I love trad sessions, but I can’t stomach beer. I could nurse a pint all evening long but prefer to nurse a hot chocolate, spiced rum & diet cola (that’s two separate drinks, mind you) (I mean, the choc and the rum/cola) or a Bailey’s (well, it IS Irish). So I stay out of the rounds-buying tradition. (At a pub in Cork, Mel Mercier ordered a "Roman coke"; I asked him what that was. It was a "rum and coke". I’m still working on grasping the various Irish accents.)
("Ethno-")musicologist, not a pro musician (though I DO get paid sometimes). Was a US folkie in the 1960s, and played in Balkan and Greek bands in the 1970s & ’80s, but since 1972 I mostly research and perform Japanese folk song. Also teach and perform Okinawan music and Javanese gamelan. (Links to videos of my Japan and Okinawa performances are at the end of this blurb, if you’re curious about these musics.)
Based in the UK since 1981 (including 22 years teaching at SOAS, University of London), I join various sessions in Durham (cittern, some guitar - Irish, Northumbrian, general English, Scottish etc). When in London, occasionally try a session, including a monthly Swedish one and the occasional old-timey American ones. Have lived in Japan for a total of 10+ years since 1969.
And the videos: 1) Japan (3 links):
a) youtu.be/DWChUTEiD2c&list=PLVNFrqCFRXn8vE_03t5WFJC49WGDVtR0F [[4:23-7:12 (end), Akita Funakata Bushi, me on shamisen, Yoshie Campbell singing]]
b) youtu.be/o1-fRVFaJlA&list=PLVNFrqCFRXn8vE_03t5WFJC49WGDVtR0F [[0-2:52, me getting the Trafalgar Square masses to moo along with the oxherd song Nambu Ushioi Uta (also done in a few sessions in Ireland); 2:55-5:35, Akita Ondo, trad rap song; me and Sherry Sugita rapping, Yoshie Campbell dancing]]
b) youtu.be/qW6B9ao8mQM [[Played "The Cuckoo" on 3-string shamisen, with one verse translated into Japanese, on an LP of Japanese folk songs I recorded with my teacher TANAKA Yoshio in 1980. I also sang the Irish song "The Mountain Streams" accompanied by shakuhachi bamboo flute, to show the Japanese folkies that Western songs actually DO sometimes have fancy ornaments like Japanese folk songs.]]
2) Okinawa: youtu.be/HUbsRZAU92A [ [Eisa ancestral festival dancing; balding me at bottom, plucking and singing]]