Monday, September 21, 2015


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.
for Country Music News International
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