Let me start again.
After enjoying a few weeks at home following the Christmas Sojourn, Haley and I began St. Patrick's Month (yes, for Irish musicians it is a month not a day) a little early with a trip to Charleston, SC for a couple nice gigs. We met some new friends, musicians and non-musicians alike, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We took a train down and flew home, only to fly a couple days later to Dallas, TX for the North Texas Irish Festival.
This was our first trip to the North Texas festival and Haley was scheduled to perform with her guitarist friend, Don Penzien, whose band, Gailfean, with Haley's fiddle teacher, Brian Conway, and accordion friend, John Whelan, was scheduled to perform as well. When we arrived Friday afternoon, we learned that a snow storm had stranded Brian in New York City, so they asked Haley to fill in for him with Gailfean. There was a bit of rehearsing and set building then performances for her to do and others she wanted to see with an Irish session thrown in here and there. Haley's friend, Sarah, and her family who we'd met in Laredo about three years ago came up and Sarah danced with Haley and Don for a set. It was a busy couple days. The festival was well run and well attended and the people were wonderful.
I just love this photo of Haley with John Whelan. They have so much fun playing together!!
Here's a little video of the fun...
A week after arriving home from Texas, we were flying off again. This time to New Orleans. Haley's classical violin teacher is living in New Orleans this year for her husband's work. Haley was so excited to have a couple days to spend with Madi. We did some sight seeing, rode the street cars, ate some delicious food and in the evenings Haley gave a solo house concert one night and taught a fiddle workshop the next.
|Teaching a fiddle workshop|
|This woman actually had an autograph from a 7 year old Haley!!|
|Celtic Bayou ceili band|
|Haley and Noel sharing a laugh!|
The following morning Steve, Don, and Noel drove us to Atlanta, GA so Haley and I could fly back to NJ for a concert with Andy Lamy's Hudson-Shannon Line sponsored by the NJ Symphony. A huge winter storm was forecast for the evening of the concert and the entire next day.
The snow held off for concert night but during rehearsal and the show, I was receiving messages about cancelled and rescheduled flights until finally all flights out of Newark airport were cancelled the following morning. I looked for a train and found they were cancelled as well. Haley needed to be in Greensboro, NC the next day (Weds) to rehearse for TEDx Greensboro on Thursday.
A bit panicked I messaged Don and Steve who had dropped us off in Atlanta and driven to Don's home in NC near Greensboro. Steve, bless him, offered to drive up and take us back to NC but after some searching, I discovered I could drive north and west away from the storm track to the airport in Albany, NY to fly out. Don and Megan booked us new flights and reserved us a car from Newark airport and after the program, Mike (who had hosted us the previous night), drove us to Newark airport where we picked up the car and drove 3.5 hours through the night to Albany. We arrived around 2am, took showers in a hotel room, dropped the car off at the airport, and boarded our 5am flight. We did not sleep for 48 hours but we made it in time for the rehearsal.
Immediately after their performance in Greensboro, hit the road again, back to Tuscaloosa for a night at Jil's then off the following morning for a lovely house concert in Pass Christian, MS with the Máirtín de Cógáin Project.
|House concert rehearsal|
She then played for the ceili that night in the first hour and last hour (because there was no way she was going to pass on the chance to play with her friends who were playing last). We got in the car after the ceili where she and Sean McComisky took out their instruments and played all the way back to the hotel. They all took a little break while they decided where to set up a session then began playing music and kept playing music until 5:30am. Musicians called it a night here and there until by about 3am only Haley, Alan, and Sean remained. Haley and Sean played one set of jigs that lasted 1 hour 20 min. At some point during that time, Alan broke a string on his bouzouki, left for about 20 minutes, came back with a guitar, and joined them again.
Here's a little sample of the music....
From Mississippi Celtic Fest, we drove back to New Orleans to spend the night with Noel before our flight home early Monday morning. It was a whirlwind tour but Haley had a blast and is looking forward to the next time!