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Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)

curmudgeon 12 Apr 09 - 07:15 PM
Charley Noble 12 Apr 09 - 08:03 PM
Barry Finn 12 Apr 09 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Paul Schurr 12 Apr 09 - 11:40 PM
Barry Finn 13 Apr 09 - 12:23 AM
jacqui.c 13 Apr 09 - 07:45 AM
SINSULL 13 Apr 09 - 08:02 AM
maeve 14 Apr 09 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Paul Schurr 14 Apr 09 - 09:51 AM
Paul_Schurr_PSG_NY 14 Apr 09 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Peadar (formerly) of Portsmouth 14 Apr 09 - 05:10 PM
curmudgeon 14 Apr 09 - 08:36 PM
Bat Goddess 14 Apr 09 - 08:57 PM
Barry Finn 15 Apr 09 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,Paul Schurr 16 Apr 09 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Peadar (formerly) of Portsmouth 16 Apr 09 - 03:23 PM
Bat Goddess 17 Apr 09 - 08:55 AM
Bat Goddess 18 Apr 09 - 08:42 AM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 09 - 10:51 AM
Barry Finn 18 Apr 09 - 12:00 PM
curmudgeon 18 Apr 09 - 12:02 PM
jacqui.c 18 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM
Jeri 18 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM
maeve 18 Apr 09 - 01:46 PM
Jeri 18 Apr 09 - 02:00 PM
TRUBRIT 18 Apr 09 - 08:00 PM
SINSULL 18 Apr 09 - 10:10 PM
Jeri 18 Apr 09 - 10:35 PM
Barry Finn 19 Apr 09 - 12:48 AM
curmudgeon 19 Apr 09 - 10:56 AM
Charley Noble 19 Apr 09 - 10:19 PM
Bat Goddess 20 Apr 09 - 07:55 PM
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Subject: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 07:15 PM

The monthly shanty/forebitter/ballad session for April will be on Saturday, 18 April at the Press Room in Portsmouth NH, from 3:30 to 7:30 PM.

Special guests, Paul & Charlene Schurr and Friends will be coming in from Albany, and we hope to see some old regulars who've been absent for far too long.

Maybe Spring will be here in earnest - Tom


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 08:03 PM

I'm certainly looking forward to a great session.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 08:15 PM

See you there

Barry


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: GUEST,Paul Schurr
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 11:40 PM

I'm a kid looking forward to a visit to the candy shop -- I can hardly wait to enjoy the good songs and hear the music of the Press Room gang. Charlene can't attend April's session, so lucky enough our favorite singer in the Pickin' Singin' Gatherin' is joining me for this road trip: Greg Clark.   

I'm always a little surprised how a modest and quiet man who is looking at his 8th decade affects people. When Greg landed in the hospital with a serious ailment, Tom Lewis changed his travel plans and landed in Albany so that he could spend time (and a song) with Greg.

Also, when I was in Hull, England for their annual Shanty Festival, the friendly folks there started the conversation with two questions. Where are you from? Oh, Albany. Do you know Greg Clark? What! People are asking after him in England? (They insisted I bring back to him his favorite English candy bars as a hello.)

So I am sharing these thoughts because I admire the fine singers who show up at the Press Room, and I'd like you to have a chance to sing with Greg, and I'd like him to have a chance to sing with you. Tom mentioned that a few friends have been MIA from the Press Room in the long winter months, so I hope April is the month everyone will get back to the Press Room.

There are many good chorus song sessions that happen in towns in New England. We're a lucky group to have found a life of pub singing. But we can do no better than to be in the Press Room making music. Greg and I can hardly wait. See you Friday and Saturday!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 12:23 AM

Have a safe drive down Paul, use the rest areas when needed.
It'll be good to see you again

Barry


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: jacqui.c
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:45 AM

Hoping to make it this time.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 08:02 AM

Me too.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: maeve
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:29 AM

Have a good sing!

maeve


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: GUEST,Paul Schurr
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:51 AM

Thanks, Barry. I confess that while skiing over the weekend you and Neal were helping me over the bump trails with Roller Boller and Heavy Cruiser, to name a few. I'm looking forward singing with you again!


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Paul_Schurr_PSG_NY
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 10:31 AM

Reflections on the Press Room shanty sessions...

I think I understand why a large number of us come to enjoy and even live for singing together in pubs. Yet there are so many differences in each pub and in each experience that it might be fun to see the Press Room (and perhaps other pubs as well) through different eyes.

To me the Press Room calls from the street with its music tradition. The place is perfect: nooks and corners that are cozy and inviting. The music corner speaks of time-honored gatherings. When you first arrive for a sing, Tom is arranging the table that is like the core of a reactor. When Bruce, Dave, Charlie, and other regulars take their seats around the table, you can feel the energy radiating. Like any good pub sing, the music begins with a song by the most revered member of the pub community. Tom Hall rises and sings.

If you make the Friday night sing, you will be amazed by the seamless joining of musicians and a cappella singers. The best bit for me is that turn-taking is unplanned, spontaneous, and natural, yet the flow is easy and balanced.

Like all guests, I try my best to learn the norms and sing when it fits the flow. So there has to be a few regulars who easily lead the way into different theme's and song types -- especially in the unusual Friday night sessions at the Press Room. I look to Barry to dive into the shanties. Like no one else I know, he can take a song to 20 verses and keep it alive in a way that makes you feel like you're floating on ocean swells.

I've seen Bruce stand when the Press Room is crowded and noisy and silence the crowd with a quiet song. Peter Souza takes command of the room in the same way when he leads the closing song, Sailor's Prayer. Of course, it is the people who give color and character to pubs like the Press Room.

While a thread about a monthly meeting isn't the ideal place for this, I hope others will add their perspectives on the pub-singing experience. Even if we only talked about the Press room, there are a lot of stories to tell.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: GUEST,Peadar (formerly) of Portsmouth
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:10 PM

As a regular at The Press Room, perhaps I'm biased. But I do see the PR as a unique session. Since moving closer to Boston, I'm getting into the city's sessions a bit more...and I've yet to find one that strikes the same balance between songs and tunes. As Paul suggests, under The Curmudgeon's watchful eye, there is a singular balance at The Press Room. (Thanks for that, BTW, Tom.)

Now, that said: I'm definite for Friday night, but sad to report that Saturday is unlikely...I've registered for a guitar workshop with Dave Surette. At best, I'll be late to the shanty sing. But my father will be there as my proxy.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:36 PM

It's certainly shaping up to be an exceptionally fine session. Maybe the Cape Anne contingent will post here at some time.

Paul - Are you coming to Friday night as well?

Peadar - You need an absent note for the past two Fridays!

See you soon - Tom


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:57 PM

Pete, perhaps you should suggest that your father lead a song or two?

Linn


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 02:36 AM

Pete & Joanne will be at the Button Box all weekend, getting their boxes buttoned

Barry


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: GUEST,Paul Schurr
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 09:49 AM

Tom,

Yes to Friday night -- wouldn't miss it!

In praise of the small session...

The large sessions can be a joy. Lead a song at the Mystic after-hours session and the chorus takes you up the mountain on clouds. When the Press Room is full... like last September for the Shanty Festival, the mix of songs and the energy are delightful.

But the small session is like single malt. Distinctive, full bodied, intimate, and rich in flavor. The repetitive work shanties that sound so good in a big crowd may lose some of their appeal. Different music comes out in a small session. The singers readily sing lyrics worth paying attention to. The Press Room musicians jam a little longer.

My inspiration for becoming an a cappella singer began in Joe Watty's Pub on Inishmoor in the Aran Islands. It was an Irish religious holiday, and the pub was filled with families that made their living farming, raising cattle, fishing, and catering to tourists. In the early evening the women and children left the pub and the men circled up and began singing. As we defer to Tom at the Press Room, the men deferred to an older fellow with worn hands and a craggy face. He opened with a lament with a strong and clear voice that transported the room to a foggy hillside where love was lost. The pecking order was clearly arranged by musical ability. Charlene and I joined in on the chorus when it wasn't in Gaelic, and soon all the singing was in English. At the very last they turned to me and said, "so, American, do you have a song?" To this day I regret that I didn't have even one to sing.

