Monday, March 09, 2015

Pre-St.Patrick's Weekend...

Irish musicians refer to this month as "March Madness." Due to St. Patrick's Day, gigs take up many more weekends than any other month….December runs a close 2nd though. We started last week with some great (legendary) Irish musicians playing concerts close by and Saturday night another band was in town. Haley met Mairead from Altan a couple years ago at a festival in Dublin, OH while she was performing with The John Whelan Band. We saw her again this past summer while they were touring in NY and Mairead invited Haley onstage with them while we were at the Fleadh in Sligo Ireland in August.

Haley had been looking forward to Altan being in town for months. Mairead invited her to join them again which made it even more exciting for her. We arrived in Philly, parked the car, and walked out of the parking garage at the same time as the band was crossing the street to go to supper. Mairead invited us to join them and introduced us to her daughter, Nia, who is just a year younger than Haley.

After supper, we walked back over to the Annenberg and Mairead taught Haley a number of tunes, in 20 min, she would later play with them on stage. Once the tunes were learned, Haley and Nia shared a few tunes including a lovely jig Nia had written.

Haley and I went out into the audience to watch the first half of the show. Altan's new CD, Widening Gyre, is a mixture of Irish and Bluegrass music. They always put on a great show! We backstage during intermission and watched from there until close to the end when Haley went out to join them.

This photo was posted on Facebook by Doug Wallner.
What a fun night!!

Sunday morning we were up bright and early…especially early due to the time change and our late night the night before. Haley and Keegan played some Irish tunes for an Irish Mass at St. Malachy's Church in Philly.  (They made it onto the late night news on Sunday night...!/news/local/Parishioners-Raising-Money-to-Preserve-19th-Century-Church/295581561)

We all drove straight from church to their afternoon gig, the Down Jersey Celtic Celebration at Cumberland County College, for a sound check.

Haley, Keegan, and Dylan recently named their trio Méara Meara ( They have been rehearsing once a week before the Monday night session they all attend. They sounded awesome together!

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