Photo Shuffle-The Street Where You Live

I love accordions. There I said it. In all honesty though, I have never understood why the instrument has been subject to such hostility from some corners. It is an extremely versatile instrument, and a key ingredient to a range of styles, from folk music across Europe and Latin America, and right here in the U.S. with Cajun and Zydeco music especially. Be it a piano accordion or some degree of button style it can do so much as an instrument and I have always enjoyed what it brings. It is a good solo instrument capable of subtle nuances, makes great dance music, and can really rock when it wants to. Yes, I said that too. Accordions rock.

I love accordions so much I could make you a long list of my favorite players, mostly from English and Celtic music, with others from Cajun and Zydeco. But it would also include a fabulous musician and singer I am happy popped up today here on Photo Shuffle. Her name is Ginny Mac, from Fort Worth, Texas. I first became aware of her a few years ago,  watching her perform with the band Brave Combo at a festival. They were a band I had been familiar with for years but never managed to see. A great party band with an astonishing repertoire of music from around the world. You have never heard the Hokey Pokey until you have heard their version! Much as I was enjoying Brave Combo’s set, when Ginny stepped up to the microphone to sing I realized she definitely had something special going on.

So I did the usual social media thing and began following her musical activities since leaving the group not too long after, as well as backtracking to her older material. Ginny is just an incredible talent. Versatile in both voice and her playing on both accordion and piano. Capable of rocking out to a Chuck Berry song, or singing the Cajun standard Jole Blon, followed by a Patsy Cline number for good measure. I absolutely admire musicians who are versed in so many styles. A big part of that for Ginny I suspect is the versatility of the accordion and what it can actually do. Make sure you watch the clip at the bottom of the post with Ginny explaining that herself far better than I can.

Much as I thoroughly enjoy all those styles, I found myself particularly drawn to Ginny’s interpretations of some of the old standards. Take ‘On The Street Where You Live’ for example. Originally from the musical My Fair Lady, it was covered by the likes of Dean Martin, Vic Damone, Nat King Cole and dozens more. It is not really a type of song  that I normally listen to, but I realized something awhile back. Where once I used to automatically dismiss much of this style, probably a result of some of it being ‘inflicted’ on me as a youngster, I can now appreciate the songs themselves more. So while I do not see rushing out to buy the complete works of Vic Damone in the near future, I can at least acknowledge that a good song is a good song.  Groups like Hot Club Of Cowtown and singers such as Ginny Mac have made me realize that with their interpretations.

‘On The Street Where You Live’ is actually a great example of this. I have been familiar with this song of course, almost certainly because of My Fair Lady which my parents had the soundtrack for. Listening to Ginny’s cover of it though, the dreamy words really come through. Though the street where I live (seen in the photo above) is not so dreamy, and definitely not filled with larks and lilac trees or enchantment pouring out of every door, it is home. Where my beautiful wife and I live with our two cats.  I realized that I missed all this imagery in the more schmaltzy versions of the song, Ginny Mac’s accordion driven re-working really fits the song. But that accordion being  such a versatile instrument, somehow also captures the feel of those versions with a full on orchestra.  Which makes me thankful for such talented musicians as Ginny Mac constantly thinking and working on their music. Finding ways to reinterpret music and going back to basics. And using an accordion to do it is icing on the cake! Please check out her website and social media for more clips-http://www.ginnymac.com/

On The Street Where You Live-Music By Frederick Loewe, Lyrics By Alan Jay Lerner

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

*Photo Shuffle is a short slice of my regular blogs based on setting my Ipod on shuffle and matching up one of my photographs to whatever comes up.

Ginny Mac
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18 thoughts on “Photo Shuffle-The Street Where You Live

  1. The accordion does always put me in the mind of a fair of some sort…not really use to listening to it in everyday music. Leave it to you to have a fondness of it…what else don’t we know about’chu Rob? lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely! I seriously have loads of players I like. Then again I love music so much I have favorite mandolin, fiddle or banjo players. Bass players. Sax…well you get the idea 😄

        Like

  2. This such a Frenchmen Street Song! ❤ I can't wait to you come to Nola and we go to Frenchman for life music and beer!

    Much like you this is not a style of music for which I would rush to buy an album, but I could spend a whole Sunday afternoon listening to it life with good company and drinks..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is so right! I could happily listen to stuff like this at a bar for hours. Mind you she can really belt one out and rock too. Lots of YouTube clips of her doing that. I can’t wait to fully partake of New Orleans too! Thanks always 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Why are accordions always associated with Paris? I’ve no idea. There was a lot of affectionate accordion playing in Bollywood films from the 70s, both for interesting sound and because it makes a great prop!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know but it is an interesting question. Here I think some equate them either with corny Lawrence Welk sort of stuff or polka music! But as Ginny says, it is a band in a box and it can do so much. What’s not to love!

      Liked by 1 person

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