Jump to content

It's That Time Of Year Again!


Recommended Posts

Ah yes, Spring.

 

When a young man's fancy turns to love, and traditional Irish musicians grind their teeth in an effort to drown out the requests for "When Irish Eyes are Smilin'"

 

I've moved my usual Saturday night gig at a local Hastings Bookstore coffeeshop to Friday to accomodate the holiday. Why, I don't know, since New Mexico is ranked 49 in a poll of "states that have the most descendents of Irish immigrants as residents."

 

Hawaii is 50.

 

The coffeeshop, it should be noted, has been coloring the whipped cream a hideous shade of green for weeks.

 

Guess it beats green beer.

 

So, what's your St. Pat's gig?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not my gig, but the gig of the folks I play with in a local session: They have an 8 hour gig at an establishment in the next city (45 miles away). They will giet some breaks, but they are hoping to get to play nearly all of their repetoir of Irish tunes. I suspect that Illinois ranks fairly high among the states for descendants of Irish immigrants-- after all, O'Neil's Music of Ireland was collected in Chicago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am visiting my other home in Logansport, IN this week. Turns out some of my old Indianapolis cronies are staging a session at a community dinner in Kokomo Tuesday evening (Rhomylly ask my cousins where that is, pretty close to me). We play a few hours, get to eat, etc. No idea how many song requests we'll get, they've loaded the show up with the local Irish dance schools so maybe no one will get a chance to ask.

 

Slainte!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankfully none at all! :)

 

That said, I depped for a local ceilidh band on a St. Patrick's night a couple of years ago after they lost their singer, and I actually really enjoyed singing what would usually be thought of as the really hackneyed stuff - but then I think that's the sole occasion I've ever sung Irish songs in front of an audience, so I've never had chance to grow to dislike singing them...

 

My group played at a club in north Birmingham last night; the organiser, "Sheila M" is a singer/comedienne who has a brilliant line in awful jokes that are only funny because of her delivery of them; she's equally gifted at performing songs like "Whisky in the Jar" with such genuine enthusiasm - and with such a raw edge - that you can forget all the bad cabaret versions that you've heard while she's singing them. So, anyway, I've had my dose of St. Patrick's Day songs almost a week early ;)

Edited by stuart estell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This Friday I shall remain safely in my home. My little gig was at the school on the 6th.

 

I have a great dislike of green colored Budwiser being spilt on me and while there is none of that a John Stones Inn the room is so full and rowdy as to make me uncomfortable. Country roads and those with a 6 pack too many are a bad combination.

 

I owe too much money to die at the hands of a besotted Irishman-for-a-day wannbe behind the wheel of an SUV.

 

There you go, 52 and a total crab :( .

Edited by Mark Evans
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guess it beats green beer.

 

So, what's your St. Pat's gig?

 

NO GREEN BEER! Gave up drinking for Lent, but will be enjoying some Guinness and Tullamore Dew on the day AFTER the last playtime Friday. It is a Feast Day after all!

 

http://www.madmajor.com/news.html

 

Forest Home School

Featuring "The Ceilidh Band"

Thursday 3/16 @ 1pm

 

St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl

Friday 3/17

6pm Lynch's Pub

8:30pm Kneisler's White House

9pm Bay St. Pub

 

Milwaukee, although no Chicago, still does it up right, so long as you go to the right places.

Co. Clare, House of Guinness, Packy's Pub are the mainstays. Avoid Bluemound Ave.!!!!

Pipers and bands will be playing all day, but the Big Band's gigs are exclusive, listed above!

This is a chance to play for our sponsors, one of which has sponsored the band twice to go to Scotland and one other who has sponsored pipe bands since the 80's.

 

Do Mo Chara Maith! Slainte Mhor!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RigAJig will be at the Blethering Place in Oak Bay, Victoria, a biweekly gig.

 

For St Patrick's Day, instead of our mixture of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Canadian, US, medieval French - even a medley of Ukrainian polkas - we'll be playing (and singing) mostly Irish.

 

We play many of the dance tunes as medleys, and since we're playing 3 hours rather than our usual 2, to make sure we have enough tunes, we may have to slip in some Irish sounding Canadian or English tunes.

 

Kathy, one of the servers, has an Irish dance school, and she'll bring in some of her students for some dancing. It's great fun.

Edited by Rod Newman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, what's your St. Pat's gig?

This month the "local" Helsingborg session (20 minutes across the water into another country -- Sweden -- is more local than a 45 minute train ride into Copenhagen) is shifted from Thursday to Friday so that it will be held on St. Patrick's Day. But I'm skipping both that and the various pub scenes in Copenhagen to perform at a festival -- combined Irish and shanty festival -- in Poland. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, what's your St. Pat's gig?

This month the "local" Helsingborg session (20 minutes across the water into another country -- Sweden -- is more local than a 45 minute train ride into Copenhagen) is shifted from Thursday to Friday so that it will be held on St. Patrick's Day. But I'm skipping both that and the various pub scenes in Copenhagen to perform at a festival -- combined Irish and shanty festival -- in Poland. :)

 

wow, in another country in 20 minutes, combined irish and shanty festival; what a great life.

 

no gig for me, but a session at a brewery 20 minutes from work. then its off to a smallish concert to hear some friends play irish tunes...the band is "molly's revenge." should be a blast. looking forward to a buttery draft of guinness and great music, but mostly a safe drive home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will probably stay home safe and sound on Friday. In my younger days we used to call St. Patrick's Day "Amatuer Night" and avoided the Pubs that night.

