Strange evening.

Strange evening.

Last Thursday’s session at a newish venue, turned out like this.

Just as we’re packing up to go, a chap at the bar says, "What a load of rubbish you lot are.I’ve been listening to you lot for some years and you’re all rubbish. Call yourself country and western musicians. You used to be better. You’re all here for yourselves, not us." I presume he meant himself and the other people in the pub.

Needless to say he got some choice words.

Well in truth, none of us was on form that evening, and there were a few more ‘sad songs’ than usual. We had more beginners than usual too. None of us play or sing country and western.

It’s been bugging me all week. What to do? Should we change pub…again. Should we ignore him? Was he put up to it? It’s very unsettling.

Any ideas out there? Maybe I’m over reacting, but it does leave a sour taste.

Sue

Re: Strange evening.

I’d try a rather different approach. Next session you should all turn up dressed up as cowboys and cowgirls and really lay it on thick. All of you should be drunk before you arrive, and you should spend the whole evening making up Country & Western songs on the spot. I think they’d get the message after that.

Re: Strange evening.

PS which pub was it? Go on, dish the dirt!

Re: Strange evening.

Well, it was the other pub in the village of Botesdale, Suffolk, the one that used to have a monthly session!

I like the dressing up idea…I think. Does anyone know any country and western songs that would fit the bill for such an event?

Sue

Re: Strange evening.

Come now Jim, I’ll wager no one’s ever told you you’re you’re full of mediocrity…

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Re: Strange evening.

Try googling these titles to get lyrics etc:

Plastic Jesus on the Dashboard of My Car
Mamma Hated Diesel
Just the Good Old Boys (never meanin’ no harm)
If You Want to Keep Your Beer Cold, Put it next to My Ex-Wife’s Heart
I’m My Own Grandpa

Re: Strange evening.

Give the buggers a night of Louvin Brothers songs…
The Great Atomic Power
The Word Broadminded Is Spelt S.I.N.
Satan Is Real
The Family Who Prays (Will Never Part) ..

Re: Strange evening.

Another appropriate Country song is "It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew You’re Ass Out All Day Long" by Vince Gill and the Notorious Cherry Bombs.

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Re: Strange evening.

Another country title,"It’s Your Fault That Our Kids Are Ugly"

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"Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts Of Life"

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And that one about the drunken driver who mows down Santa and his sleigh on Christmas eve.It contains the memorable couplet
"and in the middle of that twisted wreck
I saw a reindeer with a broken neck"

Re: Strange evening.

Hey. What’s that called and where can I get the words? It’d do a good set with ‘Dead skunk in the middle of the road’.
Anyway Sue, it’s quite a compliment that you’re no good as country and western singers…

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I heard it years ago on the radio,I can’t remember the title or the singer.Sorry.Try a lyric search on Google.

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Loudon Wainwright-Dead skunk In the Middle of the Road.

Re: Strange evening.

Sorry about the ugly customer, susie lee. I wouldn’t take it personally so much, but just attribute it to a dark heart casting its own shadow. It happens. Smile and wish him all the best, sincerely. It tends to disconcert the dark shadow casters, as they realize not everyone is in their shadow.

Re: Strange evening.

Then again-it could be dementia of some sort. Years ago, I walked into a bar in Hamilton, Montana. There was a mirror behind the lined up bottles, and facing it was an old gomer screaming at his reflection "ya yella bastard-ya haven’t got the guts. COMEON, then!" Then he started throwing a few punches around in the air. Evidently he was a fixture, everyone just ignored him or dodged him. It was odd.

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"Prop Me Up By the Jukebox When I Die"? There’s a winner. Or what about the Redneck girls one.

Re: Strange evening.

There’s a grumpy barman in The Blythe, our local sesh, who has advised me to keep on practicing, and has kindly offered similar advice to several other players. But he thinks Mick Mulvey is "OK"…

Thanks to Chris the barman for being the arbiter of such high standards. I can only presume that’s why he doesn’t deign to play an instrument himself, lest he pollute the pure drop, how thoughtful of him.

