Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Well, tonight is the last night of the three night gig the Chieftains played here in Salt Lake City. It seems we were the first stop on this year’s US tour. Great shows so far as well - though last night had some sound tech issues that got Paddy pretty mad. He’s um….well…..’interesting’ when he’s ticked off. 🙂

Got to spend several hours back stage each evening with the band and dancers etc. Also got to meet Carlos Nuniez who recorded their Santiago CD with them. What an amazing piper! Got a shot of a fellow local piper John, Carlos and myself last night. Cara Butler (Jean Butler’s sister of Riverdance fame) was kind enough to snap a few for us.

http://www.saltlakepipers.com/Temporary-Files/Carlos1.jpg

Paddy’s chanter went south on him too as happens sometimes with the altitude changes and such from Ireland to here. Tried to get him set with my own Gallagher stick and a new reed, but it went off during soundcheck too. Paddy said it was likely the stage lights playing havok on everything. Still, it was great to see the guys again and play some sets together.

His poor old Rowsome chanter isn’t looking any better with another year’s worth of use. Plenty of tape on the holes and all the original silver tarnished heavily. Though his Gallagher drones and regs were going famously. He really leans into the regs on some tunes - uses his GI Joe karate chop action move for some of it…great to see. He’s got a great second octave shake and can really growl and squeal some notes on que.

If they’re coming out your way, be sure to make it out to the show. To see Carlos with them is spectacular!

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

When Paddy gets very , very mad his toupee revolves around his head at furious speed..

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Ya know…I looked VERY hard, and it dodn’t look like a piece to me. I think that’s his honest to goodness actual real wirey hair. Poor Guy! 🙂 Still, he’s as nice a gentleman as they come - just don’t screw up his sound on the second night of a big US tour! He’ll let you have it up one side and down the other.

Even so - the back stage antics were a sight. Those guys can be jokers too and you sometimes have to watch yourself - especially Matt. Never trust the ones with beards. 🙂

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

ooh! the chieftains are playing chicago ON MY BIRTHDAY! i’m a youngin’ and i’ve never ever seen them before. i think it’s definitely a sign that i should hit up that gig.

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Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

I’d certainly suggest it. If you manage to make it a few hours before the show and can meet them for sound check, they’ll often let locals join for a tune or two at the encore set. Best to dust off as many reels as you can, and Paddy tends to like tunes in G as opposed to D. At least, that’s what he asked for twice before when I’ve played with them.

I’d certainly go though if there’s any way you can swing it.

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I’ve been wondering how to meet them. I’d heard about lots of people joining them for the last set of the night, but I never figured out how. They’ll be in Phoenix tomorrow, so this is very germane. Do you need a ticket, and just show up to the theater really early?

Curious,
Kevin

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Tickets are certainly suggested - but it kinda depends on who is there to meet you at the door. I’ve been comped the last two years as I was helping Paddy with his chanter and he was kind enough to extend the offer. But you’ll want to find out when show time is, and be at the back (stage) door about 2-3 hours prior. You may be waiting a while, but don’t be timid. If anyone questions you, be polite, but inform them you’re there to meet the band for the sound check. They generally won’t offer too much grief.

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hmm. well i’d be too scared. plus i play the bodhran, and i doubt they’ll want one of *those*…. 😉

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Since Dow stopped posting it looks like it is now cool to name drop.
No worries anyway - I played in a group that did support for the Chieftains here last year and they brought us back on stage to play with them for the last set. But then someone said to me "sure every man and his dog has played with the Chieftains"☺
I think I was just one of the dogs.
Dow are you out there - this was to drag you back in. I just thought you would feel obliged to comment.

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

I wouldn’t say that every man and his Dog…but they have been kind enough. Just approach it like any good session, and ask politely. Depending on the type of show, it may not work out so well (they were playing with the symphony here, and it made it a little more difficult to work out). So if they respectfully decline, I’d say thanks for the possibility, and maybe next time you’re through.

Bard, for ease of simplicity and because there were some raging tuning problems happening all night long last Friday, John and I both played bodhrán for the encore piece. We just came out after Carolan’s Concerto and stood next to Kevin there. Played a couple of reels while the dancers came back out for the last shot too. Loads of fun regardless fo anyone who might poo poo playing with the guys as less than stellar.

Give it a shot if you can.

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I personally know four people who have played with the Chieftains in their encores at various cities in the U.S. While it’s a special experience, it used to be more special before it became commonplace. You can usually get in on it by showing up at the soundcheck, as mentioned. Boasting about playing with them, however, has lost its lustre and isn’t saying much.

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Well, now he’ll be sure not to comment, Donough. ;)

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

iliana,

Yeah, I remember those days, back when boasting was cool.