 

This past Saturday I did get a chance to play with a Erie Pa. group called Rakish Paddy for a three hour gig at a Pub that used to be a fire station. We were scheduled to start playing right after the end of the Parade which the Erie folks seem to always have the weekend before March 17. I had a great time last weekend with some great folks. The only trouble was getting the Gremlins to leave the PA system alone and go find somebody else to play their tricks on. I think the Guiness finally scared them off before we started playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guess it beats green beer.

 

So, what's your St. Pat's gig?

 

NO GREEN BEER! Gave up drinking for Lent, but will be enjoying some Guinness and Tullamore Dew on the day AFTER the last playtime Friday. It is a Feast Day after all!

 

http://www.madmajor.com/news.html

 

Forest Home School

Featuring "The Ceilidh Band"

Thursday 3/16 @ 1pm

 

 

The school gig went very well. Over 1000 cheering little ones is quite a sight. They actually clapped through most every tune we played. I had my bodhran studio come up and play at "The Scattering" and the piper had a toy set that he let one of the little ones jam along with just for show. A couple of teachers actually thought he was playing--the effect was a success! The kindergarten were right on the floor in front of us and were spell bound the whole time. Amazing what Rowan Tree and Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie can do to about 300 little people!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, what's your St. Pat's gig?
This month the "local" Helsingborg session ... will be held on St. Patrick's Day. But I'm skipping both that and the various pub scenes in Copenhagen to perform at a festival -- combined Irish and shanty festival -- in Poland. :)

Well, I'm back, with several things requiring urgent attention (and that's not even counting several pages of as-yet-unread C.net posts), but I had a great time!

 

I took part in 3 concerts (2 on "Friday night", at 8 pm and 1 am), 2 jam sessions, and brief interviews for the local newspaper and radio, including some singing for the latter. (Shortly before I left I managed to translate the announcement of the festival on the web site for the city of Radom and was surprised to find myself billed as the festival's "star from the United States". However, that's not the only reason I like Poland. ;))

 

I know a couple of concertina players in Poland, one of them being Jurek Rogaczki, a member of Cztery Refy, who also performed at this festival. ("Cztery Refy" means "Four Reefs", a joke that sailors among us might appreciate.) Jurek plays a C/G Bastari and a G/D Dipper. (I'm told that mine are the only Englishes known in Poland.) His style is somewhere between "Irish" and "English". He plays tunes without vamping chords, but I believe he sometimes adds harmony parallelling the melody by playing two buttons at once. And for chording, he plays not only full chords and boom-chuck, but often arpeggios across the hands. The full group is six people, and they all both play instruments and sing, and the singing varies from heavily accompanied to a capella.

 

For some time shanties have been very popular in Poland -- last month was the 26th annual Shanties festival in Krakow, and I've sung to audiences of 10,000 at the shanty (not "folk"; just "shanty") festival in the resort town of Giżycko, -- though many groups these days are blending them with rock in a way that some folks feel is too "commercial". Interestingly, it's not just the "old guard" who are complaining, but some of the "kids" (high school and younger) are lamenting the displacement of a capella singing by electric guitars and trap sets.

 

Meanwhile, interest in Irish music is growing, but hasn't yet become a craze. But my host, of the former sea-scout shanty group Wikingowe (whose logo is a 2-headed Viking ship :)) has come to love Irish music as well as shanties and has now for several years organized a St. Patrick's Day festival in Radom, in addition to Rafa, Radom's shanty festival in November. The venue is nowhere as large as Giżycko, but they added extra seats to accomodate the crowd in what would have been a sure violation of fire safety laws in the US. There were three groups doing songs and tunes, an Irish dance group from Krakow, and myself performing solo, which seems to be something almost unknown in Poland, but was received with enthusiasm. It was great fun to get the audiences singing along on choruses, too.

 

In order to get a cheap air far my stay was extended a few more days than necessary for just the festival, but that was also great fun. My host is a psychologist at both the university and the local high school, and he asked me if I'd be willing to speak to one of the English-language classes on Thursday. Actually, everyone enjoyed the first so much that I spoke to four different classes. It was free form, with any topic and any question allowed, so each class was completely different, but I did a bit of music for each, and we discussed everything from linguistics to my great grandfather.

 

On Sunday I was the guest of a teacher and her family for dinner, but first for a trip to Kazimierz Dolny, with the ruins of the castle of King Kazimerz (14th century), but now at least as well known as an artist "colony"... a Polish Woodstock? I mean the town, not the legendary festival, though Kazimierz Dolny now also hosts a festival of traditional music during the summer.

 

On Monday I was invited to join a class trip... a group of Polish students studying French were joined by a group of visiting students from France in a bus trip to Krakow, with a guided tour of Wawel castle and the old town. High school kids look younger every year, but I swear they're getting smarter, too. :) There's a lot of heavy renovation going on in central Krakow right now, in preparation for the upcoming 750th anniversary of the building of the market square and market building. 750! That's more than three times as old as the United States! Then again, in 2000 I performed at a festival celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the town of Kołobrzeg.

 

So that was my trip. Not all concertinas or Irish, but I had a wonderful time, as I knew I would. This was my 14th time performing in Poland. The people are wonderfully friendly. In some ways maybe too friendly? I think I was fed more over the past week than I usually eat in a month. :) Not only do Poles seem to eat four substantial meals a day, but having been a guest for dinner at one house does not excuse you from be treated to a full dinner at another house an hour or two later. Delicious, though, including many dishes I have yet to encounter outside of Poland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...