Steve’s melodeons: For song accompaniment, I use Hohner Club 2/ Erika 2.5 row boxes, dating from the mid-1930s and
variously restored by Theo Gibb, Martyn White, Rees Wesson, Mike Rowbotham, and Paul Flannery. In order to play in keys that are ideal for the
singer, I have boxes in D/G, C/F, E/A, A/D, G/C and Bb/Eb. I retain the original
‘club’ bass layout but use standard right-hand tuning. For dance music, I use a modern two-row Italian-made Beltuna Sara 2 in D/G and a Castagnari Casta in G/C.
Steve’s mouth organs:
I use 10-hole Hohner Special 20s and Marine Band DeLuxes/
Crossovers/ Rockets/ Thunderbirds along with a few Suzuki Manjis. English dance music rarely works well in 2nd position so I often retune a couple of reeds on my harps to facilitate 1st and 4th position playing, and install valves on some reeds (an invention of Brendan Power) so as to allow bends that would not otherwise be possible. I rarely play chromatic and never use tremolo mouth organs. I am happy to be contacted for advice and suggestions about alternate tunings, and am sometimes available at festivals to run mouthorgan workshops for beginners or improvers.
Steve’s banjos: I use 5-string banjos for song accompaniment mostly employing drop-thumbing in open G, open C, open Gm and the modal 'sawmill' tunings. My main banjos are modern US-made Deering Vegas - a 'Little Wonder' with a mylar head and a 'Senator' with a fibreskyn head. Alan Hardwick at Eagle Music maintains these instruments.
Steve's tenor guitar: I use a modern Gold Tone instruments which I tune to AEAC# which allows me to play in Annie's main singing keys of A, Bb and C. I am not a guitarist, so my right hand approach is pretty much transferred from the banjo.
Annie's jew's harps: are supplied by
the Dan Moi company of Leipzig and are of the pitched variety which make it
feasible to follow the chord progression of melodies. Her kazoos are any old metal models!