Friday, September 29, 2017

First Thursday Slow Session

New Off-Site Slow Session begins Thursday, October 4, 2017

First Offsite Slow Session: Thursday, October 5 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

The newest addition to our slow session family is the off-site First Thursday slow session. It will be held each month at a house in Delmar. We have two hosts who have offered to open their homes to us. The location will depend on the availability of the host. The format is simply "Play Tunes Slowly". No teaching, no history unless you want to share where you got a tune, round robin - here's your chance to bring or share a tune and/or play one or more off the lists, no cost to attendees.

Please contact Hilary for the location:

Our Next Old Songs Slow Session: Wednesday, October 18th from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Our next regular Old Songs Slow Session will be held on the Third Wednesday at the Old Songs Community Arts Center. The format for this regular session will remain the same. It will start with "learn-by-ear" tune and then we'll go around the circle picking/playing tunes from our lists. Cost is $4 for heat/lights, etc.

I'm so excited to have two (actually three if you count the popular CCE Slow Session held on the Third Sunday in Albany) sessions going now. Join us for friendly people and fun tunes.

Hope to see you there!


Monday, September 18, 2017

September Slow Session Wed., Sept. 20!

What's Up, Peeps?

Almost time for pumpkins? As long as we're not decorating for Christmas yet!

It's been an odd "end of summer" - suddenly we're nearly into the end of September and wearing short sleeves. I don't know what Wednesday will be like, but at the Old Songs Community Arts Center, we'll be comfortable no matter what.

Come join us for some trad Irish tunes. Last month we learned a Slip Jig by ear - Nollaig Casey called it "Last Night's Fun", but Sue Bippus found it listed as "Wink and She'll Follow". Sue played a slightly different slip jig that she learned from Kevin Crawford. Recordings will be in the Google Drive by Wednesday.

August Tunes

Some of the tunes we played in round robin (thank you Nancy Crowther) were: 

Boys of Blue Hill (hornpipe)
Lark in the Morrning (jig)
Maid Behind the Bar (reel)
Maloney's Wife (jig)
Man of the House (reel)
Ships Are Sailing (reel)
The Spotted Dog (jig)
Wink and She'll Follow (slip jig)

If anyone remembers what else we played, let me know!

CCE Tune Set & New List

My apologies - I was wrong about the Comhaltas set for this month. Nancy let me know that it was in fact Christmas Eve/Father Kelly's - two lovely reels. We will play these as well!

Colleen handed out a NEW TUNE LIST. I put it in the Google Drive.

Wednesday's Plan

So, on Wednesday, September 20th from 7:30-9:00 p.m., as always, we'll have a learn-by-ear tune, we'll play the CCE Set (Christmas Eve/Father Kelly's), and then we'll do our round robin. Would someone like to volunteer to keep track of what tunes we play during Round Robin? It would be such a huge help!

See you soon,


Friday, September 1, 2017

Dance Workshop, Slow Sesh and More...

It is dance music, after all...                                                      photo by Neal Warshaw
Hey, Hi, Howdy, friends! Can you believe it is already September 1st? I'm in denial, or I would be if the weather didn't absolutely insist that it is fall in full swing.

I'm just checking in here with a few beginning-of-the-month announcements! Most important of all - there is a sean-nos (old style Irish) dance workshop being held in Albany on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. The teacher is amazing and it will be a ton of fun! Please check it out, print a flyer and share!

I hope that those visiting the blog through Old Songs will take a moment to consider coming to any of the following events:


Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.: Sean-nos Dance Workshop

Irish wooden flute player Sue Bippus has coordinated to bring Rebecca McGowan, her Sean Nos dance teacher from Boston, to Albany to give a workshop this month. Comhaltas and the Irish American Association are sponsoring the sean-nos dance workshop on Friday, September 22, from 7:00-8:30 pm at 375 Ontario Street, Albany.

As Sue explained to us at the August session, sean-nos dancing is more like improvisation than set- or step-dancing where the steps are choreographed. You learn several types of "steps" and then put them together in the way that suits you and the music to make your own dance. She suggests that you wear comfortable shoes with smooth soles. You don't need to buy tap shoes or have anything special. If you have questions, feel free to contact Sue directly at



Sunday, Sept. 3: Hooley on the Hudson, Memorial Park on the Rondout, Kingston, NY

Our friends Toss the Feathers (Amy Schoch, Dave "Banjo" Smith, and Liam O'Neill will be on the trad stage at 2:30 pm followed by Dylan Foley and Dan Gurney at 5:00 pm at the Hooley on the Hudson in Kingston, NY. Go see them if you can! It's a FREE event! for more info.


Sunday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m.: CCE Slow Session 

CCE will be starting up their regular meetings again in September on Sunday, Sept. 16. They hold their meetings/sessions on the third Sunday of each month at the Capital District Irish American Association (formerly known as the Albany Hibernian Hall) at 375 Ontario Street, Albany, NY.

In the hope of getting some more slow session participants to stay a little longer to join the regular session, they will be playing some of the tunes that have been played in the slow session. For September, the "transitional" set of tunes is Father Kelly's/Silver Spear! Give it a practice and stay for the start of the regular session. And hey - the gang in the regular session plays most of the tunes we have played in the Old Songs Slow Session! You can play Spotted Dog, or Ships are Sailing or Mickey Callahan's! Or any of the tunes in our folders on Slow Session Google Drive!

The Slow Session is led by Colleen O'Sullivan and runs from 2-3 p.m. and the regular session runs from 3-6 p.m. It's free and all are welcome.

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.: Old Songs Slow Session

The Old Songs Irish Slow Session is held at the Old Songs Community Arts Center, 37 S. Main, Voorheesville on the third Wednesday of every month, weather permitting. We start the evening at 7:30 p.m. with a Learn-by-Ear tune of the month. Even if you don't learn well or quickly by ear, the best thing for developing your ear is to come and listen and give it a try. 

We then move on to a round robin - pick a tune from the lists (go to the link to the Google Drive) or a common session tune and we'll play it through all together a bunch.

Led by fiddler Hilary Schrauf. $4 to Old Songs for heat/air/lights/copies. 

To look at lists and past tunes: Slow Session Google Drive

Hope to see you all soon! Enjoy your long weekend...