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Favorite irish session experiences

Laurel 15 Mar 99 - 08:20 PM
John O'Sh 16 Mar 99 - 01:04 PM
Liam's Brother 16 Mar 99 - 11:45 PM
j0_77 17 Mar 99 - 01:11 AM
The Shambles 17 Mar 99 - 12:12 PM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 17 Mar 99 - 03:48 PM
Sonja van H 19 Mar 99 - 06:09 AM
Ian 19 Mar 99 - 07:04 AM
BillyJ 19 Mar 99 - 01:09 PM
BillyJ 19 Mar 99 - 01:12 PM
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Subject: Favorite irish session experiences
From: Laurel
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 08:20 PM

Hello! Having just returned from a 4 day trip to Paddy's Irish Session I was reflecting on the wonderful times I had.

The group I performed with all wore green fuzzy bowler hats. I heard that I will probably be performing at the renissance festival in the MN. I got to see the bodhran player, (one of my best friends), arrive 10 minutes after his group had started playing. We sang and sang and sang. Well, what are some of your favorite times?


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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: John O'Sh
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 01:04 PM

While I was not playing (not a very strong aptitude for instruments or sings well), I had a great experience in the town of Dingle in Ire. Sitting in a pub where a scheduled band had not arrived, there was a prontanious jam session. A local started playing the spoons. There was a family from Russia - the sun pulled out a violin and started playing like a true fiddle master. As the minutes went on, people ran to their cars to get banjo's, guitars, tin whistles, est.

By the time the band showed up a couple hours later, it was a packed house and instead of "taking over" they just joined in the jam session.

One of the best nights of music I have ever experienced

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 11:45 PM

Hi Laurel!

Probably not my favorite experience but a recent, amusing one. There is a session in NYC that always has strong, splendid players in attendance. The audience is a pack of totally wild hyenas in heat... incredibly loud! I go there every couple of months to be a good guy and to keep in touch. The musicians always ask me to sing a song which can be daunting in amongst all that row.

Now if you think about all the noise, you would go mad. I just put a smile on my face and sang a song that starts "Good people all attend awhile and a story I'll unfold..." The band doubled over in laughter and the hound dogs continued to bay at the moon.

All the best,

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: j0_77
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 01:11 AM

The best session I ever attended was in Oxford England. There was a couple of guys fiddling (came from N Ireland) a french Uilleann Piper (think from way over in Eastern Fance) some college kids from University there, Delores Kane's brother (box) two buddies of mine form Co Limerick Ireland (tenor banjos) folks from every part of Britain and overseas ALL playing fiddles whistles etc... meself - sideways- some locals playin the bodrahn - such a mixed bunch I've never seen sice - anywho they played one of the most memorable versions of Farewell To Erin I ever heard. I had for some time a tape of that night and it was very special - even after a couple of years I used play it - it was HOT. I knew this 'serious' player elsewhere who used ware me out - toooo technical - sooo I gave him the tape so he could hear the real mc coy. Next to that there were gatherings where great and wonderful stuff happened. I beleive these things are spontaneous and cannot be made to happen.

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 12:12 PM

It is, I think in the the almost magical nature of these things that the very best ones are the unplanned ones.

I remember a couple of years back, a festival at South Petherton in Somerset had just ended and I went into the local pub, The Brewer's Arms, which I had to pass on my way home. This was about 4.30 on the Sunday afternoon. I walked in to find that just about the only people in there were a five-string banjo player and a fiddler, who had just met, they unpacked their instruments and persuaded me to do the same and join them.

We started playing and were soon joined by a girl playing a flute, a chap playing a biscuit tin with knitting needles and as the evening moved on in to the night, we were joined it seemed by just about every instrument and player in the county.

The session was not led by anyone, the music was impossible to place in any pigeon hole and went from Irish tunes, old time, blues, barbershop and a few things I just can't describe at all. To cap the evening for me, we were joined later by my hero Stefan Hannigan, who's wonderful band Sin'E had been appearing at the festival. He is probably the best multi-instrumentalist I know of, but such was the nature of the night, the first instrument he played, in true modest fashion was the humble triangle. ..............I was a little late home that day.

