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CHAUTAUQUA BELLE gets a new voice

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    CHAUTAUQUA BELLE gets a new voice

    At a time when so many steamboats are going silent, one has gotten a new voice (well, temporary... for now). Yesterday, Mat Stage, Dave Morecraft, Mat's dad Paul, and I hauled the calliope from Dave's wagon #44 to the roof of the C. BELLE, and at 7:03 PM (after getting it situated on top of the pilothouse staircase railing and hooking up a steam line), Dave fired it up and played "The Washington Lee Swing", the first calliope song played on that boat in years. Mat and Paul then decided that the C. BELLE needed to be seen with her new instrument. We got underway (Paul at the wheel, Mat in the engine room, and Dave and I on the keyboard) and played for about 2 hours straight to hundreds of interested people on shore wondering where the enticing sounds were coming from. Sadly, my camera died just as we were backing out, but I had it working this morning. Dave and Mat have cut a deal to have the calliope on the boat for just about 2 weeks, so anyone who wants to see a REAL STEAMBOAT with a REAL CALLIOPE, Mayville, NY is the place to go!

    1. The CHAUTAUQUA BELLE from the boat dock next to the landing. Note the calliope right behind the pilothouse
    2. The steam line coming off the whistle line and running to the calliope.
    3. A steam calliope in action on a steamboat (goes together like salt and pepper if you ask me!)
    Attached Files

    #2
    CB calliope

    hmm...if #44 doesn't take up permanent residence on the CB, any chance a new Morecraft model might appear there in the future?

    Comment


      #3
      Matt or Mat,

      Where was the keyboard console set up? This hearkens back to a discussion on this board years ago about whether or not the calliopist prefers to be in close proximity to the whistles or not. The "old-timers" like to be right there, up close and personal! Glad to hear that NY state is being treated to a live steam instrument. And hope that someone will make a video or audio recording to preserve this historic occasion. Too bad that the trip through NY state that my wife and I are making this fall will occur long after the instrument is "Back Home Again in Indiana." Thank you to Dave, Mat, Matt, and all concerned for this wonderful treat.

      Comment


        #4
        Dave, we had the console right behind the pilothouse, but after playing for about a half-hour with no earplugs, we moved it forward of the pilothouse. I guess you could say I'm old-fashion since I like the keyboard being right next to the instrument, but it was just getting so darn loud haha. I'll post a picture of it's last-known-to-me location. Also, Mat, Dave, and I have taken plenty of pictures and video, and some will be showing up on Youtube within the next few days.

        1. If you look closely on the right, you see Dave's red keyboard stand and the keyboard where it was when we first hooked up the instrument.
        2 and 3. Keyboard where it was when I left. They might have moved it since, but that's a question for Mat or Dave.
        Attached Files

        Comment


          #5
          YouTube - Chautauqua Belle Calliope Washington Lee Swing

          Comment


            #6
            Keyboard location

            David & Matt:
            We have tried sevral location. Sunday we had the keyboard on the deck below. As I was Playing the Washington Lee Swing a passenger was asking me where the restrooms were located :(..
            So I must applogize for the mistakes in this video..
            Thanks to Capt. Mat Stage for shooting it !

            Also, me being old school, I want the Keyboard at the CaLLiope,,
            AWAY from the passengers . :) LOLz
            It's only been 2 days here but wow what a blast !!
            And ENJOYING every minute of it :)

            YouTube - Chautauqua Belle Calliope Washington Lee Swing

            Comment


              #7
              Another video with Matt Dow playing Love Nest ..


              YouTube - Steam CaLLiope 44's Instrument on the Chautauque Belle

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Judy Patsch View Post
                hmm...if #44 doesn't take up permanent residence on the CB, any chance a new Morecraft model might appear there in the future?
                Judy: We can only hope ..
                There needs to be more Steam CaLLiopes to hear and enjoy !

                Comment


                  #9
                  Love Nest and nesting the keyboard

                  Love Nest: George Burns, Gracie Allen, Doc Hawley, Dave Tschiggfrie, and now Matt Dow. Can't remember if Gabe plays it too...
                  As to Dave M. being asked where the bathroom was while playing: I've always thought that new closet location of the BELLE'S calliope looks like a urinal when a male is playing. I wish they'd move it back up to the roof where it belongs for the visual effect. The calliope player can always talk to the fans when they come down from the roof.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Dave,

                    Bravo on Washington and Lee Swing! Yes, don't you just love it when someone tries to engage you in conversation while you're playing, or would like a history or mechanical explanation of the instrument in the middle of a song. The only person I've ever seen who could engage in conversation and answer questions while playing was Doc. Now, how did he do that!!?? I have an audio recording back in the early 80s of myself at the DQ's keyboard, and in trying to answer a question from a passenger about the name of the little town we were passing, my response came out in a clipped sentence, in perfect cadence to the rhythm of the song I was playing. It's hilarious to listen to, but frustrating at the same time. Boy, do those sweet Nichol tones sound mellow coming off the Lake. You are a true master of the lost art of calliope building, my friend. BRAVO, BRAVO!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Matt,

                      I'm not certain, but I think this is the first time I've actually had the pleasure of hearing you play. Your version of "Love Nest" has all the earmarks of a Doc Hawley arrangement, at least to my ear -- and trust me, I've listened to a ton of Doc Hawley in my day. Wonderful job! Hope that some day I'll have the opportunity to hear you play an entire concert! Doc always used to play "Love Nest" on the DQ's calliope in the mid-60s when the boat was headed upriver from Cincinnati and passing Mt. Adams, where Betty Blake lived in a riverside condo up in the hills with her new husband Jack Simcox. If Betty was home at the time, she would always come out onto the deck and wave at the boat as they passed on the river below.

                      Judy, don't recall if I've ever heard Gabe play "Love Nest" or not, but I suspect he probably has. When Jonathan and I were visiting Doc last year to tape another interview, I commented to him that just when I think I've heard every song in his repertoire, he steps up to the keyboard and plays some new, "esoteric" number that I've never heard before! That same day we played a tape for him of two numbers he performed on the AVALON's calliope in 1956 or 57, and asked him the name of them since we'd never heard them before (or since.) He listened carefully, and turned to us with a smile and said, "Oh, those were two songs that I just made up at the time. I haven't played them since."

                      Comment


                        #12
                        David: Thank You very much for your kind words .. :)

                        It was GREAT to see some FRNs from the middle Ohio River Chapter up here in New York yesterday .. What a Suprize !! It was like a famliy reunion.. LOL

                        Also shot a new video of the C BELLE's Whistle..

                        YouTube - STR. CHAUTAQUA BELLE'S Whistle

                        Comment


                          #13
                          What a pleasant surprise it was for me to walk on the Chautauqua Belle and see Dave Morecroft and Captain Matt Stage. I was on my way back home to Covington, Ky. I had just spent four days in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada attending eight plays at the Shaw Festival.
                          As we approached Lake Chautauqua, the lake came into view from the hill above the city. Then as we descended and made the right turn, we could see that the Belle was docked. The afternoon trips had been cancelled due to high winds. I had hoped to add this steamboat ride to my Natchez and Belle of Louisville rides this year. That will have to be another time. It was also a surprise to see that Dave had temporarily installed his calliope on the Chautauqua Belle. The boiler still had about 125 Psig remaining from the morning trip. Captain Matt was gracious to open the isolation valve and Dave played the calliope. What a treat!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Here's another video of the CHAUTAUQUA BELLE's temporary instrument. Enjoy!

                            YouTube - Steam Calliope on the Chautauqua Belle 1

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Sweet!! Thanks for posting!

                              Comment

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