Sunday, September 14, 2014

Whew! What a weekend!

We started our weekend early with a wonderful house concert Thursday evening. The Alt, one of the bands created during a late night at Swannanoa a couple years ago (the other is The Teetotallers), consists of Nuala Kennedy, John Doyle, and Eamon O'Leary. John and Eamon are the two guitarists Dylan always chooses to learn from at Swannanoa. Add to them Nuala with her sweet voice and lovely flute and whistle playing and wow!  Tight vocal harmonies and lively tunes. Amazing!

I think I've said before how much we like the intimate "private" experience a house concert provides and this one was no exception. We could have listened all night and we kind of did. After the concert we popped in our newly recorded and purchased CD and listened all the way home…and it was our listening choice while riding all over the place all weekend.

We had a late night but we were all up early Friday morning. Dylan went off to school then Haley and I headed to the northern part of the state so she could work in a recording studio to lay down a few tracks with Mike for Andy's new Irish clarinet CD. It was a long but fun day!

Working out variations.
They finished up a Donegal reel set then played around with a slow air playing melody and harmony then playing cannon-style. It was pretty cool to listen to Haley play the third "round" of the cannon on her first try especially considering she learned the air very recently and Andy had only decided that morning to try it so she hadn't had a chance to practice.

Laying down tracks.
After the day of recording, Haley and I headed south to Philly. We grabbed a quick dinner then headed to the Irish Center for the Philadelphia Ceili Group's Annual Festival (40th!!!). Friday night is always a ceili in the ballroom and a "Rambling House" concert in the fireplace room. For the Rambling House session there is a host musician, Gabriel, who invites musicians, both local and visiting, on stage to play a few sets with him. Haley enjoyed hanging out with her friends, Alex and Keegan, while they listened to the music and took their turns on stage.

Haley especially enjoyed playing a couple tunes with two musicians from Beoga, Niamh Dunne and Seán Óg Graham and Niamh's father. We saw Beoga in concert one year at the Fleadh in Cavan and they are one of Haley's favorite bands. Niamh has a beautiful voice and is a lovely fiddle player and Sean is great on both accordion and guitar.

Gotta love the microphone eye patch.
Late night number two.

Saturday Haley, Dylan, and I headed back to the Irish Center for another full day of festival. The kids took some workshops on their respective instruments then rehearsed, and hung out with their friends, Alex and Keegan, before their "set" at the festival. The Converse Trio (Haley, Keegan, and Alex) accompanied by Dylan played a lively set in the afternoon. They sounded great!

They also joined Next Generation for their set then ate dinner before a wonderful concert by Fullset…a group of young, dynamic musicians. Their music was great and they put on a very entertaining show.

Late night number three.

I had to drag Haley out before the after-concert session because we had another early morning on Sunday for a fiddle lesson in New York. We carpooled with Livia and Amy so the trip was pleasant and fun, the lesson productive, and Haley, exhausted from her busy weekend fell fast asleep on the ride home then went to bed for short nap before dinner.

Back to school tomorrow.

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