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 03:48 PM

It was 1986, Galway, a Saturday afternoon when I stumbled into the Quays Pub when it still had the gritty atmosphere that was so enjoyable before they cleaned it up. Iwas carrying my bodhran and little else, and as I ordered my lunch, the waitress told me a session would be starting within the hour. I hung around, and soon the fiddles and flutes started to appear, so I arrogantly took one of the chairs. I received a cool reception from the other players until one of the audience members suggested that I not play my bodhr n because I was interfering with their appreciation of Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh, who was sitting beside me playing his bodhr n. That's all it took, immediately the other musicians closed ranks, told me to ignore the gobshite in the audience, and invited me to play up to my heart's content. It turned out to be one of the finest sessions of Irish music I ever experienced. Only later did I learn that among the session players, other than "Ringo", was Alec Finn of De Dannan; Sean Ryan, a wonderful well-known whistle player, and several others. I even have Ringo's autograph on the skin of my drum (which is how I remember the year it occurred.)

Keep the Faith. Beannachtai Feile Padraig (The blessings of St. Patrick.)

Jack Hickman

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: Sonja van H
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 06:09 AM

My favorite irish sessions were in Dingle, county Kerry as well.

In An Droghaeid (excuse my spelling) Beag (Small Bridge) I had my best experiences. Especially when the house band played with (unexpected) guests. The year before last, my first day in Dingle that summer, there was this wonderful spanish guitar-player playing with the house band. Never heard something like that again: pure magic.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a band (trad. Irish) to play on my wedding july the 16th in Heeg Friesland? Please mail me:

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: Ian
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 07:04 AM

Really magic session last September in The Village Inn, Killala, Co. Mayo. Went on till 4 and we were all thrown out 'cos the landlord wanted bed.

They had invited a variety of English dance groups to be the entertainment for their celebration of the 200th anniversary of the French invasion of Ireland (1798). The event consisted of a lot of speechmaking along the lines of "The English are Bastards" followed by the entertainments (mainly English) and then the drinking (all the locals buying us Guinness and telling us how good the dancing was).

We had gathered in the Village Inn and waited for the advertised session. The local band had obviously been hired to play for an hour because that is what they did (9:30 - 10:30). They were good, but things really got going when they had finished because they threw the thing open and everybody went for it.

We had some really good musicians with us, English style, and there was a lighthearted competition for 5 hours or so as to who could outdo the others - Irish vs English. All incredibly good humoured and some really lovely music.

I remember dancing rapper at 2:30 am in about a square yard of space (the locals moved our table to stop the drinks being spilt). Not our best dance, but sufficiently impressive if you are within an inch or two of the swords. There seemed to be a pool of guinness where we were dancing as well.

Something you remember all your life, but you can't make it happen and it's nearly impossible to describe adequately.

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: BillyJ
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 01:09 PM

while workimg on Aranmore off the coast of Donegal we took the ferry across, at this time i was learning guitar, and still rather vulnerable to criticism (45 years old learner) The pub owner Phil Bann say my guitar in the back window of the motor on the ferry. Later that night when in the pub he held up a notice musicians welcome. Now there were 10 people in this little bar at 10 oclock at noight and i felt i could not play, but while at the bar it turned out there were 4 Frenck men off a visiting yacht a french and german hiker and three visiting tourists from england and scotland with only 1 local leaning precariously against the wall. I decided my opportunity as if i started to sing no one would know what i was singing about. when i started after 1 song the french hiker asked could he do a number, and so the nighy continued with about 40 people crammed in our corner and my guitar getting well used. When the music man arrived Brian Galligher he popped his head in and said you dont need me yet, so we continued till after 1 oclock when he returned and i was allowed to reposses my guitar a fabulous night and tottaly unexpected

Billy J Co Antrim

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Subject: RE: Favorite irish session experiences
From: BillyJ
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 01:12 PM

excuse the writing and spelling im also learning that too

Billy J

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