTube channel, AlruneRod2811.


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