Oy.

Where is the boasting in this thread? As I’m reading it, one guy relayed some experiences he had with a long-popular band.

What would you suggest - that he leave out the name of the band and the people he’d met?

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Now now, let’s all relax… The fact that the boys always bring up the local ITM enthusiasts is a credit to them in my opinion and should be appreciated and enjoyed.

I don’t think they’re bringing people up because they think they’re amazing musicians, but rather it’s a very gracious way of acknowledging that this music is something local folks are very interested in and participating with. I’ve never gone to a Chieftains concert 3 hours early with the intent to be invited up on stage during the encore, but occasionally I’ve been asked to come up and play a tune with musicians traveling through that I already knew. In each case I saw their invitation as either gratitude for something I did, acknowledgement for my extraordinary interest, or they just thought it might be fun. For a band like the Chieftains to invite strangers who show up at the back-stage door almost everywhere they go is really something though. I think this definitely shines a positive light on the lads and doesn’t diminish its value simply because it’s so common. The fact that it IS common is what gives it so much meaning.

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My mistake. It’s very special that this person got to "hang" with the Chieftains. I’m sure it was a red-letter day in his/her life. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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I agree with Jack. They are very nice to do this for people.

The story I remember is that they made a conscious effort one year that they would invite some local musicians to come and play in every city on their tour. They even advertised that. It sounds like it has become an informal tradition.

Another funny thing: you can bet that the sound man will be listening to whoever comes on stage, and you might be seen to be playing, but you may never be "heard" with the band.

We were coerced on stage one time and had never met them. Paddy shouted out the names of the tunes and thankfully, we knew them. We were in a position to hear a bit of the house sound and could clearly tell that we did not get put in the mix until after we had been playing for awhile - probably through the first tune in the set.

Of course, they could be managing the mix from a technical perspective, but do you really think they will hightlight "special" guests like me in the encore? C’mon.

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Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

And I’m sure they weren’t doing it just so people could put it in their résumé.

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PS, to Jack:

My first time to appear with the "unnamed band" came after reading it in the local paper… an article in the entertainment section read something like, "Local musicians who would like to join the (unnamed band) onstage for some music should come to the (unnamed theater) at approximately 5:30 to coordinate with the band."

A friend called me, thinking it was a goof, and asked if I had thought about going, and then basically dared me to go… so I did. It was fun, but the 2nd time (a couple of years later) was better, as (unnamed musician in the unnamed band) got us al involved in what tunes would be played at the end.

It’s good fun, all in all.

Now, where’s my resume….. ??? ;^)

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Hmmm. what happened to my post prior to the "PS to Jack" ?

Weird.

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

I’ve "hung" with some pretty special/famous people in my life, but never felt the need to post anywhere about it. The name of the band had nothing to do with it, BrianC, the posting was the boasting.

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So what? So u_c’s restraint is exceeded by his enthusiasm.

For the record, I still think Paddy M. and Spock were separated at birth. I suppose I’m going to have to get invited to their next public gathering to find out for sure. Has he ever done one of those Vulcan Death-Grip things to anyone at a session?

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Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Wow… he went on tour as a guest artist with The Chieftains. Impressive.

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Wow. you guys spend all day trying to dig some dirt on someone you’ve never met, never played with, and obviously have no idea what the original intent of the post was huh? 🙂 Silly.

Paddy actually asked me last year for help with his chanter and reed as it does strange things for him in the high mountain air. I was asked again this year as well. Don’t see how that was boasting about anything. But if it was, I stand by it. They’re a fun bunch of guys, and I am pleased that I have had the chance to play with them several times over the years. And, God willing, will do so again.

The bio quoted above was written by an outside agency, for a band which I am no longer an active member of. I don’t seem to be able to find however any quote stating: "He went on tour as a guest artist with The Chieftains". but you are welcome to make of it what you will.

I had a blast with the guys again this year. So did several of our other local musicians and dancers. I don’t think we would be asked to return if we were somehow impinging on the style of the group. Some of the folks in this thread could learn a thing or two from this band - they know humility, and they know how to have a light hearted good time. Try it. It’s great craic!

Try it. It’s great craic!

I did; It Was.
Oh sorry were you referring to the humility bit?☺

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You’ll have to ask GRY what happened the time the Chieftains played with him…

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Come on craic-piper, don’t get your knickers in a twist. Your thread "Hanging with the Chieftains" just comes off a bit like something you’d find on a fan site, not an ITM music site. There are people on this list who’ve been "hanging" with major ITM players for years, but they don’t come to this board to talk about it. I think I made my feelings clear about what a great bunch of fellas the Chieftains are and what I think about their policy of inviting locals up for an encore. And I don’t disagree with anythng you said about them.

