Friday, February 10, 2012

Important Travel News - Instruments as Carry-ons Nationwide!

Important news hit the music world on Tuesday of this week - I just picked it up from and Tim Raab. Congress has legislated nationwide standards for airlines requiring that musical instruments be allowed as carry-ons providing they fit safely in the overhead bins or underneath the seats.

Flight Crews on flights to Ireland have been consistently fabulous about letting us bring all sorts of instruments on board, and YES, a heavy duty guitar flight case WILL fit in the overhead bin safely, with room for a fiddle case and even an accordion soft case and a concertina case! (Gary, Eric and I share a row and if we're lucky we can get all our instruments in one bin.)

American Flight Crews have been iffy at best. We fly Southwest when we can (despite the convertible roofs). They're consistently great with instruments. On the negative side, we had a flight on one of those tiny little commuter jets where we thought maybe we were lucky to have checked the 'zouk. The landing gear wouldn't come down and I joked to Eric (as we all realized that we'd just been circling Albany for 45 minutes to burn down the remaining fuel load) that at least we could slide down the runway on that case!

The best story we have though, is of a US Air gate attendant in Philly who literally held the plane and had them RE-open the door, so he could come ON the plane and remove Eric's guitar from the overhead bin on an 80% empty flight, simply because he told Eric the flight was full and he wasn't allowed to bring it on. If the flight had been full (i.e. if US Air had managed to get a flight into Philly on time for once), Eric would have gladly taken it to be gate checked. Instead, the guy had a fit, came on, grabbed the guitar, yelled at Eric, and took the guitar off to be loaded in the hold, or rather, thrown into the hold. Maybe now, after twelve years, I can fly US Air again.

Anyway, here's the link to the AFM's press release about the legislation!



Apologies for a Service Error

First of all, I want to apologize to my compadres for the issue with links in the email notifications. I don't understand why Google will not put the correct link into the message. It may have to do with some setting I didn't know I was supposed to "set" or something to do with the way I click on the button. I'm sure Google would like me to think it is a "User error." Let me just say that if [when] you get an error message in one of the notices, just click on the link to the page. It will take you to the newest post.

So sorry for the inconvenience. 

Thanks, Google.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Did You Print Your Music?

Hi, gang! Just a quick reminder that our slow session is tonight at the Old Songs Community Arts Center, 37 South Main Ave., Voorheesville, NY 12186.

I want to make sure that if you plan to come that you try your best to print out the sheet music before you come. I will have copies available, and we can certainly make copies if necessary!

Looking forward to seeing you all!


Monday, February 6, 2012

MP3s Up - Thanks to George!

Hiya, Lads!

The MP3 files for the learning tunes for the next two months are UP on the Slow Session Tunes page. Thank you so much to George Ward for quickly taking the spots and turning around some very nice sloooowwww recordings of the tunes.

These tunes were played on Tin Whistle. George and I have been discussing the fact that sometimes whistle players have trouble hearing the notation of new tunes played on other instruments. George points out that there is an inherent challenge in this: high D whistle players are playing an octave higher than everyone else.

I notice this issue in seasoned players as well as new players, so I think it is just a matter of figuring out where your whistle low octave breaks and becomes the high octave. It's worth discussing, but I'm not the one to make the case. Perhaps George will share information with us in a guest post if he can ever find the time!



Sunday, February 5, 2012

February/March Slow Session Tunes Up

Howdy, folks! We are finally ready to go with the February/March list of tunes for playing/learning.

It's a lot of work to get all these tunes ready, and I'm sure you'll find a mistake here or there, so please bring a pencil this Wednesday so we can mark stuff up.

The tunes are linked to PDFs which will open in a separate browser screen. You can download, print, or otherwise admire our handiwork as much as you like.

CLICK HERE for the February/March Tune List. 

I'm still working on allowing posts on the "Tunes I Wanna Learn" page, as well as putting together older lists and creating zip files for you to download. Also, hopefully we'll have mp3s and/or videos linked to the page so you can hear what the tunes are supposed to sound like.

I'm looking forward to seeing anyone and everyone at:
The Old Songs Traditional Irish Slow Session
37 South Main Ave., Voorheesville, NY 12186
Wednesday, February 8 from 7:30-9:00 PM!

$3 per person for heat/lights/photocopying if necessary.

Thanks, lads,


p.s. Thank you so much to Lisa and John for reviewing the spots for me (and checking alternate sources for comparison's sake). Also to everyone who sent me feedback on links, access, PR, etc. for the blog. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all of you!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Under Construction

Hi, gang,

I wish you guys would subscribe to this blog so I don't have to continually send you email updates...

The latest is that I'm working on the PDFs and sound files for the February/March tunes. The first tune (Limerick Lasses) is up there. It is a pretty close approximation of Paddy O'Brien's version, but mainly I used what I remember as Mike McHale's version. This pretty well matches up with the Mally books as well the version on the session, with a few minor edits.

Keep checking back for more updates!


p.s. tonight is the Broken String Band with Claudine Langille at the Ale House in Lansingburgh. Claudine will do a set at 8 PM and we'll join her with a few special guests at 9 PM and play until around 11 PM. Come on out and have dinner with us while we listen to Claudine and hang out to hear the whole gang play!