Lucky to live in an ITM area

Lucky to live in an ITM area

As I read this forum, I realize again how lucky I am to live in a place where I can swim in the stream of a living tradition of Irish Music. I’m 15 minutes from 3 or 4 great sessions a week in Philadelphia Pa. I’ve learned the odd tune from CDs, but most of my tunes are learned from cassettes or minidiscs of sessions with great Irish or Irish American players. I can remember where, when and from whom I’ve picked up this turn of phrase or variation. After 10 years of hard work, studying and playing, I am still scratching the surface, but at least I get the chance to play with some great players, young and old. I don’t take it for granted. I am grateful indeed for the openness and welcome I’ve recieved from players from the first to last session I went to. Philadelphia is a great town for Irish Music. Pub sessions, house sessions, it’s a welcoming sharing atmosphere with the best of Irish Music and attitude. Thanks friends. - Mike

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Yeah, but you have to eat those cheesesteaks and hoagies, and you’re too close to the sea, and it doesn’t get anywhere near -40 in winter, and you’re plagued with all of those fancy-coloured trees in the fall, and you have to put up with the Mummers, and there’s those awful Italian restaurants in South Philly, and the fancy-schmancy Avenue of the Arts and Penn’s Landing, and that dreadful Longwood Gardens place.

Nah, never catch me moving back there for a few jigs and reels!

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Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Ha ha grego! It’s an embarassment of riches, really. I should take advantage of it more often—especially the sessions part. Considering I live right in the heart of it all…

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Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Well put, Mike.
What I’ve noticed is that although the "Celtic Re-Revival" (term not mine) brought on by pop-phenomenons like "Riverdance" has faded over most of the country, the music is still alive and well as ever in Philadelphia because the tunes were here long before any of us were. Anything that can survive, and even flourish, despite football, hotwings, dollar-draughts, and Frank Rizzo Sr. is not likely to ever die. I’d also say that the welcoming personalities of ITMs here have something to do with it, but such a trait seems entirely consistent among ITMs everywhere I’ve gone.
I’ve played tunes with you at Fergie’s once. Hope to see you again soon.

Grego, since you’ve gone, a few awful Mexican restaurants have moved into South Philly as well. Maybe you ought to make a trip back here to defrost.

Yeah, Andee, where’ve you been?

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

So how much does the travel and tourism board of PA pay you for a plug like that?

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Hi Mike,

I also live near Philly but am a country girl and rarely get into the "big" city. Any good sessions in the north west burbs you know about.
Here we’re pleagued with those awful horse trails, noisy cows and antique shops.

Mary

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

I don’t know about Mike, but I have to do it as part of my community service requirement that was ordered by the Court.

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I envy people in areas that have multiple sessions and support for ITM. I’m in the Sierra Mountains of California, which I really love. Not many sessions though. Its a trade off. I just saw a Scottish bagpiper in full dress skiing and playing on the local News. Maybe I need to combine ITM with something, like snow and water skiing. 😉

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Speaking of which, Michael, I’m going to try and get out your and Chris’s way when I’m out in California next. There wasn’t time this trip, but there should be next time, since I have to help get the house ready for market. yay!

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Rhode Island in the USA has become a real ITM friendly place in the past few years, sessions almost every night, and sometimes two or three to choose from. And if that ain’t enough, it is only an hour to Boston and three to NYC. And we have a great local venue, the Blackstone River Theater, that books topnotch folk music. For a taste of what we have, check out www.rhodeirish.net, a great website run by a local writer and musician (with lots of links that would be of interest even to those outside the area). And the scene keeps getting positive press, we had some great coverage in local papers over the St. Paddy’s Day period. There is no sign of it slowing down, either (although, April is a dead period for Irish music concerts, I think we wear ourselves out in March).

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

"I envy people in areas that have multiple sessions and support for ITM. I’m in the Sierra Mountains of California, which I really love. Not many sessions though. Its a trade off. I just saw a Scottish bagpiper in full dress skiing and playing on the local News. Maybe I need to combine ITM with something, like snow and water skiing. "

That’s a thought. You think if I got one of those chair-like apparatuses on skis that handicapped people use to ski, I could play uilleann pipes while flying down the slope? The epitome of multitasking.

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All those who struggle in adversity have my deepest admiration. No, I mean it. Straight up, not a wind up.

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Calgary is an extraordinary ITM city. There are hundreds of top quality sessions going on in different neighbourhood pubs most evenings, and the publicans provide virtually unlimited free drink and food to anyone who is willing to play, even for a short while.

We have a weekly concert series that is well supported - just in the last two months alone we’ve had Lunasa, Danu, Kevin Burke, Matt Molloy, Tommy Peoples, Planxty (regrouped,) and the Bothy Band (regrouped.) The Chieftans wanted to play last week, but all the venues were full, so they gave a free concert in Olympic Plaza instead.

The city is currently in negotiations to have the Willy Clancy Summer School relocated here as one of the Stampede attractions.

The local music shops are loaded down with used uileann pipes in good to excellent condition for rent or purchase, and there are sixteen top-notch instructors available throughout the city. Amazingly, country and western music has all but been replaced in city clubs with traditional Irish music.

And even with all this intense focus on Irish music, there is incredible respect for session etiquette. Bodhran players always say "please" and spoons are only used for eating the free food.

C’mon over, you’ll love it here! And I may be able to hook you up with an attractive bit of real estate for a very reasonable finder’s fee.

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Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Maybe we could use one of those hovercrafts to slide down with a whole session. It would probably sound more like an avalanche than a session. 😉
Bodhran Bliss: a serious moment?! Oh, you must be thinking of Bush again.

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Nice try Grego, you almost had me until you mentioned Bodhran players and C&W being replaced in pubs by ITM!

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I thought you were going to say "hook you up with a North American lady to inseminate". It was Kerri’s idea.

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

*splorf*

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It would be like the Kennedy’s playing football on the slopes. Diddley-diddley-diddley- didd- TREE!!!! *crash*

Re: Lucky to live in an ITM area

Zina: "*Splorf*"? Was that a sick to the stomach sound related to Bliss’ comment? Or are we not doing a simple "bleep" for a censored comment anymore? Or both? Hope you feel better soon.
Blissful One: the problem with your thought in Calgary is I think the cowboys define a good ride as 8 seconds. Some even get bucked off!
Grego: are you sure that isn’t Willy Nelson instead of Willy Clancy? Got a few Dobro players in your session? I can just hear "Eire Go Yeeaaaheeaaw!" (that bullriding, ruptured testicals sound). It does have a ring to it.
TheSilverSpear : I almost forgot. We could use Michael Gill’s inflatable pub for session skiing. It would probably sound like a giant whoopee cushion upside a tree.