Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Right i dont get why everyone hates bodhran players…. i understand some of them cam be very very loud usually the bad ones. But i kinda like the rythmic tone of it ( has anyone sen John joe Kelly play?) i recently deceided to teach myself how to play……….should i be regrettin this decision and crawl back to my guitar with me tail bewteen my legs????

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I’m glad I get to reply first, because nastiness is likely to follow, and I’m promising myself that this will be my only reply to this thread unless you specifically address a comment or question to me.

Here’s the reason I believe there is so much controversy involving the bodhran:

1. Too many think it’s easy to play; it is not. That said, it must be pointed out that once you understand the music and rhythms, you are enabled to play to every tune, whether or not that is wise.

2. Many players feel that people take up the bodhran so that they can join in, when in the absence of bodhrans, these same people would never take the time and effort to actually learn tunes.

3. Even with good bodhran players, I think there is some resentment from the players of melody instruments because bodhran players do not have to actually learn a repertoire of tunes.

4. Because of the foregoing, many bodhran players have a chip on their shoulder that exacerbates the tension that often exists between them and players of melody instruments.

5. And finally, whereas multiple flutes, fiddles, etc. are welcome at sessions, several bodhran players playing at the same time is seldom welcome for obvious reasons.

For context, I play flute, whistle, bodhran and bones.

Cheers.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

ok well i glad im not learning cos i wanna fit in to a group there are no sessions in my area that i could join in anyways. ya i can see the issue with a mad bunch of bodhran players that would actually be funny to see though….. all going 90 and twichtin away mad ha ha ha.

It really isnt an easy instrument to play, im finding it difficult to even get the simplist of beats and i wouldnt usually call myself musically challenged but i think i was a bit scepitical of how hard it was and im now learing my lesson.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I’m very partial to some tasty bodhran playing,love it in small doses for example https://cdbaby.com/cd/eidir

In addition to Ailin’s 5 above,I think it goes wider,rock and roll and jazz drummers have had to tolerate jokes ridiculing their intelligence for 50 years or more,for example,guy walks into a shop and says hey,I want to buy your best electric guitar.Shopkeeper says “are you a drummer?” “Yes,how do you know?” “Because this is a fish shop mate”
🙂

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Listen to the true masters such as Johnny McDonagh and ignore upstarts such as John-Joe Kelly who seems to think the darn thing’s a melody instrument!

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That’s the rub right there wolfbird.

Making fun of drummers is not isolated to Irish music at all. It’s a long-standing tradition in the musical world!

P.S. How do you know a bodhran player (drummer) is at your door?

The knocking keeps getting faster and faster and faster…

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I suppose its like anything else.

box banging guitar players with no concept of musical structure.

button box players who don’t know how to control the power and sound of the instrument

whistle players who squeek and miss notes in the second octave with blatant disregard.

And then there are the pipes…..

Learn the instrument to play it properly. No one will hassle you. Try to play it because you are looking for a quick easy way to play in….deep doo. A player like that deserves little tolerance.

Good bodhran players add alot….operative adjective…‘good’

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

At least harmonicas are OK then? 😉

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I don’t hate just bodhrán players. I hate everybody.

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Colm Murphy is the man get his cd it shows the bodhran in its correct place…John joe is a gent and has great rhythm in his play he can hold a beat …..search “every session should have one” on youtube………………………ringo on mary bergins cds gives an example of great playing ………………………but don,t forget how much time and effort is needed …………..It might help your guitar rhythm …………………….

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I hope Bodhran Bliss chimes in on this thread - he is the most vocal defender of this..erm, “instrument.”

Lolly, hang in there - but keep in mind this is a melody driven style of music, therefore all other participants that are not involved with the melody need to keep this in mind. That being said, we are blessed in our sessions in Arizona by an unwritten yet well respected code, that Bodhran players must take turns on sets, or play quietly enough as to not gum up the rest of us. (God Bless Mr. King for the creation of that beautiful edict)

Either way, if you love playing the bodhran, go for it. Just be prepared for the jokes and abuse that come with it. I should know - I play banjo….;-D

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Have another vat of Talisker, Danny. All will be well by morning!

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Ailin
did we meet in miltown this year ,Its all coming back to me ahhhhhhhhh drink.
eddie

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Good bodhran is fantastic (Donnach Gough (Danu); the guy who played with De Dannan when they recorded the Jigs Reels and Songs album, or whatever it was called. Bad bodhran is just depressing. (And by the way, how do you pronounce bodhran anyway - here it’s ‘boar-ann’, but I’ve heard ‘ba-ron’…?)

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

On the other hand, I’ve suggested to several whistle/flute students over the years that they learn bodhran, for two reasons.

a) If you own one, you really should learn how to pronounce its name.
b) A year learning the drum will teach you more about how to play Irish rhythms than the same year on the flute. (The same might not be true of, say, fiddle.)

I could add c) there’s a valuable lesson to be learned in trying to make the bodhran work in a session or group, but I would never suggest that any of these people play the drum in public, unless the session/group begged them to do it. Thankfully none have.

Playing the bodhran is also a lot of fun. But playing with zippydw’s proverbial good bodhran player can be a total blast.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Always completely suspect anyone who calls it a bran. We have lots of such people in England. And just because a person doesn’t call it a bran does not mean they are above suspicion. It’s always healthy to be very afraid.

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I agree with Donnach and Colm’s addition to the list of greats, but not Mr Kelly or that bloke who plays with Altan on their CDs. I want to hear a dynamic, exciting, primeval rhythm underpinning the mix, not the sound of water glugging out of bottles.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

the guy who played with De Dannan when they recorded the Jigs Reels and Songs album thats colm murphy…….steve I’ve seen him playing in a session john joe can play it any way he wants

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I’ve seen him with Flook. I know how darn good he is but I just can’t latch on to that style at all. Same with Gino. It’s a matter of taste I suppose.

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I like a good bodhran player but unfortunately they are a small percentage of the people who own them. We are having a nightmare with a couple of would-be’s at the moment.
Personally I think there should never be more than one playing at a session at one time. Multiple bodhran sessions are pure hell. I also think that if you take a bodhran to a session you should always have another instrument that you can play to avoid the temptation of playing all night or doubling up, unless you happen to be one of the above mentioned. Oh, yes,and these huge Corries style bodhrans are only ever usefull as a play raft for kids or something similar.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I’ll agree with Key Maniac Lad…but there are some people I dislike less then others. It keeps the balance.
As far as Bodhran players go, I’m as competent as the next guy/girl. I have, however learned that just because I have a drum in front of me doesn’t mean I have to hit it. Rests are notes also. Play them. I’ve heard drummers (and melody players) that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I refuse to be that person. Nothing worse then listening to a band only to have the bodhran player sound like a 55 gallon drum rolling down a hill.
Ok, now back to work….
Have Goat… Will Travel.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Here we go again …

“A year learning the drum will teach you more about how to play Irish rhythms than the same year on the flute.” B o l l o c k s.

Ailin, 1, 2 ,4, 5, … B o l l o c k s.
3? B o l l o c k s. B o l l o c k s. B o l l o c k s. B o l l o c k s. B o l l o c k s.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

“the sound of water glugging out of bottles”
Marvelous, Mr. Shaw, that is a new one for me, at least. Must I pay royalties to use it myself? And where do I send the check?
(While I also love a good drummer, in my little part of this world it seems like every bodhran player around is trying to make the drum gargle or sound like speed bumps.)

Thanks, that simply made my day.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

dear Lollypolly, - this is really without sarcasm or irony but…


i wish you the very best of luck with the whistle.

btw,hope that was n’t too ‘killing’ !

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

“A year learning the drum will teach you more about how to play Irish rhythms than the same year on the flute.” - now if I’ve ever read anything so stupid……..Surely nobody could be serious coming out with something like that.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Of course you will learn more about rhythm by playing the bodhran, if you stuff up whilst playing anything else it is largely ignored but if the bodhran player stuffs up there is a horde of irrational fixated lunatics standing by to turn it into a bloodbath.
Therefore percussionists have to try harder, have to be accurate and should be revered, not scorned.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Is it “Hug a Bodhran Player” day again? It’s amazing how quickly a decade passes… 😉

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Michael, please note that I suggest that students follow my example and not play the bod-ran anywhere but in the safety of their own homes.

But really, having learned to play the darn thing myself, I think it’s a pretty good tool for learning rhythm, and learning to hear some of the subtleties of what’s going on with a good fiddler, fluter etc. I think people learning get so wrapped up in the technicalities of their instrument and the melodies that they stop listening to this stuff at some level. Yes, they have to get to it eventually, but this could be *one* way to speed up the process. And maybe have some fun along the way.

One of my kids, for example, learned to play the bodhran with a #2 flat screwdriver.

Or, it could be a load of skcollob.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Michael, your multiple-B O L L O C K S post reminded me of that old one-upmanship joke. Man goes into pub and sidles up to another bloke at the bar. Says to him “hey, pal, do you realise that between you and me we have five b o l l o c k s?”

“Why?” says the other bloke. “Have you only got one?”

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Ceolachan old boy, your post shows the power of subliminal suggestion. “Hug a bodhran player” on the same day as the conference speech by David “hug a hoodie” Cameron?? 😀

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You will be welcome by all who truly appreciate Irish Traditional music, and fully understand it. Johnny come lately musical snobs, who know little of the real tradition will sneer, because that is their forte.

And melody players hate bodhran players because the punters love bodhran players.

Some of the people mentioned earlier are not too bad of players at all.

I am the widely acknowledged best player ever, and ever will be.

Mr Llig, he of B o L l O c K s fame, tried the drum, was unable to master its nuances, and took to the fiddle, which he says is simple to play.

Jealousy is the main thing you will come up against.

The Bodhran (boar-ann) is the pulse of Irish music. Without a pulse, you have no life.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

If the melody players have to rely on the drum for the pulse, then there’s something wrong! That’s like turning this music into Rock or Jazz, where the “rhythm section” is responsible for the groove. That’s not the way this music works…

Personally, I like a well played bodhran (and for some reason, I seem to pronounce it somewhere between “boar-on” and “bow-ron”).

But as a good player I know once said, you have this idea in your head of what the groove should sound like, and even if it’s a good groove that the drum player is playing, it’s never the same one that you have in your head. And you can’t fight the drum, so you have to give in, and the music ends up not sounding like what you’re trying to accomplish.

There are varying degrees of skill on the bodhran, as with every other instrument. And, as with all the other instruments, one played poorly can ruin the day for everyone.

Pete

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

A poorly played banjo ruins it more, but do they ever get picked on like this. Sick people!

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

“sack of potatoes …. in a washing machine.”
“the sound of the winner just ahead of the bunch at the Galway Races”
“a stampede of wildebeest coming across the plain”.
“a call to war from the jungle”
All of these we can do without!
One decent bodhran player who has spent time listening to the music can, in my opinion, add a lot to a session.
Funnily, technique -or at least technical wizardry - is probably secondary - one of the most wonderful bodhran players I’ve ever heard was an old guy playing the most simple rhythms with just the right tone and feeling. He was mesmerising.
Martin Hayes was in the same session (Lena’s in Feakle at the festival a couple of years ago) and appeared to be quite happy with things.

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Hey west coaster. In reference to your question above, it depends where abouts in the country you are. In munster anyway its pronounced bow-rawn as in take a bow and rawn like lawn with an r.

Anyway, my opinion. I prefer a session with one good bodhrán player over a session with none anyday.

So give it holly Lolly 🙂

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Sometimes, I just get so flabbergasted with comments on this site. So absolutely banging my head against the brick wall of desperate stupidity. I just have such deap despairing desparation I feel like I wanna scrape this mustard window off my screen with my fingernails and screw it up into a little ball and fling it into the passing dumper truck.

I mean … for feck’s sake. AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHH

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Michael, my DEAR man, can’t you see we’re having FUN here?

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

the only issue I have with bodhrans is the same one I have with guitars - more than one tends to drown out the melody and muddy up the sound and you can’t hear yourself play. I’m fairly indifferent to how well or badly they are played - it’s a cumulative volume issue

Punters may love “the bodhran” for a few minutes but see how long the punters stick around when the music is drowned out by them.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

My sincere sympathies to Mr. llig. Now I know why the caged bird sings. 🙂

Hang in there, man, sooner or later they will all get it out of their systems, and we can all go back to talking music again. Say, another discussion of “dots”.

Good luck.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Michael,

Either you are kidding, like most of the others who have posted, or you are heading for a self-induced stroke. Maybe some soothing bodhran rhythms and scented candles would help…

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I don’t think people were kidding when they were talking about playing the bodhran being better for learning the rhythms in this music than actually playing the music.

If they were kidding, then heaven praise them and sincerest apologies form myself for my humour bypass. And I’ll cancel that ambulance.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I like all the descriptions of burbling bodhran playing.

My friend always says it’s like “Lucy running down the stairs”. Lucy is her very small dog.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

The dog probably sounds better.

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😀

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

If we were to move to the Baroque thread, I bet the dog would be good at Bach, too.

Bach! Geddit?

ho ho ho

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Unless, of course, his Bach is worse than his Bite-hoven …

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Most melody players have no idea about timing or rhythm. I used to think they did it deliberately to try to make me look bad, then realised, melody players are not very good listeners.

The bodhran is a backing instrument, so the player follows the others, sees what speed they are playing at, and then helps to maintain that rhythm. That requires the skill of listening.

Melody players lash into a tune, and oft times we have flute, fiddle and accordion playing at different speeds, because the melody players are only listening to themselves, rather that the collective.

The idea of learning the bodhran before progressing to melody instrument, to learn about rhythm and timing, is most appealing and should be compulsory.

The music was originally for dancing to. Go to any session, listen to them playing Kerry polkas at breakneck speed. The dancers would need to be on speed, and probably blood doping to keep up for even the first tune.

Despite these obvious failings shown by melody players, I am still kind enough to try to help them, teach then rhythm and timing,and show them the true tradition. A slow pulse or a fast pulse can be worrying.

The bodhran, the pulse of Irish music. Appreciate them, love them, worship them, for without a bodhran, ITM is a corpse.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Ho ho ho, that’s a cracker bb. You’re right about one thing though, the music may _originally_have been for dancing. Luckly though, it did develop so that other aspects could be explored.

Just as well Lunasa use a click track live (unconfirmed) or how would they ever hold the music together without percussion!!!

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Well done, bliss! You may have just illustrated one of the biggest problems with many bodhran players… They think that they can’t be lived without, and try to play on every bloody tune, thinking that the melody players need the help.

I’ll agree that a lot of melody players don’t grasp the rhythms very well. They’re too busy trying to get the notes out to think about what it should sound like.

But the cure for that isn’t necessarily to throw a bodhran (or three) at the problem! 😏

Pete

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I don’t know, Rev. Throwing a bodhran at a misbehaving melody player might get his attention all right.

I’ll bet Michael has had a few bodhrans thrown at him in his day.

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

“Hello everyone and thanks for tuning in today. I’m Buster Bodhran with the Wide World of Fake Internet Sports. We’re here at thesession.org for the First Annual Bodhran Toss. Tossers will be graded on distance, throwing style, and accuracy. Extra points will be awarded for being a really obnoxious ‘tosser’…”

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

“I’ll agree that a lot of melody players don’t grasp the rhythms very well. They’re too busy trying to get the notes out to think about what it should sound like”

If that’s what they’re doing, they shouldn’t be playing the tune. I’ve seen players do this---play the notes, slow down at the tricky parts, speed up again at the beginning---when that starts happening it’s time to go back home and practice some more until you’re able to keep the rhythm steady.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Thanks for the support Reverend. I didn’t suggest bodhrans should be played on every tune, you did that yourself

I myself, being slightly perverse, sometimes enjoy watching melody players struggle, without the calm, steadying influence and expertise of a bodhran player.

As for the bit about “too busy trying to remember the notes” I tend to agree with Kennedy. A few runs up and down scales can’t be that difficult, surely?.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

No one has to struggle or go back home & practice.
The drum just has to be tossed precisely on the down beat. How do you define perfect pitch?

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I’ve found, through trial and error, an amazing, Earth-shaking solution for those melody players who begin a tune at a quick pace which proves too fast for the twiddly bits by the time they get there.

Start the tune at a slower speed.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

“…meanwhile, back the Bodhran Toss-Off, we’ve just had a rather nasty incident. A hopeful participant was ejected from competition when he arrived in a kilt with a caber looking for the ‘Highland Games’…”

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

The bodhran is part of traditional music so if you don’t like it do something else and stop complaining about it and most people with expert opinions on the bodhran can’t even play it……………

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Ok i actually afraid……em im from Cork so we pronounce it bow-rawn.
I’ve played the whistle for years dont mock it - i love it ha ha. God i cant even remember what most of these comments said.

I like John joes playin although i do think he goes to far sometimes with the ole melody, it just doesnt work. I’ve seen that guy from De Dannan he’s sh*t hot.

Is everyone here cranky? Well these comments made me smile anyway even though i more confused now then before ha ha ha

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ooopsss i meant tryin to play a melody above. Im think that i should shut up now and once again fade into the backround of just reading comments hhhmmm. (i wiiiisssshhh i was in carrigfergus ha ha)

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

bliss, I never said that *you* thought the bodhran was necessary on every tune… But I have run into a number of bodhran players that seemed to believe that. Usually the inexperienced ones that give all you “masters of the art” a bad name!

There are an inordinate number of bodhran “players” that picked up the “instrument” because they thought it would be an easy way to join in the fun that they were seeing at a session. Look at how many drums with the Guinness logo on them are sold every year at the gift shops in the airports in Ireland, and that illustrates the problem well!

If I counted every single bodhran player that I have ever played with, and had to estimate what percentage of them really added something to the music, my guess is that it would be somewhere around 20%. And another 20% of them really annoy the H E double L out of me. That leaves 60% of them that are just there, and I could care less…

Then again, I might estimate similar numbers when talking about fiddles, banjos, and flutes too. The difference is that when you have an inexperienced player of a melody instrument that is really annoying you, all you have to do is play tunes that they don’t know. But try playing a tune that an inexperienced bodhran player doesn’t know… guess what? They play anyway… 😛

BTW, really enjoying SWFL’s play by play commentary! I can’t wait to hear the outcome of the game!

Pete

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

We have a nice man that shows up at our session from time to time with a drum, and in the past year he has really improved, and become fun to play with. But he still thinks that waltzes and airs sound good with a little drum backing……………. sigh………….

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

To answer your question, Lollypolly, yes, everyone here is cranky, except for those of us that aren’t 😉

Your thread title should have been “Im gonna ask anyways……dont kill each other!!”

This is a long-raging, can of worms, flame throwing, hotly contested battle on this site that most of us just argue it for the sake of argument, or amusement even… So congratulations on raising the hackles, and flaring up the tempers on the site once again! What a way to ingratiate yourself into the open arms of thesession.org’s wonderful community 😉

Pete

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yes i feel like a fully fledged poo stirer now. i didnt think that it was cause so much trouble haha and you can call me lol.

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I know that man too, Al. I think we need a wanted poster. Or a not-wanted poster.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

I have met loads and loads of poor bodhran players, and I have actually only met about 5 good bodhran players.

But then, Tiger Woods probably says that about golfers. Depends on ones standards.

Anyone playing bodhran on slow airs and such knows even less about the tradition than newcomer posers. I play slow airs all the time at sessions on mandolin. Anyone attempting tp play a bodhran would be immediately executed.

I think I am getting mellow in old age.

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"…and we’re back! After a tremendous first round of tossing it’s an extremely tight race. Leahcim Llig has managed to throw all of his bodhrans quite well with extreme distance and accuracy, only to have his good work thrown directly back at him by bodhran bliss from his position deep down the playing field.

Meanwhile, Reverend Pete has taken a different approach. 20% of his allotted bodhrans have been mercilessly flung nearly all the way the Isle of Man, while another 20% have been gingerly laid aside and not bothered at all. 60% of his quota he simply shrugged his shoulders at and walked away. Not sure what the judges think, we’ll have to check the scorecards in a moment, but as for now we take you right back down the tossing pitch for more red-hot action from the First Annual TheSession.org’s Bodhran Toss Off! Heave mightily, ye tossers!”

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“I’m sorry for the interruption, but this note just handed to me says we’ll have to adjourn for half-time as we’ve run out of bodhrans. An armed expedition has been dispatched with all possible haste to the nearest gift shop to acquire as many Guinness-labeled goatskins as possible. Stay tuned, we’ll be back!”

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the truck with the guiness labled fakie wakie bodhrans is out the back

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"Thanks for being with us today, folks! Looks like we’ve restocked our supply (despite the howls of pain from the tourists with fistfuls of cash) and are ready to continue! The participants are gathering the 2nd round’s ammunition and limbering up.

Let’s take this opportunity to thank our sponsor, Beamish. Beamish, we make porter, not bodhrans…"

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

hhmmm why dont we suggest beamish in bodhrans for the tourists effectively ruining half the stock of bodhrans!

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

There was great bodhran story in IRTRAD - supposedly true - several years back. I’ll take the liberty of pasting the punch line here:

“By this time he had nearly finished his pint of Guinness, and now comes the best part: He poured what was left of it into his bodhran, squelched it around a bit, and then drank the Guinness out of the bodhran! Everybody was looking at him with eyes wide open, and he said ”It is good for ze skin!“. ”

I love that!

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Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Really? I thought moisterising cream would be better, especially for wrinkles. Still, I suppose some people will try anything to stave off old age.

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Hi folks,glad to see you’re all enjoying yourselves at the circus-mosh pit-caber tossing-flame war as it winds up towards the grand finale and the heroes of the day skulk off home to restore their wits for next time (what about ‘the dots’?nobody’s mentioned them for a while? Or hornpipes,for that matter…)
Needless to say i know nothing about bodhranis,but I have a top of the range 5 string banjo,with genuhine goatskin.Maybe that counts as half a bodhran?I could probably throw one if my life was in danger.Do they come back around like boomerangs? Or is it more a weapon,like a discus?Or do they fly like a frisbee?Do you shout as you launch them,like for clay pigeons?

Hey Lollypolly,I think you’re a sweetie and very brave to stick your head into this den of ranters,riffraff and miscellaneous musical miscreants.
Putting your life on the line for a worthy cause.Most admirable!
😉

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

Mike McGoldrick

Born in Manchester to Irish parents, Michael McGoldrick was encouraged by the thriving traditional Irish music scene in the city and by the age of 15, he had already won numerous All-Ireland Championships after swapping bodhran to play flute and whistles.


What a waste.

Re: Im gonna ask anyways……..dont kill me!!

"…and in a shocking late development, wolfbird charges the pitch flinging everything in sight! It’s just a whirlwind of banjos, boomerangs, Frisbees and clay pigeons! Madness! This reporter hasn’t seen anything so wild since Reverend Pete’s famous ‘Session in the Bordello’.

As expected, the First Annual TheSession.org Bodhran Toss has degenerated into sheer lunacy. This reporter is off to the pub for a pint and some tunes, and suggests all the participants and spectators join him.

Thanks for watching today, and remember, if you can’t play it, you can still fling it."

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Man, I don’t remember the session in the bordello! Was I drunk??? Not that THAT would ever happen at a session 😛

Pete

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What’s a bordello? I picture some sort of Spanish or texmex bodhran,with castanets attached,favoured by bullfighters seeking light entertainment after a hard day….but then how could Pete climb inside,especially in an inebriated condition? Makes no sense at all,at all

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bordello… brothel… you know… a place to find women of negotiable affection… that’s why I’m so upset about having blacked it out!

Pete

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The Reverend in the bordello… Shucks!

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“One of the girls must have taken ill…”

😉

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Great name for a tune.It’d have to be a hornpipe though.

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“Most melody players have no idea about timing or rhythm. I used to think they did it deliberately to try to make me look bad, then realised, melody players are not very good listeners.”

The really nippy thing about Mr Bliss is that he really does have a reasonable perception of stuff, sometimes. But it’s the utter lack of any objective analytical skill that really riles. Twisting snippets of truth into watertight argument is a politicians game. Mr Bliss is just not up to it

Yep, most melody players are not very good. Martin Tourish started a thread about this last week:

https://thesession.org/discussions/15343

So, ok then, let’s take it at face value and assume that, as Mr Bliss has the skill of listening, he gives himself the job of helping to maintain the rhythm. He is kind enough to try to help them.

So the Bodhran can be a crutch for c r a p musicians.

and ………

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But no matter how good a bodhran player is, even though he plays like john jo kelly in that youtube movie, wouldn’t be someone of his ‘level’ be ‘more welcome’ if he were as good on, say, guitar, or any onther instrument ?
You can do anything you can do with a bodhran on a melody or, shall i call it ‘string instrument’, too, and a lot more with those.

And can’t any melody player play the bodhran - but not the other way around ? You need ‘the rhythm’ to play the bodhran well, but if you got ‘the rhythm’, you might as well play a melody instrument! That’s exactly how most musicians think, and hence, there are few ‘musicians’ who ‘got it’ who only play the bodhran: leaving the bodhran to those who don’t ‘have it’. And that is, imo, the basic principle of ‘what’s wrong with the bodran’.
If you (only / mainly) ‘play’ the bodhran; you shouldn’t be ‘playing’ the music at all. If you cán: start playing another instrument!

But then again it’s personal taste; I just don’t like the sound and feel of a bodhran; but perhaps it’s possible to really like ITM and REALLY love the sound and feel that a bodhran adds… dunno. But give me a string backer / extra melody instrument any time… ah oh well :p

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“You can do anything you can do with a bodhran on a melody instrument”

That’s true, but there’s more to it than that:
Everything that is possible on a bodhran is already in the tune.
https://thesession.org/discussions/9423

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That’s an interesting point, BD-, but I think that’s oversimplifying the issue.

I can feel the rhythm, and while I can make a reasonably un-annoying use of a bodhran, I can’t *really* play it worth a damn. And I’m even a plectrum player, so I’m used to using my right hand for the rhythm. I can’t imagine a flute player would have an easier time of it…

Once again, I like playing with good bodhran players. They can add another texture to the session that is enjoyable.

But playing with a poor bodhran player (or three) can ruin a session. And I know… pretty much ANY instrument can ruin a session when played poorly. (I ought to know, I play banjo) 😛 But as I mentioned earlier, the fact that inexperienced bodhran players tend to try to play on every single tune makes them stand out especially as potential session-killers.

now where’s SWFL with the latest play by play? 😏

Pete

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The really nippy thing about Mr Bliss is that he really does have a reasonable perception of stuff, sometimes. But it’s the utter lack of any objective analytical skill that really riles. Twisting snippets of truth into watertight argument is a politicians game. Mr Bliss is just not up to it

# Posted on October 4th 2007 by llig leahcim

But I am up to it Mr llig, otherwise you wouldn’t have risen to the bait, and replied.

Just this year the “unelectable” Bliss played politician for six months and got elected to the union’s ruling body. Usually however, I am just too honest to be a politician.

And I always have a reasonable perception of stuff, and the analytical skills to be objective. It is just that my posts are a bit lit playing airs, go with the flow, whatever way the mood takes you. Usually after a short period posting, I use spin. And it works.

No-one knows that better than you, Mr Llig, my oul mate.

I am giving serious thought about a weekend in Edinburgh.

That was a warning and a threat.

As for BD, the world is full of lazy gits. couldn’t be bothered with all them strings and blowing and notes and keys and harmonics and modals and the rest. So many look at a drum, to join in. Some stick at it and are good. And I would have strings backing as well as bodhran in my preferred line up.

And John Joe isn’t bad at all. Give him time to progress.

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But,Mr Llig,there have always been c r a p musicians,always will be,and the mass of the population are quite satisied listening to Barry Manilow,Metallica,etc,etc,entirely oblivious to the subtleties of your argument.I can understand why any dedicated musician would get very annoyed if their session is ruined by someone who hasn’t got a clue and who refuses to take a hint to shut up.That seems quite straightforward to me,a problem at a particular place and particular time.But the extension to wanting to exclude or reject bodhran playing generally,I find quite peculiar and puzzling.
Perhaps there’s some justification that I’ve missed that causes you to feel so strongly?

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Sometimes discussions like this need simplifying:
Everything that is possible on a bodhran is already in the tune.

A good bodhran player (I’m not interested in debating bad bodhran players) can do a mere three things:
1. help out bad tune players keep together.
2. repeat what a good tune player plays.
3. add texture to a performance.

The question is, in a session, is it worth it?

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Thanks.Neatly put.But this is like an argument for a perfect world.
It’s like complaining that caravans and bicycles shouldn’t be allowed on the roads.Traffic flow would be better without them,etc.
But we have what we have,no?

Are you saying that to get the ‘highest possible quality’,it would be better if a session consisted of such and such and never such and such? Like the ingredients for a cake? best mix for best flavour?

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Yes, of course that’s what I’m saying

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Okay.I think I understand better.

But,what it boils down to,you get angry if the world doesn’t conform to your desire (albeit a noble,high-minded desire).

You think,if bodhran players,or fly-tipping,or slum tenements,or land mines,whatever,were eliminated,the world would be better,because quality would be higher?

That’s how I feel about most aspects of the world I find myself living in.

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Yes, more or less. Though I don’t get angry about it. I just despair. (And you don’t get many people defending fly-tipping or slum tenements or land mines)

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I’m finding this fascinating,because it illuminates several things for me.

yeh,the road forks,you either go to anger,or to depression because powerless to change things.Or a third route,that’s not quite defeat,of acceptance.Then at least you can feel a bit better.I think Aldous Huxley kinda started from a bottom line that everything is expected to be ghastly.Then,if anything isn’t,it’s wonderful,just by way of contrast.

But another angle on it.It’s almost like a political struggle,because Bodhran Bliss,Saint,and others,take the view that their favoured instrument ADDS quality,rather than detracts.

So it’s almost like the debates between folks who want to stop air travel because it’ll make the planet uninhabitable.And folks who think they are damn well entitled to fly off on holiday after working hard for the money.Very different ways of looking at air travel.

I’ve written a few times lately that I hate everybody.It’s kinda partly joking,and partly serious.I get so angry,and so depressed by what I see happening.In a way,I love everybody,because they are,well,just human beings.In another way,they p**s me off so much,I wish they’d all vanish,bring on the birdflu.Or whatever….it’s the guitar playing,the music,that gives me an anchor to cling to.Otherwise? well,best not to even think it …

Maybe some folks just don’t have what it takes to get beyond bashing a goatskin? Maybe it’s unkind to disapprove,if it means such a lot to them? Dunno.

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Everything that is possible on a bodhran is already in the tune

# Posted on October 4th 2007 by llig leahcim


That’s why all those melody players stamp their foot, I suppose. I honestly believe that half the racket at sessions is not the bodhran, but eejits who have no sense of rhythm stamping their feet, in short, melody players.

And the bodhran is the soul of the music, the very pulse, that “Je ne sais quoi” factor. Dull would he be of spirit who could pass by a sound so touching in its majesty.

But take heart Mr Llig. If you ever succumb to temptation, completely lose it, and kill a bodhran player, just send for me. My skill with spin and twisting arguments will soon have you acquitted. We could do a few tunes together after the verdict.

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Bodhran Bliss,it’d make a splendid tv series,kinda CSI Edinburgh plus O.J.Simpson plus Mrs.Marple,the grizzly case of the mutilated corpse found disembowelled by his own foul instrument…but I’m a man who is curious about the MOTIVE,and what may be revealed concerning the underlying psychopathology of the participants…

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3. add texture to a performance

If that wasn’t considered good enough reason to be in a session, sessions would be a lot smaller than they currently are.

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In fact, I reckon we’d be pretty much back to solo Performances.

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Nothing can be done with any additional instrument that couldn’t be done with a solo instrument (other than harmonizing of course, and we won’t touch that.)

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Michael, with your permission I will have it engraved on my tombstone: “Everything that is possible on the bodhran is already in the tune.” Whether it is worth it in a session depends on several things (other than the basic ability to play the thing at all), the most important three by far being (1) is the bodhran player sensitive to the feelings of his fellow musicians? And (2) does the bodhran player know the difference between reels, jigs, polkas, slides, hornpipes and the rest? And (3) does the bodhran player know the tunes sufficiently intimately, i.e., in the same way as any competent melody player? Now this may sound like anti-bodhran bias and prejudice, but just substitute the name of any melody instrument for “bodhran” in the above and I believe it makes sense.

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(3) does the bodhran player know the tunes sufficiently intimately, i.e., in the same way as any competent melody player?

# Posted on October 5th 2007 by Steve Shaw

If only. Most nights when our fiddle and banjo go wrong I have to loudly hum the tune to keep us going.

As for knowing the difference between jigs, reels etc, most melody players say at the start “a couple of reels/jigs/polkas” so you don’t have to know.

Besides, a jig “jigs” and a reel “reels”. Everyone knows that.

And when the melody players are losing it, and getting faster and ridiculously fast, you know they are trying to play polkas.

Viva el bodhrano

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OK, lets keep it simple. A really good session is playing tunes. Sharing tunes. Swapping tunes, Interpreting tunes, teasing variations out of tunes. Exploring tunes. Playing tunes. A bit of craic, Some booze, A laugh. And Playing tunes

If you want to add texture to the sound of it with a drum, then so long as you don’t try to push or pull the music away from those making it, and I can barely hear you, then I can tolerate that. I’m a pragmatic kind of guy. I’ll never understand why you are wasting your time, but heck, it’s your time.

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Heheh. On occasion a fragment of chip, or pubic hair, or whatever, gets lodged in a reed mid-set and I have to abandon the harmonica in question and grovel around on the table in front of me for a substitute. In the few seconds in between harps I am in the habit of humming the tune loudly to keep the guitar chappies going. It’s all very unsavoury, as you can probably imagine.

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Bliss, you’re still bangin on about tune players who can’t play

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Absolutely agreed, Michael, though you didn’t mention dirty jokes at all and you failed to put sufficient emphasis on the booze. 😀

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Blimey, posts coming so thick and fast that I always seem to be responding to the wrong chap. 🙁

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That’s most of them, well they can’t listen anyway.

But you have offered a solution. Play quietly and no-one will hear you. The silent session.

No wonder "Sandy bell’s offers music every night. It would be hard to tell if there were musicians in or not, using Mr Llig’s guidance.

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Silence.Now there’s a wonderful concept.Rare and special.I’m off into the silence.Sweet dreams to y’all.

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“I’ll never understand why you are wasting your time” is the reaction of a lot of outsiders when they find out you are playing in sessions at all.

Michael, I’m guessing their reasons for thinking this are pretty much the same reasons you don’t understand why bodhran players “waste their time.”

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this has probably been said before but (pace Hal Hartley) ‘the unbelievable truth’ is that this music is self -contained.



and btw,re the polkas -i’ve yet to encounter a drummer who can play along with them….maybe i should get out more…or stay in…


and furthermore,the whistle is a noble instrument!

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Bliss, I have a confession. I’m a closet bodhranista. I used to take the thing with me every time I went out to play but I got severely peed off with people borrowing it and I got to the point where I could never play it because some other eejit (and she was…) would strike up with hers. I would never play it if another bodhran owner was playing which meant, basically, that I never played it. I played several times with Tony Dixon on his whistle/flute/pipes and I loved that collaboration between just the two instruments. Tony made a tipper for me, which is now a treasured possession. For at least the last five years I’ve kept the thing on top of my wardrobe and only play it along with Danu CDs and that kind of thing. The goat lives on in my bedroom and that’s where it’s staying. 🙁

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..where you can use it for what it’s *really * best for …

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You should come out of the closet Steve. I think that was my first thread, my liberation of bodhran players.

Polkas, the difficult bit is slowing down when the eejits who sped up in the first place, cannot maintain the pace. I used to cossack dance (on stage) and play the bodhran at the same time for polkas, just to make it challenging.

The above is true, but most times the polkas are played that fast that the bodhran sounds like a drum being played really fast, and that is not a nice sound to my sensitive ear.

Remember, bodhran players, as listeners, know best.

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ok so i think its times for me to sumarise.

1) Nobody who plays meldoy, likes bodhran players and bodhran players hate everyone (they show this through their loud and intrusive playing).

2) To do damage, a bodhran would probably be the furthest ranging instrument were it to be thrown, its more aerodynamic. unlike the fiddle which wouldnt travel far.

3) If your bad dont play.

4) If your good play but only play when meldoy players give you the nod, cos otherwise refer to point 1.

5) do not attempt to play/drum anything other that a basic beat becuase clearly you will p*ss everyone off again. ha ha ha.

6) Dont listen to anything anyone tells you about playin music because if you did nobody would every play any instrument and the world would be a far more depressing and silent place.

7) I think this is the most imprtant one, and a lot of you failed to mention it, if you enjoy doing it play it, who cares if ur crap as long as you dont annoy anyone in public sesssion, just learn to realise that your actually not that good and just play at home for your own enjoyment.


Your all big pessimists too by the way, in a good way though.

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You forgot to mention that the best music for bodhran players is Over the Hills and Far Away. 😀

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awh thats just mean……..

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Hey Lolly,brilliant summary! can’t agree the last line though.Some of ‘em are quite small p*ssimists,and in a BAD way.You can tell they are in a bad way ’coz they walk around holding both hands to their heads,muttering and mumbling about ‘the bodhrans,the bodhrans,it’s the bodhrans’…sad,really.

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awh they’re not sad they just need someone to show them the light. a bit og guidance.

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opps of guidance is what i meant

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Yup.That’s why folks come to this website.They know that here’s where they’ll find wisdom and comfort and solace,a pool of sanity in a world gone mad,a refuge and a haven for the lost and bewildered.

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the worlds not gone mad…. its still the same, its the people that have gone mad they’re the ones who have changed it.

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Aha,but it all depends upon what you mean by ‘world’,does it not?
It depends upon the defintion of that word,‘world’.
People have been trying to decide what ‘the world’ is for some thousands of years,and still nobody really knows.

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well i think the world is the people u suround yourself with and the friends you make along the way. cos at the end of the day very few people worry bout the big wide world beyond there doorstep.

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Okay.I expect that’s true for a lot.they just live their life in what they call their ‘world’.It’s a local place,with their experiences added.

But that’s a small idea of the world.Even a bigger idea of the world,you know,the planet and all of the 6 billion people in all the countries,is still a very small idea of the world when you think of the stars,the galaxies.

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thats true i suppose. but i think if u worry urself to much about the greater universe you can waste ur whole life wondering and not living.

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That’s also true.But for some people,the only reason they can see for being alive is to ask the questions,you know,’what am I? why am I ? what is it all? what will it all have meant when it’s over and I’m in my grave ?

I know all that stuff gets pretty scary.Most folks don’t want to go there at all.It’s much easier to switch the tv on and forget all about that stuff.

I’ve never been able to do that.I wanted answers.As a child you expect teachers and adults to know.But they don’t.They think that wise people,smarter than themselves,must know.Turns out,when you’ve asked everybody,nobody knows.All we have is stories we tell to ourselves because that makes it more comfortable,and allows us to get on with whatever we want to be doing.

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yep thats true nobody knows and i dont believe anybody ever gets answers even after they die. its all a mystery. a big joke. what if there is no meaning, god that would be awful. but what do i know im only a baby really. Music is my meaning for life.

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Yeah.Wow! It’s so scary.The mystery is so awesome and frightening,it’s almost impossible to face it.That’s why the stories are important.You have to have something to hold onto sometimes or your nerves get frazzled.I’m telling myself this story as I’m going along.But,if I want, I can let go of everything,and it’s still okay.It’s a wonderful experience.Like bungee jumping into the infinity.You bounce back,and here it all is.A nice cup of tea 🙂

‘Meaning’ is interesting too.But maybe the biggest one is ‘what is everything?’ I’ve asked everyone I’ve met that question for years and years.The answers I’ve heard are incredible,really amazing!

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ok this conversation really has gone on a strange tangent hasnt it. i did a sky dive last year that really put things into perspective for me. Then you really realise how small you are and how insignificatant everyone is. that was scare but cool at the same time.

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Wow! You really are brave.yeh,strange and unexpected magic.I wonder what all the eavesdroppers will make of it? ha! 🙂)))
Anyway,if you’ll excuse me,I have to go now.I have a visitor later.I’ve got to clean up the place a bit.really nice to talk to you,and you take care.And thanks so much!

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In the country of Westphalia, in the castle
of the most noble baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, lived a youth whom nature had endowed with a most sweet disposition. His face was the true index of his mind. He had a solid judgment joined to the most unaffected simplicity; and hence, I presume, he had his name of Candide.

Good read.

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>>> …who cares if ur crap as long as you dont annoy anyone in public sesssion…

There’s the traddocratic oath, rearing it’s head again - “do no harm”.

And as long as you are AWARE of your playing, and what effect it might have on the other players around you, you’re on the right track.

Pete

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“…and in other news this morning, Police are still on the look out for our sports reporter Buster Bodhran who has not been seen since leaving the Bodhran Toss Off late last night. Bordellos, brothels and all houses of ill-repute are being searched in a systematic manner from ‘Orkney down to Dover’ in a desperate search for this ‘Ramblin’ Rover’. Anyone with information on Buster is asked to please contact the authorities ASAP as he is most likely inebriated and well armed with a truckload of stolen novelty bodhrans…”

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Bodhrans, with blades protruding from the riddle, were indeed thrown in battle, but the practice died out when javelins were invented in 357BC.

Pompey reckoned if he had not ditched the bodhrans he would have beaten Julius Caesar. This is all well documented in military history.

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Well, the bodhran was originally a war drum, was it not? 😏

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Someone asked ~ why Candide?
He journeyed out of the garden ~
saw the world & came home.
You never know what you might learn until you go looking . . .

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Aha.I’ve been out,looked,seen it all,
learned what there was to be learned,
found what i was looking for,so I’m lucky,
and now back in my garden,happy enough.

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But why Voltaire? Could have been the
Hobbit,or Moby Dick,or Laurie Lee,
so many tales,hundreds of others
with the same theme..Voltaire?

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Trying to decide if the topic is bodhran players or . . . . . . . . don’t kill me!!
Candide; just personal choice really. Glad you have seen it all wolfbird. Kinda makes it a moot point. With that I have been mustardized & googlized for a while & will now go find a good adventure.
Cheers!

BTW ~ If every player thinks they are Joe John is that setting a high bar?

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Oh,I think everyone has trampled through this bodhran thread
and only a few near-dead embers remaining.Doubtless it’ll flare up again when the time is right.Not being a bodhranist,I dare not comment on Joe John.I googled Candide to see the next lines,and *exactly*as I read “the best of all possible worlds” a voice on my radio said “the best of all possible worlds”…Jungian synchronicity,some would say…cheers to you too 🙂

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Never heard of John Joe before this site, honestly. But then I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio.

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I’d never heard John Joe Kelly either,b b,until seeing the youtube clip
that saint posted.I sure he’d prefer if we at least got his name right.

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My bad ~ John Joe Kelly. I meant no offense.
Actually what I should have said ~ is another thread . . .
Perhaps near-dead; but that beats the alternative.
Been there. We will hear from this Phoenix at some future time.

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