We went back to Joe Watty's a few years ago. I was armed with dozens of songs, and some were just right for Joe Watty's. Full of anticipation, we stepped through the door and found that everything had changed. Joe Watty's had become a tourist bar all tarted up and without its distinctive working class small-island character.

Thank god the Press Room is still there for us. We hit the road tomorrow!

Paul


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: GUEST,Peadar (formerly) of Portsmouth
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:23 PM

>>the small session is like single malt

Suddenly, I'm very thirsty...


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:55 AM

Hey, Pete -- are you done with that DVD I loaned you?

Arghh! We're back in computer hell -- very temporarily, I hope. Right now online from an antique PC laptop.

I love computers, I love computers, I love computers...it's my mantra.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:42 AM

Alas, I had to leave last night's session early (as usual, since I work Saturday), and a fine session it was, too! Paul and Greg contribute a lot and it's always fun to hear new songs or a different singer's take on a familiar one.

Looking forward to this afternoon!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:51 AM

I should be down at the usual time. Judy is resident in Washington, DC, this weekend; she says the weather, in the 70's, and the flowers are lovely!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:00 PM

See you ther,,,after spring cleaning

Barry


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:02 PM

Spring is still just a word on the calendar.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: jacqui.c
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM

I'll be coming on my own - Mary's got a bug of some sort.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM

And I woke up with a headache, probably from the damned weather. The stuffy nose and cough had better be the weather as well or I'm going to ...
ok, so there isn't much I can do that won't get me locked up, either in a room with bars or an 'I love me' jacket, but I can bitch, whine, piss and moan, and believe me, I excel at those things.

Wow. Technically, that was one sentence! Anyway, I'll try to get there. Maybe this stuff will all clear up by then.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: maeve
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 01:46 PM

Have a grand time!

Jeri- the weather got into my head as well. Feel better.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 02:00 PM

I just saw my first fisher 'cat' so that was pretty cool. I'm not 100% sure, but t was reddish brown, ran like a weasel but was bigger and had a long fluffy tale and WASN'T anything I'd seen before.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:00 PM

Hope you all had a wonderful time......


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:10 PM

I have a cold and am suitably miserable. Woke up this morning with a bit of a problem which grew and grew and grew. I hate colds especially the cherry red nose that accompanies them.
Hope you all enjoyed.
SINS


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:35 PM

My headache just kept getting worse and didn't start going away until about 8. And the cold-ish stuff was something else (fingers crossed). I was really looking forward to this session, too.

It doesn't seem anyone made it home.


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 12:48 AM

Ahhh!
That was one of the better shanty sessions I've been to in quite a while

Barry


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 10:56 AM

To categorise yesterday's session as "better," is a bit of an understatement. Even though Maine was under-represented and Cape Anne was noticeably absent, we did have a great contingent from the Boston area, including two younger women who overcame their initial shyness and did lead some songs.

Also, Paul Schurr was there, as promised, as was his friend Greg Clark, a master of song and story. Greg also asked me to convey his regards to Kendall.

All and all, it was a fine rafter rattler,

See you all at the Judy Cook concert and/or next month's session - Tom


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 10:19 PM

It was one of the best sessions I've ever attended, a whole lot of fun and some new faces to add to the ambience.

Greg is certainly a treasure, both as a singer and a storyteller. I look forward to hearing from him again.

I'm not even sure what I sang but I had great fun. Let's see, there was Whisky-O, John Silver and Pierhead Chorus by John Masefield, Mobile Bay by C. Fox Smith, and Outside Track by Henry Lawson.

Thanks again, Tom, for hosting these sessions.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Apr. Shanty Session @the Press Room (NH)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:55 PM

Let's see, what did I do (besides not sing what I had planned to -- "Harbors of Home" for a change)?

"Home, Dearie, Home", "Backside of Nantucket Point", "Ten Stone", "Cannery Shed" and a recitation of "The Adventures of the Rear Admiral and His Maid". Also totally mangled "Too Much of a Good Thing" which I haven't sung in ages (and it showed, although I could remember all the words today at work).

Linn


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