Now granted your bio didn’t say you "went on tour," but it was a bit misleading to say you’ve "appeared as a guest artist" with them when you were just invited up for the encore like they do with local musicians wherever they go. That’s what my comment was indicating.

None of us are saying there’s anything wrong with "Hanging with the Chieftains," ok? So have fun and practice your humility too.

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Iliana you sure must be a wonderful human being , that you felt obliged to subscribe to the session so that you could post a complaint that someone is boasting.

You must be truly perfect.

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Ditto: Medger
No Profile. No History, just popped in to a have a dig at our enthusiastic piper….

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They must feel very strong about it, must have been waiting for ages to both post on the same topic and agree with each other.

I wonder if BegF2 agrees with me ?

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Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Wow. Laughable really. One can’t talk about one’s most recent experience and encourage others who may not have done something fun like this with a band that’s done more for ITM than any one of us on this list (or likely any of the ‘major ITM players’ so crypticly alluded to) have either. I was asked to help Paddy out with a reed problem - simple. I was, in the course of things, also able to play some tunes with the guys again. I think if all some of you can do is wait around to troll someone’s thread about ITM musicians and an experience one has had with said musicians on an ITM music board, you may want to re-think why you got out of bed that day. Perhaps better to go practice a few more tunes than to bother the rest of us with negative posts. Some of us actually enjoy hearing about this sort of experience - nothing wrong with posting about it.

Nothing was boasted about, (funny someone felt they had to try and dig up whatever dirt they could find - even if it was completely out of context, and they had no idea who wrote it, or how current it’s implications were). Doesn’t sound very humble to me. What was posted, was the relaying of a truly fun experience. Don’t think so? Re read the post poindexter. 🙂

I highly encourage anyone who has a chance to meet the Chieftains to do so - and if they invite you to play a few tunes with them, all the better! To those who have enjoyed the thread for what it was intended to be, thanks!

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Now, lets everyone calm down here, keep our hands away from our guns and step away from the table…..

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I get fed up hearing this kind of moaning about name dropping/boasting, etc. Is this inverted snobbery or just sour grapes? I don’t care.

But if someone is excited because they got to chat to or play with musicians they admire, why shouldn’t they say so. Some of us might enjoy getting to hear about it. I have enjoyed some of the stories I have read here about the nice moments people have had along these lines.

I agree that the music shouldn’t be about celebrity, but I think we’re a long way from turning into a fanzine forum. Irish music is a pretty small pond. It you swim around enthusiastically for awhile you will meet some fish who are a little bigger than you. It’s okay to talk about it - just watch out for those nippy little piranhas!

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Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

I think it’s extremely lame to expect ITM players never to mention "big names" in a tiny wee musical community where everybody knows everybody. The "big names" are enthusiastically intermingling with ordinary peons like the rest of us every day of their lives via workshops, festivals, sessions, intimate concerts. Surprise, surprise, this is an ITM site, so we are all here to talk about these folks and the music they play.

I can post a thread saying "I had a great wee session with my buddy Shari last night - she’s a really a wonderful person and I’ll be forever grateful that she tracked down the purse I lost at the Chris Langan weekend for me." and we’d all have a little chat about it and nobody would think I’m saying "Ooh, look at me, look at meee! I know Shari McGuirl! I’m so special!’ and go off googling my name so they can find out if I’ve ever said anything else lacking in humility (like, say, on every musician or band bio you will ever see, anywhere. Find me a bio that says "Well, I’m really no great shakes, I’ve never done anything special. Pay no attention to me.")

I know a guy who nearly bust a nut when he was trying to berate me into sharing his extremely snooty attitude, using the argument that his snobbery was The Authentic Traditional Irish Music Attitude that Everyone Who Plays It Must Share, and I mentioned I had a great old chat with Daithi Sproule and didn’t get the impression he was that type of guy, but that I still thought he was a legitimate Irish musician. Yer man starts screaming "NAME DROPPING, NAME DROPPING!" and gets super p*ssed off at me all of a sudden.

I dunno. Maybe he’s never got to have a good old chat with Daithi Sproule himself and he’s upset about that because he’s a *real* fiddle player and I’m just some hack who certainly has no right to be gallavanting about with the likes of Altan…

Right, so I’m not yelling at the regulars of course, who all seem to have the good sense to take this for what it is. But anyone who signed up specifically for the purpose of bringing down the upbeat tone of this totally harmless conversation by being snide little arseholes, you might as well have continued to lurk, in my opinion.

