Friday, March 18, 2016

Interesting Article

Hadn't thought about the origins of the Irish in a while...

This is an interesting article from the Daily Gazette. I haven't really had time to digest it yet, but I thought you might like to read it for yourself. Thank you Nancy for sharing!



Thank You!

Thank you to those who came out to the Curragh gig yesterday!

Curragh & Friends at The Hangar in Troy, NY
Thanks so much to all our friends who came to see the band play at The Hangar. It was our first outing on St. Patrick's Day in years as Curragh. Our good friend Ray Wall from Broken String Band came up at the end to help us out with our closing set. 

Kind of cool because Broken String Band will be performing a set at Caffe Lena's folkathon on April 29, followed by the Saratoga Pan-Celtic Players leading a trad session! Hope you can make it to that.

And by the way, I'm hoping all our other musician friends had good gigs...

Maybe we'll see some of you tonight at Lawson & Doyle's participation in the Performance School of the Arts open house tonight at 1505 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (Free. Open to the public).


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Tunes for April, Upcoming CCE Session and more!

Always fun when the gang shows up...

There's something really ideal about a small group of musicians poring over some tunes, thinking about tunes for next time, chatting about vacations and travel and musical pursuits. It's really fun! Join us in April for more of the same - a nice gathering of good people playing tunes and enjoying one another's company. If you are new to your instrument, or new to Irish music, this is a friendly place to start building your repertoire, to learn some new techniques, a friendly forum for the music. Everyone is welcome!

This month, we went over all of our Spring 2016 Tunes, plus we played some tunes off of the current CCE slow session list. Paul and Gary gave us two new tunes, Hilary gave us two new tunes, and Nancy told us the tunes that her group added to their set list for their performance at the Soul Cafe at Albany's Westminster Presbyterian Church on March 28, 2016. 

Next Old Songs Irish Slow Session is Wed., April 20th, 2016

At the next session, we'll be reviewing our Spring 2016 Tunes:
The Hole in the Hedge/Seamus Cooley's/Kerfunten Jig
 Joe Bane's Barndance in G
Drunken Landlady/Joe Bane's Reel

And we'll be working on some tunes from the CCE session list:

Swallowtail Jig
Father O'Flynn's (Top of Cork Road)
Kesh Jig
Sean Bui Jig
The Lilting Fisherman Jig
Anne Walsh's Reel

Sound files and sheet music for these new tunes will be added to the folder - but not tonight! It's 12:02 am and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. After all, it's Saint Patrick's Day!

There's a binder now! 

Hey, gang - remember a couple of posts ago when I said I would create a binder of tunes? Well, I've grabbed sheet music for most of the tunes on the new CCE list, and gradually those tunes will be added to the dropbox folder for your perusal. Also I'll be recording and adding sound files. The binder will travel with me to the slow session, so if we need to look at the spots for tunes, we've got 'em.  Many thanks to Gary and Paul for hanging on to all the sheet music from both sessions over the years.

Next Comhaltas Session is this Sunday, March 20th, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.!

At the Capital District Irish American Association (formerly known as the Albany Hibernian Hall)  - 375 Ontario Street, Albany, NY  12208

It's right on the heels of the Old Songs Slow Session! Is that a mistake?

Nope! Not at all! Here's the cool thing about the way our sessions are scheduled: Because ours is a mere five days before the Comhaltas session, you can come to our session and break down the tunes, play them slowly, get comfortable with them, really dig in and work on them. And then you can go the Comhaltas Session and play the tunes - At the CCE Session, everyone starts a tune or a set of tunes. Our session is your chance to get comfy playing some tunes - we're sharing the list, so you can ask us to work on something you want to play at that session...

You will be most welcome in April! Plan to come and join us - we have such a great time!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! No matter what, make sure you take a minute to appreciate what you're doing, who you're with, and where you're headed. Make it great!

See you tomorrow at The Hangar at the Ale House in Troy? 4-7 p.m.! Or if you're in Albany, go and see Toss the Feathers at The Olde English from 4-7 p.m.. Or in Saratoga? See the Whiskey Peddlers at Powers Inn & Pub from 6-9 p.m.!

