Monday, June 22, 2015

Logging Miles…and Hours of Music

A bag of goodies!!
Two weekends ago was a weekend of sessions. Haley attended three sessions in as many days, played a CD release concert gig for her friend, Andy Lamy (who's CD The New Blackthorn Stick she appeared on), took a fiddle lesson, performed in a classical violin concert, and practiced.

She logged in over 18 hours of violin/fiddle playing in three days!!

This weekend was a weekend of festivals. Fun, fun, fun!!! We had a bit of a taste of what it is like to be touring musicians. Ha!

We drove to Glen Rock, PA Friday afternoon and were welcomed at our hotel with a huge bag full of snacks courtesy of the Penn-Mar Irish Festival. We had a few hours before a scheduled Skype fiddle lesson for Haley so we went over to the festival grounds to help set up wherever we were needed. We set up chairs in the main stage tent, brought out mannequins for t-shirt sales, and filled sandbags needed to hold down the tents in the wind. Dylan also rode around helping set up buckets filled with sand to hold up the fencing around the festival grounds.

We drove back to the hotel in time for Haley to do a bit of practicing then she had a Skype lesson with Brian before we walked to dinner at a nearby restaurant. After our late dinner, we hung out in our room and watched some TV before bed.

Haley and Dylan were part of the Next Generation performance at the festival in the morning so we had breakfast at our hotel with John Whelan and Mairtin de Cogain then drove to the festival grounds for a sound check. Festival attendance tends to increase as the day goes on, so mornings at a festival tend to be a bit quiet. There was a nice sized crowd for the Next Generation performances though, and the kids did a great job.

Haley was interviewed for the local news station.

Haley got a picture with the friendly festival devil.

John asked them to play with him for his set as well so we hung around for a bit then went back to the hotel for a couple hours (it was really hot and humid outside and Haley wanted to practice her classical music) before going back to the festival grounds to see our friends, Burning Bridget Cleary, perform before John's set.

I used to get nervous when Haley was younger and didn't know exactly what she was doing before going on stage but at this point, Haley is a professional (Dylan as well). She can get up on stage, play whatever she needs to play on the fly, and give a great performance. John came in a few minutes before the sound check and the three of them, along with Pete (BBC's percussionist), put on a great show!

We left the festival for some supper as the rain clouds started rolling in. By the time we were finished dinner, it was raining heavily and late. We went to bed a little earlier than usual so we could get up in the morning for our four hour ride to Fairfield, CT in the morning.

After an early morning breakfast, Haley and I followed John and Dylan to Connecticut.

We arrived at the Fairfield County Festival a couple hours before the kids' set with John. We watched some local Irish dancers then local young musicians, got a short lesson on speaking Irish, looked at the Irish merchandise, had some ice-cream, then it was time to play.

John, Haley, and Dylan played an awesome set and received two standing ovations!!

We sold some CDs, met with the "fans," then walked over to the main stage to watch a bit of The Elders (Haley wanted to listen to her friend, Colin, playing fiddle with them) before grabbing some burgers then driving through a thunderstorm to get home.

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