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CD: CALVIN DUHACHEK – Mostly Rags


CALVIN DUHACHEK  

Mostly Rags
Maple Leaf Rag – Peacherine Rag – Possum and
Tater’s – The Entertainer – Tickled To Death – Easy Winners – Le
Petit Negre – Last Date – Great Balls of Fire
 
Calvin Duhachek is a 16-year old ragtime piano player! 
Indeed he is a ‘terrific’ ragtime piano player.  It never ceases to
amaze me how some of our young Americans take a liking to the older
musical art forms and genres that exist in America.  Ragtime is
definitely a very special and elite musical art form created by a number
of players, notably Ernest Hogan who created the label ‘ragtime’ for
the music.  It was Scott Joplin who popularized the music with his
‘Maple Leaf Rag’ and ‘The Entertainer’ which was a hit for
Marvin Hamlish in 1974.  Calvin opens his CD presentation with Joplin’s
‘Maple Leaf Rag’ and also adds the ‘Entertainer’ as he progresses
through a magnificent presentation of this very old musical art form. 
There’s something happy about ragtime, perhaps from it’s earliest
syncopated rhythm patterns set by those long ago black entertainers on
showboats and houses of ill repute where the music supposedly
originated.  Calvin has been studying under the tutelage of Kathy Graeve
a terrific music instructor living in Neola, Iowa.  Kathy is quick to
propose that ragtime music is comparable to the minuets of Mozart or the
mazurkas of Chopin.  I find this to be true with many old-time fiddle
tunes that are very classical in nature, but shunned by the classical
world.  So it was with ragtime, but with a young player like Calvin
tickling the keys, and indeed he does that, especially with a very
un-ragtime number ‘Great Balls of Fire’ that Jerry Lee Lewis classic. 
Still, it is the ‘ragtime’ that Calvin does so valiantly well on this CD
offering.  It’s also interesting to me that ragtime as a musical art
form is still popular among fans of traditional or classic country
music.  There are three genres that seem to meld together easily, early
country, bluegrass, and ragtime.  What’s the connect?  It just seems to
be an acoustic musical art form without all the electronic gadgetry so
prevalent in today’s music, everywhere, and making the music itself
sound so phony.  This is the real-deal, and Calvin Duhachek’s CD is
going off to the Rural Roots Music Commission to see how they appraise
this lovely piece of work.  Nice going Calvin, sounds like some of your
rags are a little slower on the recording than when you play them live,
but you have a stage with your name on it anytime you want to come to
the Oak Tree to perform in Anita, Iowa.  Also need to comment on ‘Last
Date’ which is also on this CD, and extremely well done.  I can feel
Calvin’s ‘expression’ as he plays it. Kudos also to Tesco Studios in
Omaha for catching all the embellishments of Calvin.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART- www.ntcma.net 
for Country Music News International

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