Paul & Emily Rangell at the Farmers’ Market and the Buttery

I was starting to get that slightly numb, stale feeling that means I need to hear live music. Now I’ve found a regular source!

I was at the farmers’ market with my good office pal M and I heard something I don’t often hear there: really good music. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad anyone who wants can get their yayas out in the drum circle, but I usually don’t consider the results musical, exactly. Call me picky, but I kind of like a discernible rhythm, and a series of monotonous, randomly-timed bom bom boms doesn’t count.

Anyhow. Back to the really good music, with actual rhythm and melody and everything. We followed the sound of the fiddle and found locals Paul and Emily Rangell and their two visiting friends. They play old-timey folk dance tunes from all over the world. Paul plays mandolin, fiddle, and guitarron, Emily guitar. One of their friends was playing the concertina, the other, fiddle.

Paul and co. are fine musicians, and I don’t just mean that they play their instruments well. I mean that they are connoisseurs of dance tunes and select truly delightful melodies to polish and perform. Waltzes, polkas, rags, and whatevers from all over the globe. They seldom seem to know any names for the tunes, instead referring to “that Greek one in E” or some such.

Here’s the exception to their dance tune repertoire: a fight-to-the-death tune! They got it from the old Gary Cooper movie Cloak and Dagger. Gary and the Nazi battle it out and all the while, someone’s singing and playing this sweet Italian ditty in the background. Check it out. Embedding was disabled for this video, darn it, but it’s worth clicking through.

Gary Cooper, Marc Lawrence, and a sentimental Italian folk song

Hear Paul and Emily any Sunday between 10 am and noon in the Buttery patio. You may well see me there!