Re: Hangin’ with Altan

Kris — granted there are attacks from lurkers that happened on this thread that weren’t necessary, and I’m not opposed to name-dropping when it seems appropriate, but do we really want to start seeing threads about rubbing shoulders with famous ITM musicians cropping up? I’m just curious; I’m quite possibly in the minority to have reservations about this sort of thing.

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

I spoke to Michael Nyman once, in the canteen at Abbey Road studios.

There - I knew you’d be impressed(!)

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Meh. What are we, the thread police? Threads about partying with players with internationally distributed records aren’t really my bag, debates about what kind of conversations we ought to be having are even less so. I’m only in here to give a tongue-lashing to these party poopers who have recently joined us. I believe Medger’s comment should not be allowed to remain. It reads as a very un-civil personal attack.

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"I believe Medger’s comment should not be allowed to remain. It reads as a very un-civil personal attack." - Kerri

So what you’re saying is: you ARE the thread police.

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Well, no, but in principle, there is only one rule, it isn’t all that difficult to follow, and I’m glad it’s well enforced. I’m just calling it like I see it. If Jeremy ever bothers to read this thread I’m sure he’ll make up his own mind about whether it’s un-civil enough to be deleted.

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Maybe he (Medger) meant it as a dig, I hadn’t noticed till now that it’s his only post, but I had noticed the same thing about the author of this thread’s bios when I parused the links on his very nicely done web site. I do find it kind of misleading to include something like that in your bio, or allow it to be dispursed to wherever you’re mentioned. But at the end of the day it’s your playing that will speak for itself I suppose — so maybe it’s no big. But I would personally be uncomfortable with that in my bio none-the-less.

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Well, it’s not your bio, so you can relax. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve already used up all the p*ssedoffness I’ve got in me for this year, so I’m bailing out of this conversation.

See y’all later.

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

LOL

OK, OK, let’s end this with…

"One time at band camp…..(which I never personally attended, but one time at band camp I heard…."


Suffice?

Peace?

:^)

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Interesting.

I still have no idea what it is that motivates some to play this music, or to find a great session to join from time to time. obviously, some don’t do it to relax and have fun!

I frankly don’t care how many albums the Chieftains have released, or how many movie scores they’ve done, or who they’ve done cooperative works with. I care thet they’ve been playing for roughly 2 and a half times longer than I’ve been alive - and doing so really well!

I thouroughly enjoyed my time with them this year as I have in years past - much like you do with old frienmds. And that’s entirely how I feel when they come through each time. That is probably the biggest reason I enjoy attending their shows, and playing with them when the chance arises. I fully plan to take advantage of any future chances as well you can be sure!

Again, I don’t know where the whole bio thing crept in, and frankly, it doesn’t bother me in the least. I don’t feel it’s boasting or condecending in it’s tone, nor do I have the ability to have it changed at this point. It’s just really….well….interesting to me that some people get all p*ssed about silly little things that in no way affect them, or their life in any way such as this doesn’t.

Anyway, I’m off to go enjoy a few tunes, and work out some reed issues on the new Gallagher chanter. What a sweet piece of work it is too!

Best!

Bri~

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Who’s "p*ssed"?

Re: Hangin’ with the Chieftains

Well, Brian, I actually tried to trace that bio myself through your lovely piping site and couldn’t find it. My guess is that Iliana and Medger are both ex-girlfriends with a serious axe to grind, you ladykiller you. Maybe you’d better call them up and smooth things out lest they start belittling *all* your remarks.

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Well, I *was* p*ssed, Jack, but only for a minute there, and only because of all those pent-up stories I have about hobnobbing with celebrities that I never get to tell for fear of being accused of boasting.

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LOL Yous guys are great! :D

Yeah - about the ex-girlfriend thing…..he he he We won’t even go there. Besides, it would mess with this whole witness protection thing the FBI’s got me going with now. I mean, why do you suppose I took up piping in the first place? No sane person would think to try it. Only under the immense pressure of ‘Big Brother’ did I succumb to the trap that is uilleann piping. I think Paddy’s in the same program too though. I mean, with hair like his, it’s GOTTA be a disguise! 🙂

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I like to have the last word even if it is usually only because I come (back) late into the conversation. Jeez I never thought everyone would take this all so seriously. Anyway it was me that was doing the boasting I only did that to see if I could draw Dow out of the shadows and to do a "me too" gag. Never expected that all this would ensue. WOW!
Hey Kerri I only just got around to actually reading your profile and I think it should be made required reading for all newbies to this site. What a wonderful piece of literary genius.
Oh and we’d all love to hear your "pent-up stories I have about hobnobbing with celebrities that I never get to tell for fear of being accused of boasting."
Just as long as you don’t expect us to go ooh aah. Might even make for more fascinating reading and who knows what sort of invective might come out of the others on this site - could be a laugh.