I hope to be up around Suffolk for a few days henceforth, Susie-Lee, so if you really want to wind up yer man you might want to give me an idea of some impending sessions.

Re: Strange evening.

Hey Susie,

There are a couple things I notice in this - one, this guy has got to you, as can be seen by your discalimers you’ve added for your session, and 2, what if it really was a bad session (sorry) and the guy who commented was really some hot flute player like M.F?

It really is an art to learn how to evaluate and use criticism. There needs to be a filter there that lets in some useful criticism from trusted sources and bans the rest. Now, even if this fella has the know how to discern good & bad sessions, is his criticism welcome? In my opinion, sessions are primarily for the musicians, it is a privilage if others are allowed to listen in. So, if they don’t like it, take a trip away from the local for an evening.

If I was there for the punters and not for the music/musicians, you’d be betting there’d have to be some poppy coming in. Still, you can’t blacklist a fella for havin his view, and even expressing it in a public venue - as long as he’s civil. I think he’s free to share it (with some constraints on that one) — it’s up to you to choose whether to listen or not.

Re: Strange evening.

"I’ll Be Under the Table When I’m Over You"

Re: Strange evening.

"Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares…"
Can’t remember the artist, though!

Re: Strange evening.

At the other end of the scale, the Irish barman/landlord of The Plume of Feathers in Bristol encourages the musicians and, as he did last Monday, sometimes joins in at the end of the evening with one or two Irish songs (he’s not got a bad voice either). Occasionally he shows his appreciation with plates of sandwiches all round. A great guy.

Trevor 0145 hrs GMT+1

Re: Strange evening.

Why not share your observation of him — with himself? Something like, "Funny thing is; I’ve been watching you too, and it could be your breath, but I notice you aren’t very sucessful with the ladies… or are you gay?"

Re: Strange evening.

hahaha I guess I should have addressed that to susie-lee.

Re: Strange evening.

Not too much Country & Western, the punters will think its a folk club.

Re: Strange evening.

Well, tomorrow is Thursday- session night? I say go for it!!! If he wants country and western tell him "that’s tomorrow night" 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you while at our session.

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Re: Strange evening.

We’ve also heard a discouraging word from time to time at sessions. My advice would be "consider the source". Most of these people have no idea about any kind of music let alone Irish/Scottish/Celtic whatever. "You know, IRISH MUSIC, like ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’".

One of my former bandmates chose to revile these people and tell them publicly what he thought of their opinions, which was quite humourous, if a bit risky.

On the other hand, more often somebody comes over out of the blue and says, "That was fantastic! We just stopped in for a drink, and we stayed the whole night to listen." Or the old guy in the corner who turns out to be from Clare and wants to hear The Boys of Ennistymon or something.

Favourite punter quote:
"That’s not Irish music!!! That’s fscking Egyptian music!!"

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Re: Strange evening.

We just played for a ceili last weekend, and after four hours of straight tunes and dancing, one of the white-haired punters came over to thank us for transporting him "back home to Belfast." He commented on the other fiddler’s distinctive "Norn" style (indeed, he cut his teeth in Edinburgh, if that’s north enough for you), and mentioned several of his favorite tunes by name.

This came after a drunk begged us to play Sally Goodin, "ya know, some *real* fiddle music," and after a few people stormed out of the bar when they realized we weren’t a country western band.

My point in recounting this is that the good feedback outweighs the bad, even if the bad sometimes outnumbers it.

Posted .

Re: Strange evening.

Well everyone, You’ve cheered my spirits for what lies ahead on Thursday (tomorrow)…just in case!!

You’ve made me laugh that’s for sure and I’ll share of your ideas at the session too.

And sure, critism isn’t all bad. But C and W? Well that hurt.

Sue

Re: Strange evening.

I used to live in an ITM unfriendly city. Our session continued for some years, but the venue would often change as the places went out of business, burned down, turned creepy, or just became unwelcoming.

