Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October Slow Session Postponed to Mon 10/26

Hey, friends,

No scones tonight. I've got a health issue and I need to cancel for tonight. I apologize for the short notice. Andy has said we can use the building on this coming Monday evening, October 26.

Slow Session Rescheduled to Mon. Oct. 26 at 7:30 pm

I hope you can join me. Also, we have the offer of an offsite location for practice/playing on the first Wednesday of each month.

See you Monday,


Monday, October 19, 2015

October Slow Session Upstairs!

Photo of freshly baked scones on a cooling rack

Come Warm Up!

Hiya, Friends! It's time for the second slow session of the season. It's been so cold, we've had the wood stove going, and I thought maybe a nice photo of some homemade scones would inspire you... How? Well, you dream of Ireland when you're thinking about warm, freshly baked scones, don't you?

Anyway, it's that time again. Our next session will be Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm UPSTAIRS in the Old Songs building. The Ukelele Army will be downstairs, I think.

So...check back Tuesday, Oct. 20 for the Old Songs Sampler tunes and the October learning tunes. 

Print out and bring your music books. We're going to be practicing the performance tunes, thinking about the influence and effect of "big bands" on Irish traditional music, and playing a bunch of session tunes from years past.

Just wanted to send out a quick reminder that the session will be on Wednesday! I might even bring scones if you're good...



p.s. Save the Date: Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 at 3 PM - George Ward: "Songs of the Woods, the  Canal, and the River of Life"  at New Baltimore Reformed Church, Church Street, New Baltimore, NY 12124. $15 at the door, refreshments included. All welcome - great space for music!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

First Session of the "New Year" - Wed., Sept. 16

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a grand summer. We'll be getting together Wednesday evening, September 16 at 7:30 pm for our first gathering since June.

I'm in the process of putting the materials for tomorrow's gathering together, so if you're thinking of coming for the first time, don't worry about printing all the old music out off the blog. (If you've already done that, then no worries!) We can take care of that the day of the session. I'll have September's materials for everyone available at the session.

So...excited to play? Looking forward to learning some new tunes and practicing some old ones? Then Old Songs Irish Slow Session is the place to be on Wednesday night!

I hope you can make it!

See you then,


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Summer! Next Slow Sesh 9/16

Well, friends, another school year has come and gone. I was just looking back at the volume of music we learned. We were busy! Our final session of the season was last Wednesday. While it was small (three of us), we more than made up for it with some great discussions about melody and chords, and accompaniment styles. Paul and Nancy shared some really interesting and useful information about modes, keys and chords. We explored some of the differences between old timey, bluegrass and Irish styles of playing and accompanying. Finally, we spent a good bit of time messing around with one of Brendan Tonra's jigs and backing jigs on guitar. We also explored backing reels with The Banshee reel with just a couple of chords and then with more complicated chord changes.

Next Year's Fun
I'd like to put together the repertoire for 2015-2016 in August, so I'm inviting all of you to send me tune suggestions by end of July. We're going to do something new this Fall - we will prepare sets for performance. I anticipate that a portion of every session will be spent reviewing the sets. We'll have a couple of new learning tunes each month, and we'll go over tunes from this past season. There will also be a listening segment. Expect a packed and fun session experience this coming season! As always, walk in participants and listeners are always welcome.

Thank You!
I've so enjoyed meeting and getting to know all of you - you inspire me with the strides you've all made in your music and the depth of your knowledge on a variety of subjects. I hope you all continue to come to the session and share this amazing music with me!

Have a wonderful summer, and I will see you in September!


p.s. there may be an opportunity for us to get together and have a slow session over the summer, but I haven't booked anything yet. I'll be sure to let you know if I can get a date or two together!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Slow Session Tonight - Wed. June 17 from 7:30-9 PM

Hi, gang,

We'll be meeting tonight in the upstairs lobby of the Old Songs building because 37 S. Main is Festival Central and we need to have a small footprint so we don't mess up their organized chaos!

We will play tunes we've worked on this spring. No learning tunes tonight. Looking forward to seeing you if you can make it!



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Correction: Irish Slow Session Wednesday May 20!

Thank you to Tom for sending me an email this morning letting me know I had the date for our slow session wrong! It's Wednesday May 20 (not 21)! Come out and have a few tunes with us!

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 2015 Old Songs Slow Session

Hi, Friends,

It's that time again! Slow Session on Wednesday, May 21 from 7:30-9:00 pm at Old Songs Community Arts Center, 37 S. Main, Voorheesville, NY 12186. We'll go over old tunes and some new ones. This month's learning tunes: Trip to Durrow (3 part dmaj reel), Gentle Maiden (waltz), Carraroe (dmaj jig) - to put together with Hughie Travers Jig (gmaj jig), and maybe one or two more tunes, if I think of them. 

