TUNE: (cross-tuned reel) June in the North Country

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VIDEO: Gretchen Koehler teaches "June in the North Country" and explores cross-tuning fiddle techniques.   

This month's tune is a joyful, southern style reel in cross G tuning. I wrote this tune to honor the life of June Peoples. 

Simply put, losing June at the end of 2016 was a tremendous shock that was felt far beyond the reaches of our North Country community in Northern New York. Personally, I cherish our time spent together laughing and dancing (usually at the same time!) and the wholehearted kindness I felt from her whenever our paths crossed over the past 15 years. 


The following is an excerpt of what I read at June's memorial service before Barb Heller, Dave Ruch and I played for the hundreds of friends and family who gathered to celebrate her life. 

June Peoples

June Peoples

"There are so many ways to express how we feel today. When I sat down to write a tune, I thought about the qualities I loved the most in June...

I wanted the tune to be sweet,  just like her. 

I wanted the tune to be humble.

I wanted it to feel as contagious as her beautiful, warm, welcoming smile. 

And of course, the tune had to have a southern accent to match her ever-cheerful, Tennessee drawl."


This month Barb, Dave and I came together to formally record this piece at the North Country Public Radio Studio in Canton, New York. Our sound engineer was June's husband and our dear friend, Joel Hurd, who was incidentally the inspiration for Tune of the Month: First Crush. 

Sharing this tune helps me find purpose and I offer it as an act of friendship and support for all those who loved June. As I play this, my eyes close and I smile wide as I see her smiling back at me. I hope you enjoy listening to it, learning it and sharing it with others. 


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