sessions in Ireland?

sessions in Ireland?

We’ll be visiting Ireland next week—the 17th to the 23rd. We will be in the west—near Shannon, Ennis, Galway. Do you have any suggestions for traditional sessions that would welcome a visitor? I would like to take my concertina and play a couple of tunes, but I want mostly to listen. We’ll have a car, and can get around, and are looking to get off the tourist track. Thanks.
Cassie

Re: sessions in Ireland?

Cassie:

Be sure to visit Ennis’s Custy’s Music. They’ll be able to tell you there where the better sessions for you are. Custy’s is on the edge of downtown near the Abbey — if you go into town by the third or fourth roundabout with the water wheel and the monument (the road to Corofin goes off the opposite way), go right towards the Abbey, go til the road T-intersects at the Abbey, turn right. Turn right again and park. Walk back to Cruises (an excellent place for a hot whiskey). Zig a little and cross the street and go down the side street opposite (the takeaway behind you has great messy and greasy curry fries, dang I miss those). Custy’s is on the left. Anybody at the desk can direct you to a good session for you; be sure to strike up a conversation and tell them a friend of Matt and Shannon Heaton’s directed you to the store. Take lots of money to Custy’s, you’re sure to find something there that you’ll want (they’ll take credit cards, of course!). Ask after ‘Two Gentlemen of Clare’ if you haven’t bought that album yet. If you want a lesson while you’re there, they can direct you to a concertina player for that, as well.

And go out to Feakle. Visit Pepper’s and Lena’s. The drive is well worth it, even if you get back to where ever you’re staying at 3 am.

If you’re looking for a place to stay still, if there’s rather a lot of you, if you go out to the Burren, go by way of Corofin and stop in at Paddy and Mary’s, the caretaker’s for Rent-an-Irish-Cottage to see if they have any cottages open. They’re lovely people, and they can also direct you to local sessions that you might be welcome at. Tell them Zina and Pete say hello and send their love. Tell them we’re still sorry to have missed the party.

In Galway, if you want to listen, go to the Roisin Dubh. Last I was there, Jesse Smith, Sharon Shannon and Mary Shannon were all playing away.

When you get back, be sure to let us know how it’s going! If you want to check in on the computer while you’re in Ennis, you’ll pass the public library on the right as you go towards the Abbey, and they have free terminals — ask at the desk about how you go about using them — last I was there, the internet cafe had shut down. There’s also a pay terminal in Boffey Quinn’s Pub in Corofin, but it’s dreadfully slow.

Have fun! We had a blast in that area, and I’m sure you will too!

Zina

Re: sessions in Ireland?

When you’re in Galway, be sure to go to the Crane bar. They have sessions upstairs most nights, sometimes for beginners, sometimes for real pros. It’s just off Dominic Street (the street with the Roisin Dubh that Zina mentioned). I can’t think of the actual street name… and I used to live on that street! My memory’s going.

In the centre of town (Cross Street, Quay Street), Naughton’s often has some "name" players having a session. It’s a nice place to sit and listen - they have very cosy snugs.

The King’s Head and Taafe’s, both on Shop Street, tend to have more organised, paid sessions mostly for the benefit of the tourists. They can still be really good, though.

Re: sessions in Ireland?

I just recently got back from Ireland (last Thursday as a matter of fact). I asked the same question and the best advice I got was to contact the local branch of Comhaltas wherever I was going.

Here’s the link for the CC

Re: sessions in Ireland?

In Galway I think the best sessions are( and not for tourists):

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Re: sessions in Ireland?

I liked the session at Taafe’s, Jeremy — was quite nice the night I was there.

If you meet up with Paul Bradley, tell him Zina says hello and I really haven’t forgotten him, I promise.

Cassie, be sure to eat at The River God in Galway. It was some of the best food we ate there, and save lots of room for dessert!

Zina

Re: sessions in Ireland?

Thank you for the friendly advice—and e-mail. I am more excited that ever about this trip, and it has taken on a personal aspect that is very nice, indeed. Rest assured, you WILL get details when we get back!
Cassie