We hit rock bottom at a gloomy dive in dangerous part of town. It was a real hole—the kind of place where you have to wipe your feet on the way OUT.

We started off playing in a storage room in the back of the building. We kept the door closed and had no cause for alarm other than the occasional scurrying noises coming from behind the stacks of boxes. But the room was unheated, so when cold weather hit, we moved up front and played by the bar.

The second night of this, we entered the bar and there was a big, mean looking fellow sitting at the bar with a huge boom box. We started up and got a few measures into the first tune, and the guy flipped on the boom box turning the volume up loud. He was playing country and western music. We stopped playing, and he turned off the boom box. We started playing, and he turned up Waylon and Willie again. We stopped; he stopped.

We didn’t try for a 3rd strike but quietly packed up our gear and started to leave. As we approached the door he called, " I just wanna know one thing."

We looked back

"How did you guys ever find each other?" he said.

We wiped our feet and exited.

So, you can always do what I did.

Move.

Re: Strange evening.

I’ve just stopped laughing IC Keith. I shall share this tomorrow!! Thanks.

Sue

Re: Strange evening.

Did any of you ever meet/know a musician/bar owner in Los Angeles —Ray Tubridy (Tubbs) ?
Ray sadly passed away 6 - 7 years ago.
Tubbs was a great man for a session….
Played flute, and encouraged every musician to play a bit…
he loved a drink, but beyond that loved his music more..
I have never in my life seen a man with more encouragement in his bones…
His pub was ‘Looneys’, and funny to say, was the most fitting name for his pub.
May God see it fit to have sessions in heaven, he deserved that….

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Re: Strange evening.

I don’t think you need to worry Sue.
It’s no disgrace to be playing for yourself if you’re not drowning out or dominating the regulars, or kicking themout of their favourite spot they’ve sat in for years etc etc.
We used to have a bloke who thought no fiddler was any good if he/she didn’t play "Devil Went Down to Georgia" immediately at his request, and nothing could shift him from that view.

The look of betrayal on his face when after listening to him expound loudly on this for some time (I had known this guy for years), I picked up my instrumnt and went over to join the session, was priceless. He still spoke to me but was shaking his head in disgust at me for a while!
I just told him I’d rather listen to "that lot" than hear him ranting on in the same old fashion.
We still get on. Some people don’t realise how personal music is and don’t realise you may take offence: c’est la vie.

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Re: Strange evening.

Good luck for tonight Susie-Lee!

Dave

Re: Strange evening.

You could try playing “Bang Your Frog On the Sofa”, or ‘”Cock Up Your Beaver”, or double entendre title, “Flower of Sweet Strabane”,
or triple entendre, “Little Irish Fairy in the Magpie’s Nest”. If that fails, you could shoot him with your bullets of superiority, and buy him a beer to salve your conscience before you walked out the door. Seriously, are you worried what others think when you are having your musical pleasures?

Re: Strange evening.

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that last night went fine and we weren’t subjected to any abuse from the gallery! In fact we played some more upbeat music. Maybe the crit has made us all reflect a bit.

We think that the locals put the chap who did the ridiculing up to it ‘cos they don’t like CW.

On a more uplifting note, 8 yearold Tom came out and played fiddle, which is what it’s all about, passing it on to the the next generations.

We went home smiling, so good on you young Tom!

Sue

Re: Strange evening.

Oh, you can’t do without The Rodeo Song!
"You pissed me off, you f***ing jerk, you get on my nerves…and it’s off to the Rodeo"

I don’t know all the lyrics, but those are the prime ones.

Re: Strange evening.

At my Monday session a sweet middle-aged lady stood up and sang a solo song. She had a accurate voice with a nice tone, but quiet. Halfway through the song she forgot the words, stopped, a little embarrassed, and said "I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten the words." To which the session leader replied "Don’t worry dear, but you mustn’t say that. Just say ‘Oh, bugger!’". This completely defused her embarrassment, and made her and everyone else laugh with her.

Trevor