Don't believe what they say on the radio - there's PLENTY OF GREAT IRISH  MUSIC going on in the Capital Region on St. Patrick's Day! All you have to do is look around!

See you on the other side of the rainbow,


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You've been asking for sound files...

Sound Files...Sheet Music...Woo-Hoo!

Here they are! Use these for Wed., March 16

Ok, gang - I just recorded sound files for the Spring 2016 tunes and the Fall 2015 tunes:

Also, get the CCE Tune List: - Let's use this list to choose from in Round Robin! 

I really am excited to see everyone tomorrow!


Saturday, March 12, 2016

St. Patrick's Day is do you get ready?

At the Parade with Family - Perfect!
(This is my awesome step-son with one of his
16-week old twins and another one of his
kids hiding behind him - you can see her green
garb! They always dress just right!)

There was a parade. Did you go?

I've never been one for parades. I can remember going down to the Port of Albany with my neighbors to see the circus train arrive. That was cool and weird and definitely not a fancy-pants parade. But a regular ole' stand-around-in-the-rain-getting-cold-and-watching-guys-in-skirts-walk-by type of parade? Nah. No thanks... I also can't stand costumed characters or theme parks... oops, that's for another blog, I think.

Anyway, our kids and their kids always go to the St. Patrick's Day parade, and they love it! For me, this day is the start of the season, and I'm really excited about sharing the music with the rest of the world and not just us geeky, traddie secret club members...

Did you go see Altan at the Troy Music Hall a couple of weeks ago? Did you watch the documentary Nancy told us about on Thursday? Did you go to the sold out Goitse concert at Old Songs on Friday? How are you getting primed for St. Patrick's Day?

There's an Old Songs Irish Slow Session this week - Will you come?

I thought I'd remind you quickly that there is our regular slow session on Wednesday, March 16 from 7:30-9:00 p.m.. And I thought you might like the tunes again. I've discovered that using the Google Drive is a huge pain in the butt. It keeps closing on you after you get each file. How annoying is that? So, here's a link to my dropbox folder specially for the 2016 tunes. I'll add more stuff shortly, but that'll get you the tunes we're going to play this time. 

Also, I've got an invitation for you! Join us for a musical open house in Clifton Park!

On Friday evening, March 18 at 7:30 pm, Lawson & Doyle will be performing at the Performance School of the Arts in Clifton Park. It's an open house evening where we do a little concert and then split up and everyone can try our different instruments, and we end the evening with a bit of a session. We'll be playing these tunes, plus a few from last year and maybe we can do a bit of round robin if it looks promising. I'd love for you all to join us to participate in the evening and take part in the session! Plus feel free to bring your kids, grandkids, friends, etc. Everyone is welcome and it's a wonderful family friendly place with some great people. Hope to see you there!

And a little announcement about our live music...

Curragh & Friends will be playing at The Hangar at The Ale House in Troy

photo of Curragh, a traditional Irish music band from the Capital Region of NYS

( on St. Patrick's Day, Thursday, March 17, 2016 from 4-7 pm. Not sure yet if there's a cover charge, but the foods great, the drinks are great and the staff is super friendly. The Hangar is a beautiful space and we're looking forward to being there playing tunes and singing songs with the gang plus our great friend George Ward!

OK, that's it for now! Have a great weekend, and don't forget to turn your clocks forward on Sunday, March 13! Bye for now...


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Irish cultural documentary on WMHT March 10

Hi, friends! I want to thank Nancy for letting us all know about an upcoming event of interest for those of us in the Irish music world. Here's what she says,

An Irish music friend told me about the below show about the Irish area in the Catskills.   Note that this documentary movie is playing on WMHT.  The web page says something about Feb 22, but its going to be [aired] on Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 pm.  I assume they will talk about the Catskills Irish Arts Week also.

I do indeed believe they interviewed folks at and about the Irish Catsklls and Irish Arts Week!

Read the article published in the Boston Irish Reporter

Thanks again, Nancy! If anybody else has info about upcoming events, concerts, or gigs, let me know at, and I'll share!