Back to Recollections  |  NESI HOME

-- Onwards into our Second Decade --
2000 group photo

Yes, this is most of us pictured here as our event entered its second decade of squeezemongery at the beautiful and bucolic Bucksteep Manor in the hills of western Massachusetts. Weather-wise, it was a lovely weekend which we augmented greatly with our usual activities: the limerick contest, concert, dance, workshops, and ever-changing informal sessions, not to forget general carousing and such....
Lobby JamFirst on the agenda was stopping at our hospitalities spot to sign in, get a badge, and finding out where to stash your stuff. The accommodations vary from fancy rooms in the Manor house to one's own tent in the pine grove - depending on one's druthers and how early one registered (the deluxe accommodations are usually filled by June). Workshop schedule board

Next was trying to make it through the various jams to get to your digs! High up on the list of things to do was checking out our workshop schedule. It's an interactive affair in which one can request a workshop and offer to lead one. This year's impressive, instructive and insightful workshops included a number of familiar ones and some new ventures and exploratory territory for many. Everyone partook at will and whim! Those not so occupied could be found jamming with others or occasionally playing by themselves, getting down the new tune or technique.


French Canadian workshop

More tunes!

Easy & Fun workshop

Irish session in the field

Slow Jam workshop

Buttonbox Basics by Rich Morse
Beginners Playalong
Chords for Beginners by Tony Hughes
Slow Jam with Wendy "The Ear"
Easy & Fun Tunes for all Boxes
     Also by Wendy 
English Country Dances/Playford
Contra Band with Craig Hollingsworth
Morris Music
Anglo Freeforall 
Solo Hour (show off YOUR pieces!)
     with Ken Sweeney
Duet Concertinas Unite! 
     with David Barnert
Chordal Workshop for Chromatic
Klezmer Workshop by Sy Kushner
Balkan Workshop
Tricky Fingers for Piano Accordion
      by Wendy again!
Douce Ambiance also by Craig
Rhythm & Chords for English 
     Concertina with Rachel Hall
French Canadian Tunes
     with Doug Creighton
Blues Workshop with Ed Marris
All Sorts of Stuff about the English
     Also by Ken
The abc's of ABC by David Barnert
Tunesmith & Wordsmith,
     Composers & Authors
     with Jim Allen
The Making of the Céilí - Slide Show
     by the BB staff
Concertina Repair & Maintenance
     by Mario & Ken
Old-Time Country Gospel
Blues workshop

Beginners Playalong

More field tunes!

Klezmer workshop

Between workshops many found their way to the "goodies" room to check out the impressive assortment of enticements for sale. Beyond the The Button Box's usual broad assortment of squeezeboxes, recordings, and books, there was another vendor of (predominantly) piano accordions, and a couple tables laden full with participants' boxes for sale.

This year's Saturday night concert, even more eclectic than usual, featured performances on a diverse array of instruments, including hammered dulcimers, flutes, recorder, bagpipe, nyckelharpa, piano, fiddles, banjos, harmonicas, - oh yes - and lots of squeezeboxes! Nothing unusual about them!

Saturday night concert
Of course, one of the highlights of the concert was the traditional reading of the limericks and presentation of a most (ahem) coveted prize.... Several of this year's limericks were decidedly political in nature, including the first place taker.
1st place
George Bush can't discourse in Oxfordian
And his grace might be called Geraldfordian;
     But Joe Lieberman swings
     Like a klezmer on springs
To a hora with Gore on accordion.
2nd place
The river was fringed with japonica
As I played in the reeds with Veronica;
     She squeezed "Soldier's Joy"
     From my bellows, while I
Blew "Money Musk" on her harmonica.
3rd place
A highlander player named Reeves
Worked the bellows with his knees.
     In his kilt, on the draw
     Almost everyone saw
An instrument certain to please!

KidsThe ensuing lively contradance was followed by waltzes, schottisches, and some swing dancing. While back at Manor - tunes, songs, stories... and somewhere out back an especially welcoming hot tub! The next morning arrived all too soon for the several who awokened at the crack of dawn by a couple of VERY early morning accordionists (whom shall remain unnamed).

Sunday was a day of recovery, coffee and leisurely brunch, some more tunes, a few stray workshops, deciding that you just couldn't pass up that CD/book combo, the group photo, and just hanging out and taking it easy before heading out. Hope to see you all next year!

Back to Recollections  |  NESI HOME