Admittedly, I’ve been a bit quiet on baconworks for the last month. I blame it on holidays, a site crash and general laziness.
To get things going again check this out. I stumbled upon a set of jigs that I recorded at a Stone’s session two years ago. I don’t know the name of any of them but it is a nice set. You can hear the casualness of the musicians as they come in and drop out throughout the set. This is very typical behavior since the sets are loosely planned at best. In this case I would say completely unplanned. Consequently, as the set progresses from tune to tune, the other musicians stop to listen and ponder their next move.
Notice the smashing glass at the end of the set. The pint leapt off the stool in front of us. Happens all the time at Stones. After all the place is haunted.
With Halloween approaching I thought it only appropriate to continue my trend of playing sessions in places that are haunted.
So, last night I trekked up the road with Unstachio to The Stagecoach Inn in Groton, MA. Sadly, I didn’t encounter any ghosts but I’m happy to report that there was a lot of spirit. Vicky the bartender, Aisling, the woman who organized the session, Mary, Martha, Kevin, Raymond, Peter McGuire, Laurel Martin and all the other fine musicians were warm and welcoming.
One nice thing they do at their session is have monthly workshops where they bring in a seasoned musician to provide instruction during the early part of the evening. Well, unfortunately, I missed the early part. However, once the session got moving, Unstachio and I did get to have a go at backing Tony DeMarco, this month’s special guest. Tony is a universally known and respected Sligo style fiddle player from Brooklyn, NY. I can’t tell you what he thought, but I thought it was quite fun.
Here is a video of Tony with the legendary Kevin Burk. The video is not much to look at, in fact you can hardly see Tony, who is on the right side of the video. The audio is quite good however, and makes it worth a listen. Incidentally, they open their set with Paddy Clancy’s, which is the same tune I posted the other day.
Also, I should mention, that Tony has a new album that can be found on his website. Also, he will be performing this Friday, October 3rd, at the Kendall Tavern in Leominster, MA at 8pm. Apparently there is a session to follow. For more information and tickets contact Aisling. Should be a fun night.
This is really a cross-over post. The recording came out of the Sudbury Session and is probably the last I will post from that session. However, the tune, The Marlin Spike, is the one that we have been running a collaborative recording experiment upon. As nice as it is to spend time laying tracks on a new tune, they also have to get road tested. The only way to do that is to try them out at a session. That is where you get your feedback and it is where you really learn what works and doesn’t work on a tune.
In this recording I think you can hear the tentativeness of playing together the first couple of times through the tune. But the third time through it starts to get some bite and someone yelps as if to say ‘Go-on!’. Then after the tune, a bit of good-natured session ribbing. But, the part that makes you want to keep writing is when someone asks if ‘that is one of your own compositions’.
Here is a great sounding tune from Deidre on the pipe’s called Garrett Barry’s. She had some technical difficulty with the instrument about half way through and had to stop for a strain or two. It doesn’t really surprise me that someone would have technical difficulties with that instrument. The musician has to do about nine things at once and only two of them are related to pitch and tempo. Everything else has to do with harnesses, seat belts, air bags, bellows, barometric pressure, wind speed and what the current phase of the moon is. The fact that anything musical comes out of the instrument is a miracle. In my one attempt to play the beast it sounded like I was squeezing a pair of cats.
Anyhow, before I digress any further…Garret Barry’s.
p.s. I didn’t have any pictures of her playing the pipes, so I settled for this cool one of the flutes.
In spite of the weather, the turnout for the Sudbury Muster was great. After spending Friday evening and all day Saturday in the rain, the soggy brave musicians slipped into the old bar room at the Wayside Inn for some tunes and good company. Standing room only. Dinner guests, muster musicians, Sudbury Militia, a couple of session musicians, a few Swiss folk all sharing ales, stories and music. At one point most of the room was filled by the sound of patrons playing spoons, sticks and anything else they could find to make noise, and when the music stopped, the percussion didn’t. They were hooked. And we played long past closing time and left very fulfilled and satisfied that the weather didn’t drive people away, but instead, brought us together.
I put a mic in the corner of the room and recorded the whole evening. Every note. I will post a few of the highlights over the next few days. Here is the first. It is called The Roaring Barmaid. Also, the photo’s were taken by my sister Keri. In this photo you will notice that behind us, the bar has closed for the evening. And in front of the bar there is no sign of anyone leaving. Ah, good times.
Just got wind of this YouTube video from our concert at Framingham State College back in March.
Although the recording is quite saturated with reverb, it gives a sense of the fun we had. The group of musicians playing can be found at John Stone’s Public House in Ashland, MA on Tuesday evenings. While this chapel gig was fun, I don’t think it really compares to coolness that happens on Tuesday evenings at John Stone’s. Besides, they weren’t serving pints in the church.
Man, the pipes give the whole thing a different twist. Check out this mp3 that I was able to record on the Edirol last week. Pay special attention to the second tune. The piper dude is laying on all the regulator keys, or whatever they are called on that crazy contraption. In any case, it sounds like a musical traffic jam. It’s tough to get the flute to sound like that. Other instruments in this musical exuberance: Bouzouki, Flute, Tenor Banjo, Guitar, Fiddle. What fun.