All Comers Band

The All Comers Band rocks the Community Dance on First Fridays! ~ Details on the calendar, including the BFS Community Care Policy.

SPECIAL Flying Shoes Radio Hour with Willy & Benjamin

Listen on demand to the All Comers Band leaders chatting and playing tunes, in the archive at WBFY Belfast Community Radio. (Scroll down and click on the Flying Shoes Radio Hour icon.)

Friday, Oct. 6 ~

The “Tune of the Month” is:

Silver & Gold – a Downeast/Maritime old time two-step/polka, from the playing of Canadian icon, Don Messer, and others – notation on, video from Don Messer & his Islanders, video from the Montville Project; and video from Rodney & Randy Miller (2nd tune in medley)

…and looking ahead to Friday, Nov. 3 ~

The “Tune of the Month” for November will be:

Battle of Waterloo – Audio file from Willy, notation v1 and notation v2.  About the tune, from The Traditional Tune Archive: See “Bonaparte Crossing the Alps,” “Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies,” “Bonaparte’s March (3).” Scottish, March (4/4 time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A variant of the (probably) Irish march tune usually known as “Bonaparte Crossing the Alps” (though there is much confusion among the several ‘Bonaparte’ titles).

Other 1st Fri tunes will be chosen on the fly, mostly from the “Frequent Flyers” list, below. Come at 6:00 pm to warm up!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The All Comers Band (ACB) is a merry assemblage of musicians, led by Willy Clemetson & Benjamin Foss, who play for the Belfast Flying Shoes (BFS) Community Dances.

As the name implies, musicians of all ages, levels, and instruments are encouraged to participate — we are a diverse and joyful group!! The ACB is a great way to hone your skills playing for dancing. Since ear-playing is emphasized, written music is not provided at the dances. (Some players do bring sheet music and others peer over their shoulders!) Come early to tune, warm up, and go over some of the repertoire.

Tunes are chosen on the spot based on the needs of the dance from a common Northeast contra repertoire, especially the classic Maine dance tunes. If you don’t know one of the tunes, just try to pick up whatever notes you can on the fly! Our goal is to play great music at dance speed–and have FUN!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Frequent Flyers



  • Blarney Pilgrim ~ 3 part jig
  • Cock of the North
  • Fair Jenny’s
  • Hundred Pipers
  • The Lilting Banshee (more)
  • The Little Burnt Potato (Julia Plumb tutorial, video, notation, etc)
  • La Maison de Glace (aka Ice House)
  • Merrily Kiss the Quaker~ 3 part jig
  • Off She Goes
  • The Old Favorite (more)
  • Out on the Ocean (more)
  • Portland Fancy aka Sugar Jig (in G, notation, Rodney & Randy Miller version)
  • Steamboat Quickstep
  • Timmy Clifford’s (notation, Julia Plumb tutorial)
  • Le Tourment (more)


  • Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine (more and more)
  • Coleman’s March
  • Jamie Allen
  • McQuillen’s Squeezebox (by Ralph Page) (more and more)
  • March of St. Timothy (more and more)
  • Meeting of the Waters (more and more)
  • Mistwold (by Dudley Laufman) (more and more)
  • Rollstone Mountain (more)
  • Snowy Breasted Pearl (more and more)





  • Sentimental Journey by Les Brown, Ben Homer & Bud Green ~ (MFC version and MFC notation for many instruments)
  • Side by Side
  • Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue
  • More foxtrots in the Maine Fiddle Camp Ukestra repertoire

Special Tunes:

Links and resources

Other places to play & learn:

  • Belfast Bay Fiddlers – Weekly jam for all levels and instruments at the parish hall of the First Baptist Church (entrance in back of building, adjacent to church parking lot), Sundays at 5:30 pm.
  • SeaStrings – Weekly jam at Mermaid Plaza on Main Street in Searsport, Wednesdays at 3:00 pm.
  • Fiddlers Jam – Tunes every other Tuesday in Belfast, 5-8pm at Marshall Wharf Brewing/Three Tides
  • Irish Session – Weekly session in Searsport
  • Maine Fiddle Camp – Weekend and week-long music camp sessions for all ages in June and August in Montville, ME
  • Acadia Trad Festival – Week-long school with a la carte options in early July in Bar Harbor, ME
  • Looking for private lessons? Greater Belfast is home to many excellent teachers of traditional dance music, including Maine Fiddle Camp staff.

Tune Books:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In 2020, we assembled a virtual All Comers Band!

The v-ACB video premiered at our 15th birthday party on December 4, 2020!  (more info…) It celebrates the phenomenon that is the All Comers Band.  Imagine a first Friday community dance with 20-40 musicians–of all ages, skill levels, and instruments–playing their hearts out. We never know who will show up to play, and with that spontaneity the ACB is always a diverse and joyful group. We hope the v-ACB captures that essence!