See you Wednesday!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Session I Ne'er Forgot (or I keep meaning to get to this earlier, but...)

Howdy, gang! It's that time again - Slow Session Time! Yay! We'll be meeting at 7:30 PM on TAX DAY, Wednesday, April 15 for a dose of lovely tunes and fun chat. I've missed everyone and I'm looking forward to seeing you.

I'll be introducing Man of the House and the reel we talked about last time: The Maid I Ne'er Forgot. Also a slip jig to be determined, and possibly a new hornpipe.

We're going to go over Hughie Travers Jig, our Geese in the Bog jig set, Within a Mile of Dublin, the Silver Spear/Torn Jacket set, Planxty Irwin, and some other things that aren't coming to mind at the moment.

See you at Old Songs at 7:30 on Wednesday, 4/15!


Monday, March 16, 2015

March Slow Session March 18

Hello, Tune-sters! I hope you're digging into your extensive collection of trad Irish recordings, fun sessions, and plenty of live Irish music concerts! We recently discovered the Qello channel on our Roku and have been overdosing on videos of live rock concerts.

Anyway, the Old Songs Irish Slow Session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18. I'll be introducing a fun jig called Hughie Travers, and a reel to be determined, and then we'll review the tunes we've been going over the past couple of months.

See you at 7:30 on Wednesday!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Let's Get Ready for March or Brace Yourselves, St. Patrick's Day is Coming!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our February slow session. It was a lot of fun! We went over jigs The Geese in the Bog and The Lilting Banshee, and we added Maid on the Green to make a three-tune set. We'll review that one next month as well. (Corrected versions to be added soon.) We reviewed Within a Mile of Dublin, and then continuing on the reel theme, we learned O'Connell's Trip to Parliament and The Torn Jacket. I'd hoped to also work on the Battering Ram jig, but decided to postpone that until March.

"I'm looking over a four leaf clover..."
Speaking of March: OK, so let's say it is a common perception in the general population that the month of March is reserved for traditional Irish music. Sort of seems like maybe it's the one time in the year they expect it. Nay, they demand it. They cram it like a student at mid-terms, using green beer as their Red Bull of choice, and prefer The Unicorn Song, Black Velvet Band and Carrickfergus to the wall of tunes we'd really much rather play. OK, nothing wrong with any of that, right? Someone's got to drink that green beer...but please, if you have green beer, do NOT wrest the mic away from the band and sing When Irish Eyes are Smiling, because we may have to physically harm you.

And I will say I'm grateful for March, because it means at gigs most of the audience really, really appreciates what we do, moreso than the other 363 days of the year (the other day is "halfway to St. Patrick's Day" or that one weekend day around September 17), and we see lots of our friends and get to play a. ton. of. tunes. Yeah. Cool. But you and I both know that Irish music goes waaaaay beyond the confines of one month on the calendar.

In fact, we celebrate it just about every month of the year! Slow Irish Session takes place on the third Wednesday of the month between September and June, and you are always welcome to join us!

See you on March 18 for the next Irish Slow Session!



p.s. by the way Old Songs is starting early! This Saturday, February 21, Old Songs hosts the fun trad Irish group Songs in the Frying Pan! Come out and hear some great music!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Warm Up Your Fingers at the February Slow Session!

This is the place to be...
This cold snap is really becoming quite a nuisance! I don't want to leave the house, but I don't think I can spend another minute with myself. I'm going stir crazy!

We can't fix the weather, but one time-tested remedy for cabin fever is a nice evening playing tunes together. Old Songs Irish Slow Session will be held this Wednesday, February 18 from 7:30-9 PM at the Old Songs Community Arts Center, 37 S. Main, Voorheesville, NY 12186.

We'll be working on old tunes, including recent jigs Geese in the Bog/Lilting Banshee, and we'll add a third tune: Maid on the Green. (We can dream of Spring at least). For reels, we'll review Up Against the Buachallans and Within a Mile of Dublin.

Learning tunes for Wednesday will be reels Trip to Parliament and Torn Jacket, as well as the epic three part jig, The Battering Ram.

$4 for heat/lights/photocopies. We'll be in the downstairs where it is warmer! See you then!



p.s. fun trad Irish band "Socks in the Frying Pan" will be performing at Old Songs on Saturday, February 21! Check it out: