The Session that says it all!!

The Session that says it all!!

We’ve had recent threads about the maximum number of players and the ideal mix of instruments to make for a good session. Here at http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_250_5_impromptu_session_led_by_billy_mccomiskey_and_joe_madde there are no rules in that some would say there are far too many musicians and nearly every conceivable instrument but yet from the results I would say it’s pretty near to my ideal session.

It was interesting to see at the start where the reel was a little less common that many musicians "sat it out" but once Christmas Eve came up, then everyone joined in as was also the case for Over the Moor to Maggie.

Although I didn’t recognise many of the musicians, it was great to see those stalwarts from the UK Midlands, Eugene Teevan and Siobhán O’Donohue in full flight although, thankfully Siobhán has recently returned to her roots in County Clare.

Finally I think most people would join with me in congratulating the Americans for organising what looks like another great annual convention!

Re: The Session that says it all!!

I remmber being up at Portrush {north Antrim Coast }one time
The session was mostly lead by Gerry O’connor {Fiddle} +
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.{Fiddle} My mate counted 25 Musicians
mostly Fiddles and Flutes - It was great fun BUT —
Only on very well knowen tunes Maid behinde the bar etc,,
Other wise it was a Noise,,Lots of great players if you had of put them into sessions of four WOW,,But all together a shambles- Maybe thats what the Dots are for..
jim,,

Re: The Session that says it all!!

Bannerman, are you the clarebannerman from youtube?

Re: The Session that says it all!!

Re ‘Maid Behind The Bar’.
I was listening it on my Flanagan/ Kimmel 78’s.
Those lads played their tunes with such vigor and swing. Lovely, funny little versions of the Maid Behind The Bar and other ‘well knowns’.
Great when that happens with tunes that for whatever reason sometimes become sidelined..They jump out at you, like it was the first time you’d heard them.

Love that feeling

Re: The Session that says it all!!

No Hugo, although I do live in Clare, that’s another Bannerman and I must admit he does lots of posting on Yutube. All that new fangled technology is a bit beyond someone of my years I’m afraid!

That was the point I was trying to make Fiddle4 where most musicians didn’t join in on the first unfamiliar reel and only played the ones they knew. If players approach sessions in that manner, then I think numbers don’t matter.

Re: The Session that says it all!!

I think Siobhan is also on a couple of other Comhaltas Live clips. Hope she’ll be back on the banjo some day.

Re: The Session that says it all!!

Bannerman, that looks (and sounds) great, and it must have been a lot of fun to be there. I would enjoy something like that enormously - once or twice.

But it wouldn’t be my ideal weekly session by any means. I really do enjoy being with a fairly small (8 to 10) group of people that I get to know well.

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Re: The Session that says it all!!

You’re probably right Grego and the "good" big session like that should be confined to festivals and the like as is the case here.

Re: The Session that says it all!!

For me, this session was the best of the weekend, and this set of tunes was incredible (but then, Tommy Coen’s, ie ‘Christmas Eve,’ is my all-time favorite tune).

Some of the other ‘"’local" Yanks in this Sunday (late morning / early afternoon) session were Mike Rafferty (flute), Fr. Charlie Coen (concertina), Patty Furlong (box), Linda Hickman (flute), Don Meade (fiddle), Denis Galvin (box), as well as ‘youngsters’ Dylan Foley (fiddle), Catherine (whose last name escapes me ~ sorry ~ on fiddle) and Mike McComiskey (box)

The most incredible moments of the Convention Weekend, however, came on Saturday night, duruing the gala banquet. The Convention theme was "Bridge to the Future," and Regional Secretary Tom Madden proposed this initial idea. The entertainment began with the "Senior" generation from the northeast: Martin Mulhaire (box), Joe Madden (box), Mike Rafferty (flute), Felix Dolan (keyboard), Larry Reynolds (fiddle), Mattie Connolly (pipes), Jimmy Kelly (drums).

During their 4th set of tunes, the current NYC-area teachers (and the next generation) came on stage one-by-one, tapped the Senior musicians on the shoulder (some shook hands), replaced the Senior on stage and picked up the tune. The teachers then played four sets of tunes: Brendan Dolan and Michelle Bergin (keyboard), Patty Furlong (box), Annmarie Acosta (piano accordion), Eileen Goodman (flute), Rose Conway Flanagan (fiddle), Brian Conway (fiddle), John Reynolds (fiddle), Frankie McCormick (banjo) and Brendan Fahey (drums).

During their fourth set of tunes, THEIR students appeared on stage, again tapped the teachers on the shoulder, and "replaced" each one. It was a phenomenal concept and an incredible way to showcase our area’s "Bridge to the Future." We are SOOOOOO lucky to have so much talent!

Re: The Session that says it all!!

Ooops! Forgot Pat Stratton (fiddle), Sally Brennan (whistle), Caitlin (from Philly on fiddle)

Does anyone know who the flute player is to Joe’s left?

Re: The Session that says it all!!

A face I recognised was that of Mike Chole (banjo) of the Murphy-Roche Comhaltas branch in Chicago. He can be seen at 01:40 and 03:04.

Re: The Session that says it all!!

MairínD has mentioned the "Bridge to the Future" theme for the Convention and how the concept was so dramatically demonstrated. This is a great vote of confidence in the younger traditional musicians in North America and reassurance for us more mature practitioners on the future of trad! More details are given in the "Irish Voice" article by Paul Keating at http://www.irishabroad.com/news/irish-voice/entertainment/Articles/An-Exciting-Bridge-to-the-Future050408.aspx. Thanks also Máirín for identifying all the session musicians as I was frustrated at not being able to name one of the box players who has been a regular at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis for the last few years and is none other than Denis Galvin - hope you can make it to Ennis again this year Denis!